Have you ever been hurt by a fellow believer who was more interested in “what makes sense” than in believing your personal experiences with God? Those of us who have encountered miracles, visions, prophecy, healings, angels, and other supernatural phenomena have all experienced at least one person who thought we were either lying or just plain nuts.
You’re not alone.
In today’s article, I want to open your eyes to the enemy’s subtle plan for these hurtful experiences. And I also want to show you why I have seen thousands more miracles, healings, and spiritual victories since I embraced healthy logic than I ever did when I thought logic and reason were killers of faith.
Almost a decade ago, the Holy Spirit showed me that many of us in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement have carried wounds from past rejection. Even those of us who have been Christlike enough to forgive our offenders may still show symptoms of that wound. And the most common expression of that wound is a compassionate (and perhaps subconscious) desire not to wound anyone else in the way we were wounded.
That may sound like a good thing, but consider this for a moment: If the way you were wounded was by people not believing your spiritual experience, it may seem that the solution is to avoid any sort of skepticism toward anyone else. But the unfortunate slippery slope often leads to nothing more than gullibility.
Gullibility isn’t a trait of a child of God.
Since coming to that realization, the Lord has dealt with me about how to show love and honor to people and welcome their spiritual gifts and insights yet not lose my head in the process. And all this has happened while watching many fellow believers continue to demonstrate this same pattern of believing almost anything that comes down the Charismatic track.
I wish I could tell you how many times in my thirty-one-year lifetime Jesus was supposed to return and didn’t. I was too young to have been influenced by the bestselling 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988 (or its sequel about Jesus coming in 1989); but I do remember when everybody was stockpiling food for Y2K, which certain Christian leaders claimed would bring a catastrophic global meltdown of all things electronic. I remember the same sort of fears being spread about a world-shaking financial collapse that was supposed to happen as recently as this past September, 2015. (You may remember that I wrote an article ahead of time saying that a September financial collapse wouldn’t happen.)
We also lived through the recent blood moons that all happened on Jewish feast days — not because of a mystical convergence of planets, but because the Jewish feast days always follow a lunar calendar (which means that if one feast day falls on a lunar eclipse, the rest will too).
Nevertheless, every new decade brings at lease one end-of-the-world fad that seems to prey most intensely on Spirit-filled Christians.
Because of our wound-induced gullibility.
As much as we hate to admit it, gullibility does seem to be a trait of Charismatic Christianity. We are the ones who believe the smiling preachers on TV who claim God told them that the first 1,000 people to give $1,000 will reap a 1,000-fold blessing (whatever that means). We are the ones who buy 10-gallon buckets of space food so we can survive a few days longer than our neighbors who didn’t heed the prophetic warning about the world falling apart. We are the ones who share videos on Facebook that prove Obama is the antichrist. We are the ones who put a televangelist’s gimmicky, green “miracle-handkerchiefs” in our wallets so that money will magically appear there. We are the ones who believe and circulate some of the most unbelievable conspiracy theories — seemingly more than any other cross-section of Christianity.
Some of us fall for less, and some of us fall for more; but gullibility has become a regular accusation from outsiders, and I can’t say I blame them. It almost seems like we will never learn. But if we will simply engage our minds — remembering that “we have the mind of Christ” — then it’s possible not to be duped by every false prophetic fad that sweeps through Charismatic culture.
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Verse 14 tells us that “the Word became flesh…”
Jesus is the Word.
The Greek word John used here for “Word” is logos, which is the word from which we derive the english word “logic.” It refers to timeless truth. Jesus is Logos. Jesus is Timeless Truth. Jesus is the Logic of God.
Logic is not your enemy. The problem facing Pentecostal and Charismatic believers is not logic. The problem is that we have largely separated logic from Jesus and assumed that the two are at odds. On the contrary, any reasoning that excludes Jesus as a key factor is actually illogical. Jesus is the game-changer. Jesus is the One who makes the impossible possible.
I was miraculously healed of degenerative disc disease in April 2011. Prior to that date, I wasn’t allowed to lift more than 30 lbs. But only a couple weeks after being healed, I helped my wife carry a new couch into our house without any trouble. A month later though, I stepped out of my car, and my back went out. All the expected thoughts raced through my mind — I wasn’t healed. It was just psychology. How did this happen? But before I could figure out how to collapse into the grass without injuring myself further, I received a firm dose of Jesus-Logic. I thought, I carried a couch last month! I know I was healed! I placed my hand on my back, told a spirit of infirmity to leave in Jesus’ name, and stood upright without any pain at all.
