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TRUST JESUS TODAY
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Exploring your Superpowers
It happens in every superhero movie and comic and television show that I’ve ever seen. The now super powered person, before starting to be a superhero, goes out and explores the new powers they’ve discovered. Peter Parker “sees” a car coming at him with his “spidey senses” and jumps out of the way, and twenty feet up the wall he sticks. Then he climbs up the wall and back down. Next he realizes he has super strength and picks up a parked car. Then puts his powers to the test by entering a wrestling contest, out powering a professional wrestler
Superman jumps, flies, and kicks footballs into the atmosphere while still Clark Kent. Pick a superhero and you see them testing their powers out. They’re discovering their powers and how to use them. All before they put on the cape or costume and take it to the next level. The same needs to be true of us as Spiritual Superheroes.
I think the superhero who most personifies how this works for us is Ralph Henkly from the television show “The Greatest American Hero.” His super powers came from a suit given to him by aliens. It came with an instruction manual that told him all about his powers and how to use them.
Of course in the show he immediately loses the manual and has to figure out his powers by trial and error more error than anything. Every time I watch one of those shows I am reminded again of my fellow Christians.
We too have an instruction manual. It tells us, not only, do we have superpowers but what they are. Yet most of us haven’t read about them, or we figure those passages don’t apply to us. Therefore we just skim over them wishing we could be more effective for the Kingdom, but thinking we are not good enough or special enough for those powers.
What are these powers you ask? They are all found in our own instruction manual, the Bible. All we have to do is read and believe what we read.
In Luke 9:1&2 Jesus gives some of these powers to his followers: “1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. 2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick”
These are the three super powers given to every follower of Jesus. The power and authority over all demons being the first one mentioned. Often I have heard and seen people admonished to leave deliverance to the “professionals” and I agree leave it to the professionals. However if we take Jesus at his word and obey his command we realize all Christians are the professionals.
Then he gave them the power and authority to cure diseases. We as believers need to step into this power and authority given us by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We don’t need to ask if God wants to heal someone. We need to realize Jesus commands us to cure diseases supernaturally, with our God given super powers.
Next we see that we are to preach the kingdom and heal the sick. I will tell you from personal experience when God uses you to heal the sick, cure a disease, or deliver a possessed person they are much more willing to accept Christ as their savior. It makes advancing the Kingdom of heaven easy. Paul tells us in Romans 15:19 the gospel is only fully preached when accompanied by demonstrations of our spiritual superpowers. “Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
But this is not the only place where Jesus gives these commands to his followers. Look in the very next chapter of Luke 10:1-9 “ After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.
2 Then He said to them, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. 5 But whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house.' 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you.
7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set you. 9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.'”
Here again we see Jesus sending out more followers with the command to heal the sick. How important do you think this super power is for Jesus to mention it three times? Remember it is in Mark 16 as well.
But New Testament superheroes weren’t the only ones who experimented with their superpowers before using them. One of my favorite Characters from the Old Testament is David. Look at what he tells King Saul is the reason he knows he can defeat Goliath.
1Samuel 17:32-37 “ Then David said to Saul, "Let no man's heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine." 33 And Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth." 34 But David said to Saul, "Your servant used to keep his father's sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God." 37 Moreover David said, "The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and the Lord be with you!"
So why did David know he could Defeat Goliath? Because before he had to face the giant, he had defeated both a bear and lion with the help of God. He had explored his super powers and knew God would be with him.
So what does all this mean to us as we try to explore our super powers? From all of these examples, we see that we must start to exercise our super powers. As we experience victories using our super powers we gain confidence and knowledge of how to use them when a superhero situation presents itself.
See when we are faithful in exploring our super power over small things, when something big comes along we will have confidence and boldness to act. Matthew 25:21 shows us God will only increase our power and responsibility if we use them. “His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'”
Let me give you an example from my own ministry again. A few years after I first started learning how to be a spiritual superhero, God began to give me opportunities to explore my powers. I had several opportunities to pray for the sick and see God use me to heal. Then came the day when exploration was over and it was time to do a superhero sized miracle.
It started like this; I was working in Florida. I walked into the bank to cash my paycheck one day. The teller, whom I had made friends with, asked me “How much would your church charge me for some prayers?” Now this was not as shocking to me as you might think, because I knew the background of this young lady. I knew in the religious tradition she came from this was not an unusual question.
