It’s no secret there’s a mentality that has invaded the Church that intentionally marginalizes the supernatural to attract people and grow without needing to rely on the demonstration of the Spirit and power of God. But biblically, there is no such thing as the harvest versus the supernatural. Separating the two is an invention of men—marginalizing the supernatural is nothing but lifeless religion.
The supernatural has always accompanied or been the catalyst to bring people to salvation through Christ. In fact, it’s the only model Jesus used, taught, or commanded the apostles to teach others. The real key to harvest is what it has always been: going into all the world with the demonstration and power of the Spirit and the message of good news.
Harvest Without The Supernatural
Yet, too many of us have been trained by powerlessness to lure people into a church building using basic marketing techniques, retail customer service tactics, and largely unoffending, polished, self-help messages. We’re hoping that people have a good time, want to come back, and feel comfortable bringing others with them. Ultimately, we hope they’ll be sweet-talked into becoming a “christian.”
We’ve invented ways to replace the power of God, to fabricate an appealing atmosphere, and disciple people without requiring them to truly follow in the footsteps of Christ. We’ve found it acceptable to have a feel-good message of wisdom with a cup of coffee instead a message of good news accompanied by confirming power.
“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-8 ESV
It seems we’ve got it backwards: Paul came first with a testimony of God in demonstration and power, not with eloquence and frills. He then imparted a deeper wisdom to those who had been transformed and matured by the power of God. And at no point did he rely on plausible words of wisdom (an argument or message that seems reasonable to the natural man).
We Have A Supernatural God
I’m guilty. I’ve fallen for the plausible words of wisdom. I’ve followed the convincing reasoning behind techniques for church growth and impact. I found it lacking and worthless for bringing people into a real, experiential relationship with a real and living God who actively speaks to us and moves in supernatural power. I’ve realized that God is okay with people being offended, misunderstanding Him, or misunderstanding people who are affected by His presence.
In fact, I found that God is okay with people not going to a church at all if it has pushed the demonstration of the Spirit and power of God to a back room, a special closed meeting, or pushed it out completely. The Holy Spirit isn’t drawing people into a church where He is only welcome behind the scenes—He’s drawing people to the Father in all His glory.
Its time to take a stand, to turn the tide, to resolve within ourselves individually to rely upon the power of God and not upon the “wisdom” of men. Its time to become discontented with lofty speech that is void of the wind of the Spirit. Its time to reject plausible words of wisdom that marginalize the demonstration of the Spirit and power of God. Its time to dare to believe that the model of Christ is effective, sufficient, and life-changing just the way it is.
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for twenty years, and is the proud father of two boys.