Surprise People with God’s Power by Doug Addison

People are longing to be touched by God’s love, power and acceptance. As Christians, we carry inside us an amazing arsenal of spiritual gifts that can help those in need in the hurting world around us. As an outreach leader and trainer for a number of years, I have come to realize that to become more effective we no longer have to go on an outreach because our life is an outreach!

I never grow tired of watching people’s faces light up when we do something that practically demonstrates God’s love. I call these divine moments or power encounters. I have had many power encounters and my most recent was at a comedy club. My wife and I struck up a conversation with a New Age hypnotherapist and she shared a reoccurring childhood dream, which took place outside a church. I gave her the interpretation, which was that she had an amazing spiritual destiny yet to be fulfilled. She was about to find out more about the special assignment or calling God has had on her life since she was a child. She went into tears and said she felt warmth, love and goose bumps all at the same time.

When I talk about power encounters as a means of reaching people with God’s love, many different ideas may run through your head. I realize that the story I just shared may sound a bit extreme and it came after years of experience. Let me share with you some secrets on how I got started and give you some simple tips on how to have power encounters with people in your community.

The power of presence
Power encounters occur when we bring God’s presence to a person who does not believe in God or is trapped in darkness. There is power just by bringing the presence of God that is inside us into contact with those whom God is drawing to Himself. I call this the ‘Gift of Showing Up’!

God’s presence in us is like a light that shines and distinguishes us from those who do not have this light. We are told to “live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). When we intentionally allow the presence of God’s love to be released through us to touch others, people are drawn to us and experience a peace that they have not experienced elsewhere. People can just sit next to us and walk away changed, without knowing what happened to them.

The power of process
Oftentimes, we miss the fact that people tend to come to Jesus through a process of circumstances and events. We need to allow people time to experience God and not be too quick to try to get them to pray the prayer of salvation prematurely. Just like in nature, there is a growth process for new life to emerge. We would never force a rose bud open or plant a seed expecting it to mature instantly. In the same way, people are often relieved to find a Christian who is not “evangelistically trigger-happy.”

Most people want to know God is real and have questions and doubts that need to be worked out over time. Combining the power of God’s presence with the power of process, we can befriend people and hang out with them over time. It feels more natural and relational while being very effective in reaching people today.

The power of love
We all can demonstrate the power of love. The Bible makes it clear that our enemies are in the spiritual realm and they are not the people we are trying to reach (Ephesians 6:12). We show love in the natural, while our enemies are in the spirit realm. When we take God’s light into the world, it is best not to judge people that you may not agree with. Focus on loving anyone you may disagree with because love powerfully attracts people to Him. Jesus does say to love your neighbor.

The power of encouragement
There is profound power in simply speaking kindly to people, building them up. When Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at the well, he gently pointed out that she had relational issues. But he encouraged her, going on to call her honest (John 4:18). People are often beaten down and discouraged by their circumstances. It is amazing what a kind word can do to build them up. It is the kindness of God that leads people to repent and receive Him (Romans 2:4).

The power of surprise
As we do practical things to demonstrate God’s love, we open people’s eyes to God’s love for them. This is often a surprise to them and gives that “tilt of the head” in astonishment. Another surprise is when people discover we are Christians and we are also nice. Sad to say, many people have had bad experiences with unloving Christians. It is so fun to show people the opposite spirit by practical, surprising acts of love and reveal that God is real and really loves them.

Making it practical
Power encounters are not as difficult as you might think. Here are some easy, practical steps to see this in action. Ask God to show you someone who is need of His touch. If you know them, consider going to coffee or lunch and just listen. Then find a way to practically meet a need in their life.

If you see someone in public that God highlights and you don’t know them, be courageous and tell them that you just read something about the power of encouragement and you were wondering if you could practice with them. Proceed to give them a short uplifting word of encouragement. You don’t have to pray long prayers or get them on their knees repenting to be effective in sharing God’s love. You’ll be surprised!

