CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK!
I saw a Tee shirt the other day that said, “NORMAL IS BORING!” In a way, I had to agree with it, but as I thought about, it was like the Lord said to me, “The reason normal is so boring is that my people live so far below what I intended for them.” Most of us would have to agree that church as we know and experience it can be pretty boring at times. If you think about it, however, when Jesus was leading the group, “Church” was never boring. It was exciting, the sick were healed, the dead were raised, demons were cast out and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God was preached with power! But it didn’t stop when Jesus was crucified, resurrected and ascended into heaven!
The same was true after the Day of Pentecost with Jesus’ followers. Jesus had declared, Acts 1:8: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” And it happened just like Jesus said it would! They were baptized in the Holy Spirit and they received power to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom! Read the book of Acts some time! That is what was normal for the early church, and should be normal in the church today. The exciting thing is that it is beginning to happen again, just like that! The sick are healed, the dead are raised, demons are cast out and the Gospel of the Kingdom is being preached with power. Souls are being brought into the Kingdom of God because people are discovering that “Church” does not have to be boring!
What is it going to take for signs and wonders and miracles to become the “NORMAL” in church again? Believers are going to have to change the way they think. When Jesus began his public ministry, immediately after forty days of fasting and being tempted by the devil in the wilderness, (see Matthew 4:1-11) He preached His first sermon, Matthew 4:17: “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” When repentance is preached today, the emphasis is “Stop sinning,” which is a major component of repentance, but Jesus had much more in mind!
The Greek word for repent in Strong’s Concordance is G3340 – μετανοέω – metanoeō – met-an-o-eh’-o – From G3326 and G3539; TO THINK DIFFERENTLY or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): – repent. (emphasis mine).  W. E. Vines notes that it means “…to perceive afterwards…TO CHANGE ONE’S MIND OR PURPOSE…INVOLVING A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER, an amendment…repentance from sin.” (emphasis mine).  Note that both definitions include the word “afterwards.” In essence, Jesus was saying, “From this day on, i.e. afterwards, things are going to be different because the Kingdom of God is invading earth. Things aren’t going to be the same anymore. Things that you used to think of as impossible are going to become common place! And then Jesus went out and demonstrated what He was talking about, Matthew 4:23-24: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.”
This should be the normal Christian life! Exciting, filled with signs and wonders and miracles and healings. But wait just a minute you say, that was Jesus. We can’t do that. That is exactly why Jesus said CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK! You can do that! Jesus said you could! Do you believe what Jesus said? Do you believe John 14:12-14? “Verily, verily, I say unto you, HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME, THE WORKS THAT I DO SHALL HE DO ALSO; AND GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL HE DO; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” Powerful words! True words, even though they sound impossible, CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK!
People today want proof! There are so many different religions around. How can a person tell which one is real? Where is the proof? Paul gave us the answer in Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, THAT YE MAY PROVE what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (emphasis mine).
CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK and you will be able to demonstrate proof of the reality of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God! I have been working on changing the way I think for a number of years and I have seen some results, a healing here or there, a salvation, or a deliverance, but I know I am not where I could be. To help me get there, I have begun to seek out those who are far ahead of me in the Kingdom of God. This past August, I spent a week in Orlando at the Voice of the Apostles Conference with men like Randy Clark and Bill Johnson among others. (For a link to miracle testimonies, see  in works cited). I have “attended” two other conferences on-line and am being blessed. The Holy Spirit is continuing to renew my mind to the possibilities that are available for those who are willing to ask, seek and knock, and keep on asking, seeking and knocking (Luke 11:9-13).
Bill Johnson and Bethel Church in Redding, California are on the cutting edge of what God is doing in the church in America and have been for several years. People are traveling to this church from all over the world to experience the miracles of God. Consider this excerpt from Bill’s latest book:
“It had been an awesome Sunday night in the presence of God. When it was all finished – the prayer and praise, the teaching and the time of asking God for miracles – one of my staff members walked from the sanctuary into the hallway and saw a man jumping up and down saying, ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!’ His pants seemed too big for him – he was holding them up so they wouldn’t slump around his ankles. He was puzzled, but knew God must have done something. When he asked around we learned that the man had been healed that night after receiving prayer. The tumors he’d come with had instantly disappeared. He’d come all the way from a neighboring state because doctors had given him only two weeks to live. In his mind, we were his last stop on the way to heaven or on the way to a miracle. He came into the sanctuary where he continued to jump up and down with great joy, very much healed and in need of a new wardrobe.
How did it happen? The Kingdom of God had come crashing into his infirmity and overwhelmed it. It was another great night and another great victory over the enemy.
That same weekend a woman drove to our church from two states away because she was having difficulty breathing. The doctors had found what they believed to be lung cancer. Her family had to help her into the building. After receiving prayer, she left pain free, able to breath without any restriction.
Again, Kingdom reality vanquished earthly affliction.
A NEW NORM
Is that normal? Absolutely! But is it common in today’s church? Not yet. But God is changing the way Christians think about the so-called impossible. He is teaching us to work hand in hand with the Kingdom so the reality of heaven comes crashing into earthly problems and overwhelms them. The results are astonishing miracles, great victories over the enemy, healing, deliverance revelation and more. It’s not hype; it’s not baseless hope or theory. It’s fact.” 
God is bringing a Great Awakening to America and it has already begun with men like Bill Johnson and Bethel Church. Why? Because they were willing to allow Holy Spirit to renew their minds and change the way they think. If God will do it for them, He will do it for me. And if He will do it for me, you can be sure He will do it for anyone who will ask, seek and knock and allow Holy Spirit to change the way they think!
Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves
 Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible. McClean, Va.: Macdonald, n.d.
 Vine, W. E. An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. New York: Nelson, n.d.
 This is a testimony that was given in Orlando when I was there in August. It will encourage your faith and it will connect you to a number of other testimonies from Global Awakening.
 Johnson, Bill, The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind, Shippensburg, Pa. Destiny Image, 2014, pg. 23-24.
Click the link below to experience how the Body of Christ ministers and not just the Pastor at Bethel Church.