Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. ~ Miracles, signs, and wonders followed Jesus throughout his life on earth and also the early day church. Back in that time, there was never preaching of the gospel without signs and miracles following. This account in Acts 4 is right after Peter and John healed a man through the name of Jesus that had been lame for 40 years. Because of the demonstration and manifestation of God’s kingdom in the earth, the religious leaders recognized that they had been with Jesus.
It’s through no other name that men are saved or healed. No other name is like the name of Jesus! So what’s the difference between the church today and the church of yesterday? According to 2 Peter, we’ve been given the same faith. Grace and peace have been multiplied unto us. So what’s the difference? Why don’t we see the power like the early church did? I believe it’s because the church has lost their love for the presence of God. We have become so busy that we no longer take the time to intimately pursue him. Sure, we will give him Sunday mornings, maybe Wednesday nights, and about 15 minutes a day- but that’s about it. We have forsaken our first love and have allowed our love and passion for him to grow cold.
Being used in the gifts, having boldness, seeing miracles, etc. is not hard and it’s not only for a selected few. These are birthrights, heritages of the believer. Jesus died on the cross so that we could have access to all that the Father has. These are ‘natural’ things that will come forth out of a life of intimacy. It’s when we take time to pursue him that we are changed. It’s when we choose to shut out the things of the world that we come into encounters with him and we come to discover all that he is.
Where we are in life and where we are in the kingdom all has to do with personal choice and decision. God doesn’t determine how much of him we have, we determine it. It is my prayer for the church that we become desperate for him again, that we would hunger and thirst again for encounters with him that empower us to walk in this world as the sons of God and no longer as mere men. There is a huge difference between the two!