Guest post by Sean Steckbeck: Demonstration of Power

Sean Steckbeck is a good friend who sees God working in power in the lives of unbelievers on an everyday basis. It’s easy for us to think, “God does it over there.” It’s time for us to expect him to do it here too. John Wimber used to say, “You spell faith, R-I-S-K.” Sean’s post is a challenge for us all to get out of out comfort zones.

Driving in the back roads of southern Judea, we come to a small Palestinian village. We climb a rough mountain with our car and have arrived.  As we get out, we are immediately invited for tea and coffee and are welcomed with a great smile typical of Arab hospitality. My partner and I are Israelis. He is a Jewish Israeli who immigrated to Israel from South Africa and I am married to a native born Jewish Israeli. My wife’s brother was killed by a Palestinian PLO operative in Lebanon in the early 1980’s and politically we typically are right-wing. My partner is also well known for his garnering support for Israel and the Jewish people in South Africa.

Returning to the story, our hearts were pounding as our Muslim Palestinian hosts asked us , “Why would you come here? Don’t you know it is dangerous for you to be here?”

We smiled and answered, “There are many people who are willing to die for hate, we are willing to die for love.”

We saw that it clearly touched their hearts as they opened up and expressed to us that we had their trust.  We began to tell stories from the New Testament and ask questions, and then were called to eat dinner with them. As we ate dinner, my partner and I started getting words of knowledge about certain sicknesses that were in the room. This led to an outbreak of healings which the whole village gathered to see.  We spoke of Jesus’ healing power, and then went back home with a promise to follow up the next week.

When we arrived the next week, one young man fell asleep on the coach. As we tried to waken him, he fell on the ground and started manifesting demons. My partner and I started casting out demons, and again the whole village came to watch this display of supernatural–they had never seen anything like it before.

This led to the opening up of a seeker group, which eventually led to several other small house meetings throughout the area discussing both the power of God and stories from the Bible. Here and in other places we have now seen over six generations of simple church multiplication and 36 home groups and seeker groups both among Jews and Muslims.  This has also led to Jews reaching out to Muslims and Muslims reaching out to Jews!

Why would two Israelis be willing to risk their lives for their seemingly Palestinian enemy in a Hamas infested area?

I believe there are many reasons, but I would like to briefly discuss two:

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power” – 1 Corinthians 2:4

In chapter of 1 Corinthians 2, just like today’s simple church movement, Paul desired to do things simply.  His message didn’t contain many words, but rather demonstrations.  He even boasted in his weak communication skills as an advantage! The one thing that Paul said that was working for him was demonstrations of power.

When I look at the ministry of Yeshua, as an example for us, we see his main apostolic methods were building a family and team in which to work through, telling stories, asking questions, eating at people’s homes, and demonstrating the power of God through healings and miracles.  Of course, Yeshua did this not in grandiose church buildings, but in the homes and marketplaces of everyday life.

I would like to challenge those in simple church and organic church who  have mastered storytelling, eating in homes, asking interactive questions, and building family; where are the demonstrations of power?  Do you have this missing element for starting a disciple-making movement?

Do you come with great methods, or do you also rely on demonstrations of power?

Do you consider healing the sick as optional, or a command to be obeyed?

Practice: Make a list of potential unbelieving neighbors who need a miracle in their life. Invite yourself over for dinner,  ask if they need prayer, and watch the power of God work!

This painting, entitled, “Grace,” hangs in the main foyer of our company. 

9 thoughts on “Guest post by Sean Steckbeck: Demonstration of Power”

  1. Amen! Amen! Amen!

    The faith of the western church has largely been based on the words of men’s wisdom so much so that we are in awe of great orators and skeptical of demonstrations of God’s power. Thank you, Sean for this wonderful testimony and powerful challenge!

    I have been praying and longing for a disciplemaking multiplication movement in my region of Canada. I know that demonstrations of power are crucial to that happening.

    Thanks for posting this, Felicity. It would be great to see more such posts here.

    Shalom!

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    1. Mark, where are you? Fellow Canadian. If you would like to register on simplechurch.com I would be glad to learn about / from you! Blessings. Jim

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    2. Thanks for the encouragement, Mark. I know that people like Sean see miracles everyday. He has amazing stories about healings in the grocery line and other places in everyday life. I think the difference is that he expects them and he’s willing to act on every impulse the Holy Spirit brings him..

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  2. Felicity, Thank you for posting this! Mark, We also need to understand that obedience is worship, and there is nothing greater than worshiping our Great King in our everyday life. Intimacy with God is fueled by obedience to Yeshua’s commands (see John 16-17). One of those commands is to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers” (Matthew 10:8). So having a disciple-making culture is a culture that is fueled by worship and intimacy with God through obeying Yeshua’s commands. So, a great oppurtunity presents itself everytime a sick person in need crosses your path to offer a worship offering of obedience before the Lord and obey His command to “Heal the Sick.” He deserves our obedience and worship!

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  3. Today I read about a wonderful ministry in India that rescues women and children from the brothels there, many of whom are dying of AIDS. One girl was healed when God “intervened,” but in most cases they die, the book says. “That poses a question that will never be answered this side of heaven,” the director of the rescue home wrote. It broke my heart. Is it really a mystery? This seems so much like Mother Teresa’s ministry of providing a hospice of love, kindness, and respect for the dying, rather than the “Pentecostal” ministry it claims to be, and as Pentecostals once believed and ministered.
    The founder of the ministry described his amazement when upon his return from stateside he found a favorite child had been healed. He had expected she too would die. “According to your faith so be it,” Jesus said. No wonder so many are dying after being rescued from the horrible pits of hell.
    Shouldn’t they rather ask why the one was healed? Perhaps that child had faith for herself. And shouldn’t they get in the Word and learn that it is God’s will to heal today even as Sean reported, that this is part of the Atonement Jesus died for?
    When I was healed of a terminal brain tumor it was in spite of the church, not with that support. I was told every reason why I should not expect to be healed. Instead I declared for two weeks until healed, “I shall NOT die but LIVE, and show forth the wonderful work of my God!”
    Today’s powerless saint doesn’t know the will of God. Yet 1 John 5:14 tells us that when we KNOW that and we ask for it, we can have it.
    Has there ever been a more powerful evangelistic tool than physical healing? In the NT when anyone was healed God was glorified. And so today! And the unsaved respond the same today as well. The enemy knows that and keeps us powerless through ignorance of the Word and disobedience.
    Sean’s blessed testimony of operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit to win the least likely to Christ, should be the norm for Christians in these end times especially.

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    1. Thank you for these hugely insightful comments. I praise God for your story of healing from a brain tumor. Your testimony is powerful!

      It’s so sad that many believers have no idea how to have faith for healing. We have seen several examples of where the power of God transforming lives has impacted friends and families in the past few months too.

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