How to Channel the Current [Current]
Pastor Terry Inman
Peter’s unconventional catch from the other side of the boat is very relevant in light of the current flow of the Holy Spirit here at Harbor Light.
Jesus was preparing Peter for a whole new paradigm. He would net a supernatural harvest following the outpouring of his Holy Spirit. After all he promised him, “follow me and I will make you fishers of men!”
Peter was a veteran net caster but it took spiritual vision to see where the next large school of fish could be caught. Speaking of fish…Melinda Fish, a writer and editor of Catch the Fire Magazine, posted this prophetic promise she received last week.
"The Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to His temple!" Prepare for a sudden encroachment of the Holy Spirit unlike anything you have ever seen before in intensity, scope and magnitude. "I will use the power of my Spirit to smash down walls that have stood high against me and against My church." Surrender your all to me. I will leave no stone unturned. I will move upon people even against their conscious will and make myself known to them like never before. People will begin to crave My Presence to the degree that you will have to turn people away from the door. I will mount up with eagles' wings and will be carried to the remotest parts of the earth to do wonders greater than men have imagined. The heathen will look on in the shame of their unbelief and cry for mercy. It will not be a day of business as usual, but it will be a day of hunger and a day where multitudes will make their peace with Me. I will begin to call men to Myself and they will begin to devote themselves to me even like Zaccheus did when I entered his house. I will move upon them and they will lay down their arms to make peace with Me. It will be a move of salvation, a period where the earth will be filled with the knowledge of glory of The Lord as the waters cover the sea. I will create an awe in My Church and restore what the locust have eaten away. The humble will rejoice because the meek shall inherit the earth as My Kingdom comes!"
I believe God is preparing us for an unconventional harvest in our very diverse city. Right now we are working hard for a few fish. He wants to fill our nets but first he wants to fill our hearts. I am asking him to help us channel the current (present) current (power) into a productive catch.
After Jesus death the disciple’s dreams of conquering the Romans and restoring the Kingdom to Israel had taken a huge hit. Peter was a leader. His fishing buddies joined him back at the boats. He was ready to default to his old standby career. After all you have to make a living.
Early in the morning on the shores of Galilee, Jesus makes his third post-resurrection appearance. At first the disciples didn’t recognize him. Jesus asked what he already knew. Are you catching anything? Nope been fishing all-night and noting to show for it. So how’s that working for you!
Jesus was a carpenter not a fisherman, but he says try your nets on the right side, which to the disciples was the wrong side of the boat. The bible says the catch was so big they could hardly haul it in.
Peter jumped out of the boat to meet Jesus over a fish fry on the beach. Jesus tests his commitment three times. First he said do you love me more than these. (fish) What if asked us, am I more important than your trade, your skills, your interests or your life-style?
Jesus used three different Greek expressions for love to challenge Peter’s priorities. Each time he said if you really love me, feed my lambs, care for my sheep and feed my sheep! Peter shepherded from that day on.
Almost twenty years ago my first Sunday here I said “I am here to equip you to shepherd your families, friends, neighborhood and workplace.” Many of you are doing that. You are feeding new lambs, and tending sheep. I believe more than ever in this vision. There are many lost lambs; there are schools of fish. We need unconventional supernatural vision!
As I mentioned last week there seems to be an increase in what I would call the manifest presence and power of God’s Holy Spirit. The bible says His Spirit is like the wind, it’s not visible but its effects are. John 3.8 (NIV) One Pastor said, “I've been seeing a picture of flags animated by a mighty wind.” God is empowering us to reach diverse people groups!
I woke up early Monday morning with a prayerful question on my mind. How can we channel the current [current] the present flow of God’s Spirit? How can we become conduits and not just containers?
JD our facilities manager is coming to tell us a little about the electrical current in this building and how it works.
In the book of Acts, the empowering of the Spirit had a very clear purpose. Jesus told his disciples, You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1.8 (NIV)
We quote this verse so much that it’s easy to become too familiar and fail to produce the purpose. Notice he didn’t say you will “do something” he said you will “be something”. You will be an empowered witness. An eyewitness is someone with firsthand experience that can give credible evidence and testimony to the truth.
God gave us His Spirit. He frequently fills us with increased power. We are to be compelling proof that Jesus Christ the Son of God has been raised from the dead. He also offers free re-fills! Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to excessiveness. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Eph. 5.18
Current that isn’t channeled or conducted can be misdirected or wasted. In fact it can even be destructive. We may be experiencing what the book of Acts describes as “A time of Refreshing”. We seem to be in a stream of powerful current but there is a challenge in the book of Hebrews.
Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. Heb. 6.7 (NIV)
The current drought in the State of California could be a testimony to the state of the church. We need a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
I would like to finish where we left off last week in the book of Acts. Peter and John were arrested, threatened and released for an act of kindness that turned into an indisputable miracle in Jesus name.
They joined their small group of friends and followers who were praying. The prayer in its self is a study in how to deal with spiritual resistance.
As I mentioned last week the place or the space where they were praying was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4.31 (NIV)
It gets pretty exciting when God shows up and touches human flesh. There’s a lot of current. Some people weep, some people laugh, some people shout, some people are quietly in awe. Some tremble, some shake, some fall. You don’t see the Holy Spirit but you see the effects. These are human manifestations, or reactions to powerful spiritual current.
Now they could have scheduled more shaking meetings, even held conferences on shaking but the bible says they just went out and shared the word of God with new boldness. Keep in mind this is in the face of threats by the same bullies that handed Jesus over for crucifixion. That’s why the word for “witness” originally meant martyr. They were fearless!
Persecution drove the believers into a communal life style. Family members rejected them. They lost jobs. To survive they formed a coop of Jesus followers. They took care of each other. They shared property and belongings. They may have been poor but their power increased.
With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. Acts 4.33-34 (NIV)
Now fast forward to chapter five. A wealthy couple by the name of Ananias and Sapphira wanted to make a good impression. So they sold some property and donated some of it to the coop. They actually laid the money at the Apostles feet leaving the impression that they had given everything. However they had already agreed to stash some of the cash.
Peter exposed their deceit. He told them that Satan had filled their hearts. They tried to lie to the Holy Spirit, which by the way is impossible. Ananias dropped dead. When Sapphira came in with the same story she joined him. The bible says, Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. Acts 4.11 (NIV)
Maybe we could use a healthy fear of God? He has earned our respect. God is not asking us to sell our property. He is asking us to give our lives. He is asking us to pass on the current. We can’t lie to the Holy Spirit.
He knows what and why we are holding back. He knows what we really value. He knows what we love. Do we really want to catch fish? Do we really want to feed lambs?
The next paragraph in this story says…The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade.
The current was building. Power was more evident. There were increased signs and wonders. Sometimes it takes some painful purging and purifying to see more power channeled.
No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. Acts 5.13-14
I believe when the current is powerful and pure it gets more popular. Today people are hungry for something passionate and authentic. Now let’s take a look at results. What did the powerful current produce?
As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed. Acts 5.15-16 (NIV)
People were getting healed and freed in public! People were coming in from the whole region. Healing was increasing. Crowds were growing!
I am praying for a whole new movement of the miraculous. Not just something we are used to seeing in churches, conferences, and crusades. Not just stories from Africa, Asia and South America but healing and deliverance at work, in our homes, in the streets!
During our 40 days of LOVE and LIGHT we are going to simply create some channels for God’s current to flow through. We are going revisit Jesus simple instructions to his disciples. We are going to practice the prayer-care-share lifestyle.
Let’s welcome the Holy Spirit to increase His current to reach our city!