Powerlessness: Unnecessary and Unbalanced – Chapter 10
In this chapter Bill Johnson points out the false piety of powerless Christianity and Faith. He points out many say that they need to have more Christ-like character before they will ready to expect or walk in power. Johnson says that many have settled for spirituality that never requires “divine intervention”. Instead Johnson says that we are called to “become witnesses to another world”. So the “normal” Christian path is that we cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit based on Christ’s merits rather than a self-imposed and self-measured christ-like piety. We need to pursue a relationship with the Holy Spirit at all costs. And if we fail, then continue even more until we begin to encounter the Lord. The willingness to take risks is a big part of this. Johnson says that when the Holy Spirit encountered him he realized that “God wanted to make an exchange – His increased presence for my dignity” (pg. 114). And if that is not happening then Johnson says that something is wrong on his own end of faith because the Lord always is ready to encounter and to empower. Lastly, he says that we test every teacher by the power they walk in or not. If they do not have power, then “don’t listen to them”.
The High Cost of Low Power – Chapter 11
In this chapter Bill Johnson talks about the place for Signs and Wonders in the life of the church and communities of believers. He makes many good points about the that signs and wonders play such as authenticating the message and teaching of Jesus and authenticating that Jesus is the Son of God. Signs and wonders are manifestations of God’s glory. Their occurances increase faith and build expectation. Signs and wonders have impact. They bring people to decision and bring conviction because they are confronted with the power of God.
He also talks about how many christians have taught against signs and wonders occurring in the present. Some have even developed theologies to teach believers not to expect signs and wonders at all. Signs and wonders are replaces with religious ritual and a satisfaction with a belief system rather than real encounter with the Lord. I have seen and heard this first hand and I know exactly what he is talking about. It is very sadly true. Thank God that new teaching is being heard and faith is being increased among the body.
Our Debt to the World: An Encounter with God – Chapter 12
In this chapter Bill Johnson talks about walking and minister under anointing. Anointing means to “smear”. The statement of this chapter that really hit me is this “The ones who do enjoy fellowship throughout their day with the Holy Spirit are extremely conscious of how He feels about their words, attitudes, and activities. The thought of grieving Him brings great sorrow. It’s their passion to give Him preeminence in everything. That passion brings that believer into supernatural life – one with the constant activity of the Holy Spirit working through them.” (pg 134) This is walking in anointing – staying constantly smeared by His abiding presence. Ministry to others is simply sharing the presence we are enjoying with others. When we are willing to share His presence we enter into God’s desire for others around us. The presence comes off of us onto others. Ministering is learning “to recognize His presence, cooperate in His passion for people, and invite them to receive salvation” (136). From here Johnson says that this is not or should not be a surprise. We follow in the ministry and life of Jesus who, like Jacob, had heaven open over Him and angels called to minister ascending and descending upon him. We who have the Holy Spirit are all dwelling places of God and we should experience the same.
Aha Moment – really none other than continuing reminder to keep pressing in until we see the heaven invade earth; to live in expectation and faith that God ruling presence is within arm’s reach and about to break through…if we just grab onto it.