Geodes are so beautiful inside.
Did you ever wonder how these crystals form inside of these volcanic rocks?
It all starts with a bubble. This can either be a bubble of air, or the hollow remains of an animal or tree root.
Next, visualize that this bubble becomes surrounded by volcanic rock. Imagine rains relentlessly pelting on it as chemicals from the red or black volcanic rock are slowly released into the water. Some of that water soaks through the solid, rocky outside of the bubble, finding itself trapped for an instant on the inside. That mineral-rich water moving through the bubble will leave tiny crystals behind that stick to the sides of the bubble. Over the years, this in and out flow of mineral-rich-water steadily forms crystals inside the hollow volcanic rock, and absolute beauty is the outcome.
Now let's wonder about Jesus' statement: "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these…" NIV
Jesus constantly performed miracles throughout his life on Earth. Does this mean that we humble Christians can do "greater things" than what Jesus did? Is this possible? And if so, how?
As we go through the gospels, we constantly notice the miraculous, even amidst those who were not disciples of Jesus the Christ.
"'Teacher,' said John, 'we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.'" (Mark 9:38 NIV)
Isn't it so typical of us to make sure to protect the monopoly of what God has granted us? Jesus is adamant: no one has a monopoly of God's miraculous work! It's not about us, but about Him!
"'Do not stop him,' Jesus said. 'No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.'" (Mark 9:39-41 NIV)
But where did that power to drive out demons come from?
"He appointed twelve - designating them apostles - that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons." (Mark 3:14-15 NIV)
"Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits." (Mark 6:7 NIV)
It was Jesus who gave the disciples "the authority to drive out demons."
It is interesting to note that Jesus didn't acknowledge the faith of His disciples until just moments before He was arrested. Then He said, "You believe at last!" (John 16:31 NIV) Nonetheless, though they didn't fully believe before this time, they were given power to drive out demons! And this authority was not restricted to the disciples: "After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go." (Luke 10:1 NIV)
"The seventy-two returned with joy and said, 'Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.'" (Luke 10:17 NIV)
"And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons…" (Mark 16:17 NIV)
"When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed." (Acts 8:6-7 NIV)
This authority has been given to anyone who believes in Jesus!
And that's not all of it…
"When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick." (Luke 9:1-2 NIV)
"So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere." (Luke 9:6 NIV)
We have been given authority over sicknesses as well! In fact throughout the New Testament, the preaching of the gospel goes hand in hand with deliverance and healing, because this confirms that the message is really true!
Authority has been given to us to: "overcome all the power of the enemy"!
"I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you." (Luke 10:19-20 NIV)
"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4 NIV)
What drove these followers of Christ to claim this authority was the conviction that nothing could stand in the way of our Father's love.
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 8:38-39 NIV)
Nothing, including demons, can separate us from the love of our God! Nothing that is, but we, ourselves …
"Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matt 7:22-23 NIV)
We don't realize how powerful Jesus' name truly is!
Where do we stand?
Are we even able to drive out demons in Jesus' name?
Are we even able to bring healing in Jesus' name?
Are we even able to trample snakes and scorpions in Jesus' name?
Are we even able to share the Good News in Jesus' name?
Where are we in our faith, when we can't even do what unsaved ones can do?
Are we utter failures? Are we delusional? Are we lost in our trek through faith? Why can't we do the things that Jesus gave us authority over?
It is true that the preaching of the good news comes with authority from above to deliver the oppressed. It surely confirms that the message is true!
But maybe, just maybe, it's not about us, but about Jesus through whom deliverance is possible. But maybe, just maybe, we don't realize what the name of Jesus can deliver.
To use someone's name requires that person's permission to do so. Clearly Jesus gave us that permission. But maybe, just maybe, we just can't believe that such authority has been given to us.
It may be time to head for the closet and search for enlightment from the Most High. It's time to bury our mustard-kind-of-faith and give God permission to let Him make it germinate and grow. Nothing will be able to stand in its way. No demons, no disease, no serpents, nor scorpions. God will be glorified!
Emptying ourselves to utter hollowness will give God the opportunity to fill us with the promised beauty from above. God will move through our hollow bubble and turn it into a mustard-kind-of-faith, a crystallization that will attract others to the beauty of Jesus' name.
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