God said something unusual to me in a quiet time this week. He said: “Unusual miracles will happen when the church at large begins releasing people to do unusual things.”
"Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them." (Acts 19:11, NKJV)
This is not the only time in the Bible that unusual miracles happen; you have only to look at Moses turning his staff into a snake, Elijah purifying water with salt, or Peter healing the sick with his shadow.
We don’t see many unusual miracles today, especially in the West, and I believe God wants to change that. I see God directing us away from “church as usual” and opening up creative new opportunities for us to reach the lost.
During this prayer time, I was aware of a shift in the Spirit (specifically in the New England region). The Body of Christ was being released to “spread out” as they journeyed toward the heart of God, taking what seemed to be divergent paths. This “fanning out” process allowed them to gather in a greater corporate harvest as they each navigated different paths. Here is what the Lord said as I watched this vision unfold:
I am opening up ways and wells in the supernatural realm that have not been used or traversed since ancient times. An “ease” in the Spirit is about to take place, a change of course as My people begin to travel down lesser-worn paths that will lead to a more prosperous destination. What they discover on these paths will astound them. They will find resources and tools along the way that will help them move forward in ministry more effectively. There is not “one way” for all, but each will find his or her own path and be content to travel with Me along it. All will reach the same destination in the end, but the effect of this “divergence” will be that each will gather in those they are most suited to reach, instead of being compelled to travel another’s path less suited to their gifts and temperament. It is time for the Good Shepherd to lead His church once again, with His people trusting in His leadership, no matter how unusual it may look or seem. Division produces multiplication when done correctly, and I would divide some of My peoples’ paths so as to reach a greater number of the lost along the way.
You will see with your own eyes a confirmation of this. I tell you ahead of time, lest you think that these divisions and divergences of My people are from the enemy, and not of Me. Division for the sake of reproduction is My strategy in this hour.
Pray, then, that each person will gladly yield to My leadership and be willing to travel the new-to-them paths upon which I direct them. UNUSUAL MIRACLES WILL TAKE PLACE AS MY CHURCH RELEASES PEOPLE TO DO UNUSUAL THINGS!
(Note: To read Deborah's prophetic word for 2017, click here.)
Understanding The Word
What does this mean, exactly? God has blessed each of us with a unique set of gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s power. In the words of the apostle Paul, “are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings?” (1 Corinthians 12:29-30). The obvious answer is “no.”
Not all of us are given “gifts of healings,” especially healings that manifest when we touch someone’s work apron! Yet each of us has unique gifts of our own.
For example, some believers have creative gifts that need creative venues in order to flourish. As they visit the “wells” or travel the “paths” creatives typically travel, they will encounter other creatives who need Jesus and lead them into the Kingdom. Because these Kingdom Creatives “speak the language,” they will gain their trust. They will also pick up useful tools and skills they can use to expand their ministry. To confine a Kingdom Creative to serving coffee or teaching Sunday school each week instead of expressing their gift through art or worship would not be beneficial to the person or the Kingdom!
In the same way, an evangelist will likely be unhappy sitting on numerous church committees year after year. He is aching to be in the marketplace or on the streets, winning souls! If his time is consumed by meetings and tasks, he will not accomplish the main task God has called him to: reaching people.
Releasing people to do the kinds of ministry they are called to will require great trust in the Good Shepherd by church leaders and pastors. While the ultimate destination remains the same, leaders must be willing to release those who are ready, to travel off the beaten paths in order to reap a larger harvest. This does not mean that believers are to operate as “lone rangers.” It means, simply, that some believers with unique visions are to be blessed and commissioned by their leadership to reach people in the ways they know best, operating from a place of submission to their pastors or spiritual overseers.
Raising the Dead: Now THAT'S Unusual!
A friend of mine was called to move to a new location and has been ministering in various different places over the last few years. At dinner one night, she noticed an older man who was having trouble breathing. The restaurant called an ambulance, but my friend felt led to pray for the man first. She prayed out loud (a witness to everyone there) and the man responded and was fine – before the ambulance arrived on the scene. Because she heard and obeyed the voice of the Good Shepherd in an unusual situation, a man’s life was saved.
Around the same time that month, another believer in San Diego, California, saw a vision of an ambulance in her housing complex and felt compelled to pray and bind a spirit of death. A few weeks later, (February 15, 2017), a one-year old little girl fell out of a second-floor window in the believer’s apartment complex and was lying motionless in a pool of blood on the ground.
Once again, before the ambulance arrived, this believer heard the Good Shepherd urging her to pray. She ran to the child and prayed for the breath of God to enter her body. Instantly, the little girl started to breathe and move, and she lived to survive the fall. (You can listen to a short NBC news clip here.)
Raising the dead may seem far-fetched to you until you read in Hebrews that it is considered one of the basic tenets of our faith. The same “dunamis” power that raised Jesus from the grave is available to believers today, already residing on the inside of you! I do not have time to write of those who see legs extended, bones healed, and headaches disappear, but these things do happen and we can expect them to increase because God is a good God!
An Unusual Start
Several weeks ago, both my car and my husband’s were broken down in our driveway. My battery had died, and when my husband tried to start my car with cables from his car, his car suffered a mechanical breakdown, too! On one of the coldest days of this winter, my husband and oldest son were outside, trying to resuscitate them.
They managed to repair Kevan’s car, but despite hours of charging, my battery still would not start. Kevan was extremely frustrated. He knew he had two choices: he could admit defeat, drive to the nearest parts store and purchase a new battery, or he could ask God for an unusual miracle.
Knowing that our son was standing out there in the cold watching him, Kevan chose to pray. He laid hands on my car and prayed for help from the Good Shepherd. The car started!
Do you know who was the first to come into the house and tell his mama her car was running again? My teenager. An unusual miracle showed him that the power of God was real!
It is the unusual miracles that will shake people out of complacent Christianity and agnostic unbelief. When we trust God to do unusual things, we reap a greater harvest. This should not be a surprise to us: Jesus Himself said we would do greater things! (John 14:12)
As we ask God to open up to us these “ancient paths” of the Spirit in our daily walk with Him, we may find that He isn’t always leading us to go about our business as usual. Instead, He’s redirecting us to travel different paths, perhaps to discover the one who has been beaten and robbed on a side road and needs miraculous intervention. (See the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.) Our “detours” still take us to our destination, but we arrive there with new friends and testimonies in tow.
Questions for Application:
1. Has God called you to do something unusual, something that seems a little “out of the box” for you or for church as we know it? What is it? If you like, share in the comments below.
2. As a leader, are there people in your care who just don’t seem to “fit the mold” of a typical churchgoer? Or who have ideas for outreach that seem a little “out of the box” to you? What would happen if they were entrusted to the Lord at this time? Could this word stretch you to believe God is big enough to use them and protect them, even when their paths diverge from yours?
3. Think about the idea of submission to authority. As a spiritual leader, how could you encourage those in your care to fulfill their callings, however unusual, while still providing guidance, counsel, or oversight? Practically, what steps could you take to work in tandem with the Holy Spirit in this directional “shift” from heaven?
© Deborah Perkins /www. HisInscriptions.com
Deborah’s childhood library card was the key that unlocked a world-sized treasure chest. With a growing love for books, Deborah spent her free time digging for treasures among the library shelves. Her favorite book of all time became the Bible. After reading God’s Words secretly for many nights (by flashlight!) as a teenager, she gave her life to the Lord. A Wellesley College graduate, wife, and mother of three wonderful boys, the author now enjoys creating “gems” of her own at www.HisInscriptions.com with the hope of inspiring a new generation of treasure-hunters. You can purchase a copy of her Bible Study here.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.