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Signs, Wonders and Discipleship

Signs, Wonders and Discipleship

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A message by Daniel A. Brown, PhD, while he was senior pastor at The Coastlands, Aptos Foursquare Church. For more information, please visit our website at http://ctw.coastlands.org/.
A message by Daniel A. Brown, PhD, while he was senior pastor at The Coastlands, Aptos Foursquare Church. For more information, please visit our website at http://ctw.coastlands.org/.

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Published by: Daniel A. Brown, PhD on Jun 05, 2010
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06/05/2010

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Signs, Wonders And Discipleship:New Tools In Our Toolbox 1
DanielA.Brown,PhD
ctw.coastlands.org
S
IGNS
,
 W 
ONDERSAND
D
ISCIPLESHIP
New Tools In Our Toolbox
byDanielA.Brown,PhD
InHissovereigntyGodteachesdifferentpeople,differentthingsatdifferenttimes;noonelearnseverything,andnochurchwilleverlearnorfunctionineverythingthereistoknowinthe
Kingdom.Justasallbelieversdonothavethespiritual
ministry
ofanevangelist,andalldonothavethespiritual
 gift
ofdiscerningofspirits,neitherdoallchurcheshavethesameboundariestotheirministrycallings. Wedonotnecessarilyspecializeinthesamethings,asdootherchurches.ObedienceandopennesstowhatevertheLordwantsaretheonlyassurancesthat wewillendupknowingwhatweneedtoknow.WemustletHimdecideourcourseofinstruction.WecannotapproachwhatGodwantstoteachusinthesamewayascollegestudentsreadacoursecatalogue,simplypickingoutthesubjectstheythinktheyneedtoknow.First,wedon’tseeandwedon’tevenhave wordsformostofthesubjectstherearetolearn;andsecond,wedonotknow whatsortsofministryneedswewillfaceasachurch:bettertoletthewonderfulCounselorselectourcoursesforus.Thepointisforustorefuseanycomparisonbetweenusandanyotherchurch.Suchcomparisonswillleadonlyto
 pride
(aboutwhatweknow,thattheydonotknow)orfeelingsof
inadequacy
(aboutwhatwedonotknow,thattheydoknow). Weareintherightclass,onschedule,makingexcellentprogressthroughour wholecoursestudyatKingdomUniversity.Second‐guessingourselvesorfeelingguiltyforcourseswehavenotyettakenwillnothelpanyone.
 
Signs, Wonders And Discipleship:New Tools In Our Toolbox 2
DanielA.Brown,PhD
ctw.coastlands.org
“Thethoughts(plans,intentions,purposes,workingsandmakings)ofGodareverydeep”(Psalm
92:5).Foolishpeopledonotrealizethisandtheytrytoforcethings. Wecanrestintheassurancethatthoseplanswillunfoldandcomeintothelightintime.AllwehavetodoiswaitonHim,expectantly.Opennesstonewwaysandmorepublicmanifestationofthemiraculouswillnotbea3‐monthstudy.WewillexperiencethegradualunfoldingofHisleadingandguiding,inincreasedsignsandwondersoveratleastthenext3years.Wecannotbeinahurryto“
 getonwiththepowerstuff 
.”Ifwetrytorushorcram,wewillnotlearnwhatwearesupposedtolearn.TheSpiritofJesuswhoperformssignsandwondersistheSpiritofJesuswhohasbeenwhisperingtruthinourheartsalltheseyears.JesusisgentleandhumbleinHisheart.ThatisthefundamentalpostureofallthatHeis.Hisworks,thoughmightyandmiraculous,willtouchandpromotegentlenessandhumilityofheartinpeople.Simplyput,inopeningtonewanddifferentexperiencesandlessonsHewantstoteachus,weare
not
openingtoanewordifferentJesusthantheOnewehaveknownandlovedalltheseyears!
W
ITHIN
O
UR
M
INISTRY
P
HILOSOPHY
 JustasthereisnoreasontoexpecttheLordtofundamentallychangethebasisofourrelationshipwithHim,thereisnoreasontoanticipateHewillchangeourphilosophyofministryatTheCoastlands.Itisn’tthatIbelieveGodmustfit“
signsandwonders” 
intoourpreconceivedboxofwhatwethinkministryoughttolooklike.Rather,IbelievetheLordhasalreadytolduswhatHewantsour“
kind 
”ofministrytoemphasize;anyfurtherequippingbyHimforourministryeffectiveness willfitwithintheparametersoftheministryphilosophytowhichHehascalledusasachurch.WemustbeopentochangesHemaywanttomakeinourphilosophyofministry,butIdonotbelieveHeiscallingustomakeachangeatthispoint.Consequently,wewanttowelcomemiraculousmanifestations
within
thecontextofourexistingrelationshipwithHimand
within
ourunderstoodphilosophyofministryasachurch.Obviously,Iamdistinguishingbetweenthesovereign
intervention
ofGod—todowhateverHewants,wheneverHewants—andourobedient
 participation
withGod—aligningourselveswithwhatweunderstandHe wants.Withthisinmind,letuslookatwhy
signsandwonders” 
astheyare
 
