Upside Down is Right-Side Up
Upside Down is Right-side Up
by Rev. John E. Clark
The world is being turned upside down by a bunch of little people. They don’t live by the customs of our country or even respect the government or its leader. Their actions have caused mobs of people to look for them because they even say they have another leader; a King…Jesus. Acts 17:6-7 tell of the same world we see today.
A handful of men and women who did not leave their world the same way they found it. These were ordinary people, who God enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit, to do extraordinary things. God enables us today by our deliberate acts of compassion, dedicated work, and commitment to do extraordinary things. The Holy Spirit enabled them, and can enable us, to think like Jesus.
We become Jesus Thinkers and as our world turns upside down, the whole world turns upside down. Paul and Silas were early JESUS THINKERS as they did extraordinary work for the kingdom. We can be Jesus Thinkers, too. Something awoke within me; can you feel it? The power of the Holy Spirit. It shook me to the core. As Jesus Thinkers, we can make our lives extraordinary too by doing what we are called to do, make disciples. Matthew 28:19-20; Jesus tells us to “go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Jesus did not command us to change the world. When we follow the commandments of Jesus, the world will change. Because of our own abilities? No. It has everything to do with our willingness to simply do what Christ commands us to do. If we want to change the world - Make Disciples. Disciples who are Jesus Thinkers marching on super charged and with a desperation to be bold for Jesus. The world will change.
But how does it change? Change begins with us; with you and me because we are transformed by our own inward journey. Following Christ’s commandments our world turns upside down. Our inward journey now deepens our relationship with God and with others. Imagine transformational change. Imagine.
Now that we are disciples, bold disciples, we are following in Jesus’ footsteps. We are his hands and feet in the world. 1 Peter 2:21 says; “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” We are the hands and feet of Jesus.
Imagine reaching out in prayer. Those of us old enough remember the telephone ad; reach out and touch someone. Pray for healing through long distance prayers. Intercessory prayers. Intercessory prayers significantly improve the conditions of those who are ill. It’s been proven! On October 25, 1999, the Annuals of Internal Medicine found that intercessory prayers improved medical outcomes. Even when those being prayed for had no idea they were being prayed for by people they had never met. Reach out in prayer and touch someone.
When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord, my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” the centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Matthew 8:5-8. Just say the word! Reach out and touch someone.
Experience spiritual and physical healing long distance. In the Gospel of John, Jesus said to a government official, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” Just say the Word! Long distance healing. Just say the Word. Believe!
The power of the Word heals even those who do not know they are being prayed for by others but, are there others we should pray for to receive the gift of healing? Paul, in his first letter to Timothy, tells us about praying. “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— “If we are to pray for all people, who are they? All people who need prayer do not attend the Sunday Church service!
Pray for the hungry. The pain of hunger respects no one. Pray for all who are suffering. Suffering knows no color. Poverty submits to no creed. There is no shortage of those who need prayer. We are appointed to be a servant to the poor, sick, oppressed, conservative and liberal, politically Red and Blue, Latino, the Native American, the Anglo, the Asian, and the African, gay person, the lesbian, the bisexual, the transgendered, the straight, the poor, the wealthy, and everyone in-between.
Pray for those living in the beach-side mansion, the one room apartment, or homeless in the woods. Churched and the unchurched. How many of us are part of a healing ministry that goes beyond the stained glass windows of the Church to pray for all people? Is the healing prayer activity of our Church’s weekly service the only deliberate time and place devoted to healing prayer? Jesus teaches us by His actions to go beyond the stained glass windows…into the world.
Boldness to Pray in the Streets and at the Mall. Boldness to Pray on a Train. Boldness to Pray on a Bus. Boldness to Pray on a Plane. Boldness to Pray on a Boat cruising to the Bahamas. Boldness to Pray in a Restaurant on your date night out. You and I must have boldness to take the healing prayers to the streets; to the world.
Don’t be afraid to rock the boat! Let’s just step out of our comfort zone; that warm cozy place all wrapped up in our prayer blankey. Feeling warm, safe and secure. Hey, you know the only place prayers for healing really do any good is in the house of God. Right?! Not so much. Take it to the streets baby, like a 60’s protester. March out with a deliberate boldness and stop doubting, just believe. Check out the scriptures, it says it plain and simple. James 1:6 “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
Doing things differently in our healing ministry causes fear. Hey, what if it doesn’t work out so well. We have never done it that way before. What if we fail? Our fear disrupts our faith and becomes the biggest obstacle in our trusting and obeying God. Need a reason NOT to fear? There are 366 “fear not” verses in the Bible. One for every day of the year and one for leap year. Pick one!
Ok, where do we start? The Lord’s commission was to “GO”! Take healing prayer to the streets. It’s a simple loving way to reach out to the lost and hurting. On the streets, people are hurting and dying. They don’t have a clue that God loves them. As God’s hands and feet, we go to them.
Share in practical ways Jesus’s healing love and compassion with those in need. Reach out to your own city and make a connection in your community in a personal way. Go forward into the streets in faith. Have no fear. Fear stops our out-of-the-box thinking. Fear makes us stick to the same path we know best. Stand firm in faith, and wait to see God’s healing power at work.
Serve God in your healing prayer ministry by giving Him full control. Stand firm in faith and proclaim; I serve a God who is fully out of my control, but there is nothing better than being in the wild goodness of His presence. And in His presence our world is turned Upside Down. And as Jesus Thinkers we realize that in His presence; Upside Down is Right-side Up!