 

Prophetic Evangelism Made Easy by Doug Addison

It is not too difficult to notice a new spiritual hunger in people. The media is overflowing with television shows and movies related to spirituality. Shows like, Charmed, Medium and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are indicators of the new openness people have to spirituality, though these shows are not a positive influence. With this increasing interest in the occult and New Age spirituality, one cannot help but wonder if demonic forces have invaded our society. I believe that we are seeing this strange awakening to spirituality because God Himself is planting a spiritual hunger in people and they are searching for understanding and fulfillment.

A new way to do evangelism
Ten years ago God directed me to begin using the spiritual gifts of the word of knowledge and prophecy (1 Corinthians 12) as a means of evangelism to reach people who are not responding to traditional evangelistic methods. Because people are already going to psychics, why not let them know what God truly has to say to them? It sounds kind of spooky and hard to do but actually, we found that it is as easy giving as speaking words of encouragement.

Basically, a word of knowledge is something that the Holy Spirit communicates to us and it is usually about a present or past situation while prophecy is about the future. We have trained ourselves to communicate what we sense God saying in everyday language, avoiding insider Christian talk and obscure Bible references.  We are finding that people are actually very open to hearing from God and even receive Jesus Christ during these encounters.

Where’s that in the Bible?
When I first set out to do this type of evangelism, I searched the Bible and found in John 1:45–51 that Jesus drew Nathanael to follow Him by giving him a word of knowledge when He stated, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” It must have been accurate because Nathanael was amazed that Jesus knew about his character. Jesus also told Nathanael that He had “seen” Nathanael sitting under a fig tree; perhaps it was where Nathanael had his prayer times with God, because Jesus did call Nathanael a man of truth. Jesus went on to give him a word of prophecy for the future. This encounter caused Nathanael to declare, “Rabbi, you are the son of God, the King of Israel,” and to become one of His followers.

In John 4:7–30, 39–41, Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman and they began to talk about worshipping God. Then Jesus tells her a little about herself: she had been married five times and was not married to the man she now lived with. He did this without condemning her; He did it by a word of knowledge (about her past and present). Had Jesus been judging her, He would have called her an adulterous woman. Instead, He said to her, “What you said is quite honest.” Jesus seemed to find the positive in people. Jesus had appraised her accurately and His compassion and concern for her ignited an evangelistic flame inside. She ran back to the town to tell everyone about Him, which caused many Samaritans to follow Jesus that day.

Loving and encouraging people
We need to see ourselves as missionaries to our own communities. We need to study the language and culture and find ways to fit the message of Jesus into what people already believe. In today’s pop culture, there is a large number of “reality TV” shows. Many of these shows are mean-spirited and attempt to make rejecting people funny. The “Makeover” shows on the other hand, tend to build people up. Why not become part of an “Extreme Make Over—God Edition”!

It is evident with the increased popularity of psychics that people are longing to hear from God. People today are gripped by fear, beat down, and stressed out. They long for encouragement and hope. According to First Corinthians 14:3, prophecy (or any form of revelation) is for strengthening, encouragement, and comfort, especially when it is used as a means of evangelism.

One of our many approaches to Prophetic Evangelism is to give people encouragement and words from God about their destiny. It is very similar to how Jesus interacted with Nathaniel and the Samaritan woman. We say things like, “We took a class on how to encourage people; can we practice on you?” We go on to tell them how God sees them and give them new hope. We often hear, “Are you psychics?” That is actually their way of saying that you are accurate with what you are saying. We respond with, “No we are learning to hear God,” or “We are Christians, but probably not like most that you have met before.”

Imagine the possibilities if Christians everywhere began to speak positive words of encouragement to people. I’m convinced it would change the face of evangelism and bring millions of people into a relationship with Jesus.


About The Author
Doug Addison is the founder of InLight Connection, and he travels worldwide helping people transform their lives and discover their destiny. His training seminar topics include finding your destiny, hearing God, and understanding dreams and visions. Doug is the author of the books, Prophecy, Dreams and Evangelism and Personal Development God’s Way. He and his wife, Linda live in Santa Maria, California. For more information, visit www.dougaddison.com.