People today are hungry to see Jesus.
They don’t just want to hear about Him. They don’t just want to know what other people say about Him. They want to see Him for themselves. They want to see His character. They want to see His life. They want to see His power.
The time has come for us, as the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, to rise up and give them what they want. It’s time for us to let Jesus walk and talk and live His life through us. It’s time for us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to do the works that He did so that the world can see Jesus through us.
That’s been God’s plan for the Church all along. He has always intended for us to reveal Jesus to the world during our earthly lives just as Jesus revealed the Father to the world during His earthly life.
Think about that! Jesus revealed the Father so perfectly that when one of His disciples said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us,” Jesus answered him and said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:8-9).
What do you think will happen in the world when we manifest Jesus so completely that the same thing can be said of us? What will happen when the people of the world can say of us, “If you’ve seen them…you’ve seen Jesus.”
I’ll tell you what will happen. We’ll have a worldwide harvest of souls swept into the kingdom of God the likes of which this earth has never seen!
The Word of God tells us that time is coming. Ephesians 4:13 refers to it as the time when “we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
What’s more, the Holy Ghost is letting us know that time is now! We’ve entered into the last of the last days. This is the time for the fullness of the manifestation of Jesus through His Body on the earth.
#1 – Pursue Love
That’s one reason so many Christians desire to operate in the gifts of the Spirit these days. They’re responding to the stirring of the Holy Ghost within them. They’re sensing the Church shouldn’t just be reading about the manifestations of the Spirit described in the New Testament anymore, but rather, Christians should be walking in them! For as 1 Corinthians 12 says:
The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. But covet earnestly the best gifts (verses 7-12, 31).
Many believers today are wholeheartedly obeying the instruction in that last verse. They are earnestly coveting spiritual gifts. They long for them. They pray for them. They study the Bible to build faith for them. But for the most part, the Church is still not moving in them fully.
What more can we do?
The Apostle Paul himself answers that question. Right after he tells us to earnestly covet the best gifts he says, “…and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.” Then he writes an entire chapter on the subject of love.
Pursue love…and desire spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1). According to the Bible, a more excellent way to walk in the power of God is to pursue love. That’s the best way to develop a lifestyle of doing the works of Jesus. Walking in love is the best way for the world to see Jesus through us.
Why is that so—why is the way of love such an excellent way? Think about it scripturally for a moment and you’ll see the reason. Acts 10:38 tells us that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.” So if we’re going to do the works Jesus did, we’ll do the same thing, right? We’ll bring healing and deliverance to those who are oppressed.
Keeping that in mind, consider what Isaiah 54:14 reveals about how the devil inflicts that oppression. It says, “Thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear.” According to that scripture, oppression comes from fear! Fear is the spiritual force behind sin, oppression, sickness and every other bondage of the devil. Fear is the spiritual connector to the entire spectrum of death.
But, glory to God, the New Testament tells us that “perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18). Love destroys the devil’s hold. It undermines his whole operation! And not only that, love connects us to the oppression-destroying power of God because that power operates by faith and faith works by love (Galatians 5:6).
#2 – Fear Not
No wonder the Bible calls love the more excellent path to God’s power! The more we walk in love, the freer we are from fear and the more fully the Anointing of Jesus can manifest itself through us. When fear is gone there is nothing in us to hinder or interrupt its flow.
That’s why Jesus said what He did to Jairus in Luke 8. Jairus had thrown himself at Jesus’ feet and asked Him to come minister to his daughter who was at the point of death. He was making a demand on the manifestation of Jesus’ Anointing. He was expecting Him to go straight to his house, operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and raise his daughter up.
On the way to Jairus’ home, however, Jesus was delayed by a woman who came to Him to be healed of an issue of blood. By the time He had finished ministering to her, Jairus had received word that his daughter was already dead. “But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole” (verse 50).
Fear not! Those were the first words out of Jesus’ mouth in that desperate situation. Why? Because He knew fear would contaminate Jairus’ faith and stop the flow of the anointing.
In essence, Jesus was saying to Jairus, “If you allow fear to get in you, you’re going to block the flow of My Anointing. Even if I go home with you, I won’t be able to do much for you. So fear not, believe only!”
Jesus is saying the same thing to us today. After all, the manifestations of the Holy Spirit operate now exactly as they did back then. There aren’t two Holy Spirits—one that worked in Jesus’ day and another that works today. No, He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. So for Him to manifest Himself fully through us, we must keep our faith uncontaminated. We must keep growing in love until we flush fear completely out of our lives. Then the Anointing of Jesus can flow freely through us.
- Practice Until You Get Stronger and Stronger
How do you grow and develop in love? The same way you grow and develop in anything else. You practice it. You exercise it until you get stronger and stronger in it.
Some people start out by trying to practice love on the meanest, ugliest person they know. But I don’t recommend that. Granted, the Bible does tell us to love our enemies. It does tell us to love each other as Jesus loved us. If you start there, however, you’re likely to end up frustrated and defeated.
Why is that? It’s because, according to the Scriptures, the divine cycle of love begins with God’s love for us and our love for Him, then it extends outward to other people. The Apostle John said it this way:
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:9-11, 16-17).
