We Got the Power!
Here lately, I've seen some signs posted in front of many churches adverterising addiction and recovery programs. Many churches aer utilizing 12-step programs to help members of their congregation, who are suffering from drug addiction. Having been a former drug addic myself, I am very familiar with 12 step programs, because I attended these programs before I came to know the Lord Jersus as my Savior.
The most popular 12-step programs are N.A. (Narcotics nonymous) and A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous). These programs are not religious or spiritual and their mention of God is not the God of the Bible. They speak of God as a "higher power" that can be anyone or anything, I choose to believe in. They also teach that God can be "the God of my understanding." Clearly, this could not be the God of the Bible, because God, the Creator of heaven and earth, is infinite and my understanding of Him is finite (very limited, to say the least). The God of the Bible has all-power in His hands.
Why then, is the Church adopting the world's methods? When Jesus came to earth, He taught us what to do for those who are demon-possessed. Before He ascended to go back back to the Father, He promised to send the Holy Spirit. On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came, just as He promised. He instructed us to fast and pray to be able to cast out demons in His name. He further instructed us to call for the elders of the church, to pray the prayer of faith and lay hands on the sick, promising that they shall recover. It is only the lack of faith that cuase this not to work as Jesus said. Churches that use 12-step programs are not using God's methods and are "leaning to their own understanding." (Prov. 3:5)
Jesus was crucified, bled and died, but rose on the third day with all power in His hand. He gave that power to the Church. We have power to cast out demons in the name of Jesus, according to Mark 16:17-18. Either we believe the word of God or we don't. If we beleive it, we ought to be doing what Jesus said. The Church shouldn't be adopting the world's methods. It's just that simple. God's word is tried and true. "Is not my word like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?" Jeremiah 23:29
Nowhere in scripture, do we find that the Lord ever took back the power He gave to the Church. I personally experienced this, when I received the Holy Spirit. I was transformed from a weak, helpless, and hopeless slave who had to continously fight the urge to sin or use drugs. I did countless things, I didn't want to do because I was bound by the enemy. The power of the Holy Spirit broke the chains that Satan held me captive with and transformed me into a victorious person who no longer has to fight against strong urges to do things that I really don't want to do. Why? Because the day I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Living God came to live inside of me, empowering with strength and power. I now have power over my own flesh to make it do what is right. I didn't used to have such power before I accepted Jesus. When I was in NA/AA they taught me to confess that I was "powerless" because there is absolutley NO POWER in their recovery programs. Jesus said it best, "Without Me, ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)
The Church is the "ecclesia", which means we are the called-out assembly of God. We, who are born-again, have been called out of darkness (the world) into His marvellous light (the Kingdom of God). It's time to rise up and be who God said we are. We are powerful and victorious because God gave us power over every enemy. If we have been given the Holy Spirit, we have no business trying to use the world's methods for anything. We are the Church of the true and living God. He is all the power we need.