Signs, Wonders And Discipleship:New Tools In Our Toolbox 3
DanielA.Brown,PhD
ctw.coastlands.org
manifestinginotherplacesinourcommunity,differinemphasis,consequenceandfocusfromwhatweatTheCoastlandsfeelledtoofferoursheep.Most“
signsandwonders
”aretheoperationsofspiritualgiftsthathavebeengiventoindividualsbytheHolySpirit.Assuch,theoperationsandthegiftsthemselvesaresubjecttothepeoplewhohavethem.Peopleprophesy,forinstance,withtheirownvoice,vocabularyandgrammar.Apostles,evangelistsandmercyshowerscanallhavethegiftofprophecy,buteachwilloperatethatgiftaccordingtotheirbasicministrycalling.Howourcongregationoperatesinthegiftswill,likewise,differfromhowotherchurchesoperate.Whenandhowspiritualgiftsareencouragedtooperateinachurchshouldbeconsistentwiththatchurch’soverallphilosophyofministry.Weshould,therefore,beawareofhowpeoplecaneasilymissthepointofmiraculousintervention.Letmeoutlineafewofmyconcerns:
 
Signsandwonders(spiritualgifts)donot,inthemselves,discipleormatureanyone.Theyaresensational.Anymeetingthatcentersonthem willmerelybreedspectators.Theydonotcostmeanythingtooperateortoreceive.Thereisnoneofthe
dyingforthesakeofothersforJesus
inthemformepersonally.Discipleshavetodiedaily;disciplesgrowaloneindesertplaces,notincrowdedhallswatchingmiracles.Foraspectator,the“Spiritmoving”meansanothersign/giftinoperation;forthediscipleitmeansbeingledoffintothedeserttoresisttemptation.
 
Peoplepreoccupiedwiththemiraculous“moveoftheSpirit”rarelythinkintermsofallofthethingstheSpiritwantstodointheirlives.ThemainroleoftheSpiritistocommunicateGod’struth.Heleadsusintruth,andHeconvictsusaboutwhatisrightorwronginourlives.Hebrings judgmentanddiscernmenttotheissuesofourheart.Thus,anyreal“moveoftheSpirit”willleadtoincreasedconfessionandrepentance.
 
GoingtoameetingtoexperiencetheoutwardlymiraculouscantemptpeopletolooktoomuchforGodmovingoutsideoftheirheartsratherthaninside.Godwantstochangeusinside,soanymoveofGodshould workachangeinourhearts.Spectatorsdon’tgetchanged,theyjustgetaddictedtoseeingthemiraculousortoreceivingapropheticword.
 
RatherthanstressingarelationshipwithGod,suchoperationsofthegiftscanpromoteanobservanceofGod!Godisseenmoreaspower

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