And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 ESV
Jesus indicates that fulfilling the Great Commission means having His authority and walking in His presence.
Authority means power and miracles. His presence brings peace and provision.
The church today lacks power, peace, and provision. Let’s consider the cause as not the lack of prayer or knowledge of good theology, but the failure to obey the Great Commission.
I believe the church struggles with fear. All of us pray for healing miracles.
In the past few years, upon entering a conversation with a believer, many quickly turn to their prayer needs. We end our connect groups by asking if there are prayer requests.
Yes, I think that we should pray!
The prayer needs fall into two categories – difficulties with trials and a need for miraculous provision or healing.
Those following Jesus know He answers prayers. The New Testament promises peace (Philippians 4:7), power (Philippians 4:13), and provision (Philippians 4:19). Why aren’t prayers answered? I need to be careful with this as I hear constant testimonies of answered prayer.
We need more Jesus!
Jesus indicates our degree of blessing will be according to our obeying His will.
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21
The last command of Jesus is the Great Commission – go and disciple with His authority and in His presence. The question: If the church, if individual believers aren’t discipling, will there be a lack of authority and presence? Will followers of Jesus not have power, peace, and provision?
I need to be careful again. I don’t believe God has a divine Power and Presence bank account dolling out blessings according to our deposits of faithfulness. If that’s the case, it undermines grace and mercy.
God is our Father. He sent Jesus, bringing us grace but also a Great Commission. The Good News is empowered by the authority and presence of the Spirit! God’s abundance doesn’t depend on our works but on the faithfulness of Jesus.
When we obey Jesus and model His faithfulness by discipling, there will be an increase in power and presence.
The most effective followers of Jesus that I know, those with the most peace and answered prayers, are disciples but also disciplers.
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried. ~ G. K. Chesterton