“Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I Am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you I do not speak on My own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work. Believe Me when I say that I Am in the Father and the Father is in Me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I Am going to the Father.”
While reading these verses and conversing with the Holy Spirit, I heard Him pose the question. “Why don’t they believe?” It wasn’t a sad question, but rather a rhetorical one. If they don’t believe then there’s a good reason why.
In reading the verses above, one stood out like a flashing neon light to me, and it’s verse 11b “or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.”
Lately or at least during this pandemic, the Church became lumped into the non essential group. How was that even possible? We can all recall how after 911 faith based initiative was birthed.The Church was front and center of essential help. This time around, Satan, with the help of government leaders, shuttered the houses of worship under the guise of health and safety, while keeping abortion clinics and liquor stores open. You may stone me or stop reading but this is my personal opinion. If we could wear masks to go into all other public buildings, then we could’ve done the same in our churches. Selah
We, the Church of Jesus Christ, have rendered ourselves irrelevant, weak, compromising, ineffective, powerless and yes, non essential. When the Holy Spirit posed the question, He already knew the answer. Unbelief in God’s Word is creating divisiveness in the body. We have no evidence no real genuine proof of our faith in Jesus Christ that we can point to for the onlookers to see. We have opened God’s House to all manner of evil works in the name of inclusivity and tolerance. The world at large hasn’t made any accommodations for us in their world, or have you even noticed? While we are bowing at the feet of Baal, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being lost to a generation who has not so much as heard that Precious Name except as a curse! Shame on us!
Phillip asked Jesus to show him the Father. The answer from Jesus was both sad and telling. “Don’t you know ME, even after I have been among you for such a long time?” Some of us have been saved for years, and still shy away from giving an answer for why we believe what we believe. And when we do we’re
incoherent. God is not pleased. We have not been representing Him well at all! We go to church for an hour on Sunday, if that or at all, we give Him lip service and then wonder why He’s not demonstrating His power through us. I’m addressing born again, Holy Spirit filled believers right now, so if that’s how you identify yourself He’s speaking to you!
Jesus said we’re supposed to be doing greater works than what He did, how? Because He was going back to the Father, who would send us His Spirit, to enable us to triumph in Christ and do the greater works. Listen to what Jesus said to the disciples (who did do greater works) and to us: “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.””
Mark 16:17-18 NIV this promise was fulfilled in Acts 3 and preceding chapters.
So where is our evidence or body of proof? What are they looking at? What does the world see looking in from the outside? When was the last time we experienced those signs as Sprit filled Believers in Christ? Why not?
The honest answer is; Jesus said it would follow those “WHO BELIEVE!” Do you believe? When people exercise faith to believe for salvation or healing, signs will follow. I have my own personal testimonies that we are able to see and do what Jesus promised. The problem we’re having in the body of Christ today is, folks wanting the attention and glory that is only due to the ONE doing the work. Jesus instructed most people He healed, not to say anything. We on the other hand won’t do anything unless the light is on us. Jesus said “What we do in secret will be rewarded in the open.” Matthew 6. The glory is His. Peter demonstrated this in Acts 3:6-16. (Read)
So why don’t they believe? I think the better question is “Why should they believe?” What evidences or proofs have we as followers of Christ, demonstrated to them? Where is our confidence in the power of Christ Jesus to do greater works? We’ve exchanged the unadulterated Word of God for a narrative or just mere stories. His Word is Truth, His promises trustworthy, His faithfulness time tested, His power unquestionably greater than any other power, His love genuinely unfailing, His judgement firm and righteous, His fear pure, His law perfect, He changes never! He fails never! He lies never! So if we’re built on these Truths, why don’t they believe? Why don’t we believe? Look in the mirror!
Romans 1:25 says “We have exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator Who is forever praised.” We have weakened the Gospel by not believing it ourselves. I addressed this in an earlier message. We don’t get to pick and choose what to believe in God’s Word.
If we’re non essential, that’s our doing. If we’re irrelevant, that’s our fault, if we’re ineffective and powerless, that’s our fault, if the World does not believe our message, that’s our fault. At least with Jesus and the apostles, they had evidence. If people chose not to believe, at least the works were a testimony against their unbelief. What do we have to show? When was the last time you led someone to Jesus or shared your faith? Do they even want what you claim to have? This is hard stuff, but I’m just the stenographer. I write what I’m told. Believe me, I’m the first partaker. We need to step it up, if we’re going to make a difference in this world. The days of hiding out and playing at being a Christian is over, that is, if we’re serious about serving Him. Light cannot hide no matter how dark the darkness. A city on a hill cannot hide no matter how high the mountain. Jesus has called us to be both.
He didn’t give us His Spirit to brag but to demonstrate His power and glory. When He operates in and through us we decrease. It was said of the apostles in the book of Acts following the events of Pentecost. Never mind I’ll let you read it:
Acts 4:13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
They recognized Jesus because of the miracle that had been done through the apostles. The recognition went to Jesus, not the apostles. Therein lies the problem with the 21st century Church. We want the recognition. The apostles always used the miracles to point men to Christ. Never to a ministry or a person. Why would God use us when we refuse to acknowledge Him?
Maybe this is a great time for some self reflection. The Bible teaches us to walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the times because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16
So you may not appreciate the message today. It’s not meant to be a message of condemnation. So if you’re anything like me, after a rebuke I go to my quiet place and ask the Holy Spirit to show me where I’m not measuring up, and if need be, I repent. If this doesn’t apply to you, then, it was good reading. Praise the Lord.
Because my walk is personal, I desire to please Him with every breath. I don’t want to teach you and then become a castaway. I need to practice what I teach so I embrace His chastening and correction. I grow and thrive because of them. I pray you’re of the same mind. I had no idea I’d be writing this today. I have so many already written that I thought He would choose from. But I’m not my own, I’ve been bought with a precious price. So I’m humbled to obey even if it’s not popular teaching. I’ll close with these words from the writer of Hebrews:
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
Father in the Name of Jesus,
I confess that I have not been a good steward of the grace given me to make a real difference. Not in the way that you have said I should. I ask of the loving Father who always gives second chances to forgive and restore me to a place of relevance again. I want to share Your Truth with others unashamedly, I desire for others to recognize that I have been with You. Help me be everything you say I am for Your glory. In Jesus Name. Amen
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit
Make time for self reflection. Seeking the Holy Spirit for guidance, as we come up higher in our pursuit of Jesus. Blessings!