I know there are crazy situations when God tells us to do something illogical — like marching around the city of Jericho for seven days. But when God speaks, Jesus — the Word — is in action; and therefore, obeying God is logical. (You can read more about supernatural reasoning in my latest book, Limitless Hope).
When Jesus is the chief factor in our reasoning, we have healthy logic; and healthy logic is our friend.
Logic is Your Friend
I remember when I had a “revelation” while reading the Bible and excitedly shared it with my youth pastor at the time. An intern at our church was visiting with him — fresh out of Bible college. As I shared what I felt God showed me, this intern looked up the passage in his pocket-sized Greek New Testament and interrupted, “That’s not what the original text says.”
I was angry. I was hurt. How dare this guy tell me that what I “heard from God” was wrong!
But months later, I realized I actually was wrong, and my “revelation” was really just my own mind making an assumption that I thought was true.
Study is not your enemy. Study actually helps us engage in the supernatural. On the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, we often focus on the wind, fire, and tongues yet miss the fact that Peter stood up and quoted scriptures from Joel and Psalms. Signs and wonders are not at odds with learning or logic; they are actually aided by intellect. The key is that we must prioritize Jesus — the One who embodies God’s logic.
In August 2009, I started healing ministry after a three-month study of the four Gospels and the book of Acts. It was Bible study and logic that led me to engage in healing ministry and see results. Since that time, I have personally witnessed roughly 4,000 miracles and trained well over 10,000 people to minister healing in Jesus’ name. One of my favorite teaching tools is logical, biblical arguments about God’s will to heal. Logic and reason didn’t get in the way of the miraculous for me. Rather, they have fueled it!
Let’s Change the Ways We Think
There is a difference between trust and gullibility. Gullibility is believing everything you hear. Trust, however, involves trusting Jesus first and seeking Him about how far to trust individual people. (More about this principle in this article.) “Love always trusts,” and we must be careful not to recoil from healthy trust as we seek to eliminate gullibility.
I hope this doesn’t come across as a bait-and-switch as I turn momentarily to politics, because that’s not my intent; but the most relevant place we can immediately put this into practice — at least here in America — is in reference to the upcoming presidential elections.
I know there’s a lot of “prophetic” buzz out there about Donald Trump being our next president, but many of you know that I’m not convinced it’s all true. Do not simply vote for someone because somebody else claims to have heard a word from God about him or her. Engage your mind, study the issues, and hear God for yourself.
Use logic. Use your brain. Engage in your own relationship with God.
Many know I have been rather outspoken about my concerns regarding Donald Trump. Nevertheless, I believe there are people out there who support Trump because — after studying the issues — they actually believe he is the best choice for America. I actually have no problem with such people despite our disagreement. Right now, I’m not speaking to them; I’m speaking to the many who have told me that I need to support Trump because of this or that prophecy, endorsement, or conspiracy theory. None of those are valid reasons to support a candidate, and I wouldn’t expect you to support my preferred candidate for any of those reasons either.
(…end political rant.)
This principle of engaging your mind applies to every area of life — politics, theology, relationships, education, finances, and more. It is vital that we learn to use the brains God has given us!
Romans 12:2 says this: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
There are three things I want to point out here:
- The Greek word for “transformed” in this passage is the same word used when Jesus was “transfigured” on the mountain and was seen for who He truly is. When you allow God to renew your mind, you are more fully able to walk in your identity in Christ.
- Furthermore, you become more aware of God’s actual will in the earth.
- The command “be transformed” implies that many of us are having our minds renewed, but not all of us are submitting to the transformation that should come along with it. I believe there are many believers who are confused about God’s will (whether in this upcoming election or even just everyday life) simply because they have not allowed themselves to be transformed by the truth God is presently speaking to them.
Logic is not the enemy of the Charismatic or Pentecostal Christian — just remember that true logic is intimately interwoven with the person of Jesus and is engaged by growing in relationship with the Spirit of Truth. (See John 16:13.)
- Allow yourself to think within the context of your relationship with Jesus.
- Let truth influence the way you think and thereby transform you.
- And most importantly: Whenever someone says God told them something that should influence your behavior, obey Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians and weigh carefully what is said. Seek God for personal confirmation. He wants to speak to you directly.