According to those verses, the first thing we must do to develop in love is to practice believing the love God has for us. We have to practice believing, for example, what Jesus said in John 17—that the Father loves us just as much as He loves Jesus! That’s hard to swallow but the Bible says it. So when we find ourselves worrying about something, we should reject fear and practice believing God’s love instead.
We should say, “I refuse to worry about this. My Father loves me just as much as He does Jesus so I know He is going to take care of me. His love will never fail me. He’ll never leave me or forsake me. I just cast all my cares over on Him because I know He cares for me!”
The more we think about that and pray over it, the more the revelation of God’s love for us will develop. It will grow and grow until it overtakes our thinking, our emotions and everything else in us!
#4 – Fall in Love With the Lord
“That sounds good, Brother Copeland,” you might say, “but the Bible also says I’m supposed to love God and, honestly, I just don’t love Him like I should.”
No problem. You can develop your love for the Lord. How? On purpose, by faith, begin confessing your love to Him.
I found that out by personal experience many years ago, not long after I got saved. I was sitting in a church service listening to people talk about how much they loved Jesus and, frankly, I felt left out. I just didn’t seem to have the same love for God that they did. Certainly, I appreciated what He had done for me, but I didn’t experience what I would call love.
To understand that you have to realize where I’d come from. There had been so much demonic activity in my life before I was saved, that I actually said with my mouth that I didn’t believe love was real and if it was, I was incapable of it. My heart was so hard, that I had no emotional response to anybody. I didn’t care about a human being on the face of the earth, including myself.
Of course, my mother was praying for me night and day at that time. And God began to break through my hardheartedness, even before I was born again, by setting me up with the prettiest girl in the state of Arkansas, Miss Gloria Neece. I fell head over heels in love with her the moment I met her! And I married her as quickly as I could. Less than a year later, we both got saved.
So as I sat in that church service listening to people talk about how much they loved Jesus, the only experience I had to compare it with was the one I had had with Gloria. I knew I’d never experienced that kind of love for the Lord. But I wanted to. So I went up to the altar of that church, got on my knees and said by faith, “Lord, I’ve never said this to You before but I’m going to say it to You now because I believe it. I love You, Lord. I love You.”
#5 – Confess Your Love to the Lord
I didn’t feel a thing before I said it. But as soon as I got those words out of my mouth, the reality of the love of God came all over me. He manifest Himself to me right then and there. Suddenly, I didn’t care what anybody else was doing or thinking, I was having church all by myself! The love of God just began to flow through me like a river and I just kept on saying, “Oh, God, I love You! Jesus, I love You! I love You!”
I was too scripturally illiterate to realize it at the time, but I had actually stepped out on a promise of the Word of God. By choosing to love the Lord and saying it on purpose by faith, I’d activated the spiritual principle Jesus revealed in John 14:21: “He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (New King James Version).
The moment I confessed my love for Jesus, I experienced the love of the Father and Jesus manifest Himself to me.
That same thing will happen to you!
So if you want to develop your love for the Lord, begin by telling Him over and over again, all day long, “Lord, I love You with all my heart. I love You with all my soul, with all my will, my mind and my strength.” When you wake up in the morning say, “Oh Jesus, I love You so much today. I commit everything I am and everything I have to You. How can I serve You today, Lord? What can I do for You?”
I dare you (or as we say in Texas, I double-dog dare you) to do that for the next 30 days and see what happens in your life. If you’ll start every day like that, you’ll get a revelation of the love of God beyond anything you’ve ever known before. You may not get all emotional like I did…or you may. But either way, the love of God will respond in you and the tide of it will rise higher and higher.
If you continue to do that, eventually, when the devil tries to throw some fearful, wicked thought at you, you’ll just laugh at him. You’ll say, “Ha, ha, ha…Satan you can’t scare me with that stuff. I know how much God loves me. He loves me just as much as He does Jesus. He takes good care of me. So you might as well get out of here and go peddle that fear somewhere else because I’m not going to buy it anymore!”
When you start talking like that the devil flees the scene. Why? Because he knows perfected love casts out fear and fear is the only weapon he has. When fear is eliminated, it’s over for him. He’s finished.
#6 – Fall in Love With People
Once you start loving the Lord and receiving His love that way, you are going to love others. It’s inevitable! First John 5:1 leaves no doubt about that. It says plainly, “Every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” In other words, every one who loves the Father also loves the children!
We start off loving God because He first loved us. We practice our love on Him and we end up falling in love with everybody around us. As His love begins to flush the fear out of us, suddenly we can drop the barriers that have separated us from other people. We aren’t afraid to love them anymore because we know they can’t hurt us. We are safe in the love of God.
As a result, we can abandon ourselves to each other. We can forget about our own protection and preservation and just lose ourselves in helping meet the needs of those around us. We can draw on the ministry of Jesus—not just to meet our own needs or to prove we’re spiritual hotshots—but because we need His power to take care of others. We need it to help them and heal them and get them free!
It doesn’t make any difference how impossible a situation might be, when we have that attitude and that heart of love, the gifts of the Spirit are going to operate. Signs and wonders, healings and miracles are going to break forth. People all over the world—spiritually hungry people—will finally get what they need. They get to see Jesus. They’ll see His love. They’ll see His life. And they’ll see His power.
As we grow up in love, we will walk in the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ. We will reveal Him just as He revealed the Father…and the world will see Jesus again!
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