My response to her was: “Prayer is just talking to God and that’s free. Why? What’s going on?” She proceeded to cry and tell me how her husband of 10 years had just been told his liver was failing. Because of his drinking there was nothing left the doctors could do for him. They told him he had six months left to live.
I don’t know why I said what I said next, but I heard myself saying “Well I will certainly have the church pray for him. If you want I am sure I can get a few guys to come out and we can lay hands on him and pray for him to be healed.”
Her response was, he wouldn’t allow that he hated the church and Christians.
I told her I would keep praying for him. Four months passed and once again I went to cash my check. I was approached by the same teller who said: “Listen if you are still willing to come out with some men of the church and pray for my husband we want you to. I informed her I was no longer at that church but if she wanted I and my wife would come out and pray for him.
She asked me to do so and said she would call me with a day and time to come and do so. I went home with my heart in my throat. What had I agreed to do? I knew this man's problem was from alcohol abuse and he didn’t want anything to do with God or the church. However, with hospice in his house and death coming near he was willing to try anything to beat death.
I got on my knees in my bedroom and asked God if I should try and get out of this? In response God placed in my heart that He had ordained this meeting. According to God this man’s problem was he felt like God didn’t like him and couldn’t forgive him. God was going to use his healing to show him his love.
On the appointed day my wife and I went down to the Bible book store and purchased a bottle of anointing oil and headed over to their house. When we got there my friend introduced me to her husband, Frank.
We were in Florida, it was spring, and the temperature was already in the mid nineties; but Frank was in long pants and a long sleeve shirt. As I began to talk with him I could tell he was not real happy with the situation. I told him I knew he didn’t believe in healing and wasn’t too fond of God or Pastors. To which he responded: “Your right if it wasn’t for her”, and he pointed at his wife, “we wouldn’t be doing this.”
In response I told him “that’s ok you don’t have to believe, because before we came I was talking to God about you. He told me He was going to heal you to show you He loves you.” Then I read him the scripture in James 5 about healing and explained we were going to do exactly what it said and anoint him with oil and pray for God to heal him of his illness.
I finished by reading James 5:14-16 to him: “Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. I told him “it doesn’t matter if you don’t have faith because I do.” Then I anointed him with oil, laid hands on him, and prayed for God to heal him; and show God’s love to him.
After a few minutes of just visiting with them and getting to know them both better my wife and I said goodbye. On the way out the door I looked back and said, “Frank when you get your next liver test back I want to know what the results are. Because I am sure God is going to heal you.” He promised me he would call me with the results. After which we left.
A month went by and I hadn’t heard anything. Then one day Frank and his wife showed up out of the blue at my house. When I asked him about his liver test he told me the doctor had called and asked him to retake it, because something was wrong with the last test.
Then he proceeded to tell me when we had come to his house he had been covered in infectious lesions. His liver wasn’t removing the toxins from his body. He told me- “When I got up the morning after you prayed for me they were all gone.”
I told him: “There you go, I told you God was going to heal you.” Again, I asked him to let me know when he got his liver test back. Once more he said he would.
Right after that we moved to a city two hours away, to work for a church as a youth evangelist for the summer. One Saturday I received a call from Frank’s wife asking where our house was located. They were in our town and wanted to visit. They came over and we visited for a while.
As they were preparing to leave, I again asked Frank what his liver test results had been. His response was- once more the doctor had apologized to him and asked him to come in for a repeat test. Frustrated he asked them, what was wrong with his test? The doctor told him: “We must have gotten your test mixed up with someone else’s because the liver enzymes were normal.
Frank told the doctor he wouldn’t be taking any more tests because God had healed his liver. Then as if that wasn’t miracle enough two weeks later Frank and his wife both gave their lives to Christ. The following week I baptized them.
That is the greatest part about using the super powers God gives you. Not only do you get to see amazing miracles happen in peoples lives but you also get to see it draw them to God. Helping people start a relationship with God is so much easier after He has allowed you to initiate a miracle in their life. All it takes is what we have talked about in the last two chapters. Ask for your powers to be activated, and begin to explore the super powers you’re given.
In the next chapter let’s look at the all important piece of superhero gear the costume. Its use is to protect the superhero and provide fear to the enemies we encounter. So what is our spiritual super suit, and how do we get it?
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