By “desiring a heart for God” first, the stage is set for spiritual growth in all areas. I think we often limit what Jesus said in Luke 12:30-34. We often view God’s provision as things from the physical realm. He also provides spiritual provision. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6, ESV). He begins and completes the work in us. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). We can do nothing outside of Him. I believe that all the other marks of faith flow from a right relationship with God. If we are in a right relationship with Him, and we believe in the One He sent, then we will be obedient. Jesus always simplifies the Gospel for us. When asked what should be done to do the work of God He replied, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29). This is our work, believe in Jesus. It may sound easy, but if we believe in Him, and we believe what He says then there are other actions we will take out of obedience. For example, He said for us to go and to heal the sick and cast out demons. In Luke 10 He sends His church to the places that He will go. He goes there in us until the end of the age. He says to stay with the man of peace and to heal the sick in that town. The 72 return later and talk about how the demons listen to them. Christ tells them to rejoice that their names are written in the book of Life. The point is we are all tasked with sharing the Gospel and we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.
This may start an argument, but we all have the ability to heal the sick, cast out demons, prophecy, teach, preach and all the other gifts of the Spirit. If you look at what is said about the “gifts” it says they are given to equip the Saints. It means that the gift is intended as a teaching tool. If I have the gift of healing, that means that I can teach the other Saints how to heal. In Acts 9:10-19 we see Ananias, a regular, every day Christian, receive a dream, and then go and heal Paul, Baptize him, lay his hands on him so he receives the Holy Spirit, and prophecy to him his calling in the kingdom. This happens in a single day and this, by all accounts, appears to be the normal Christian life. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 3:8). If this is true, then it means that the Holy Spirit is also the same yesterday, today, and forever. This means that the normal Christian life is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The problem today is not that the Holy Spirit is not active, but that we are not obedient to the commands of Christ to “Go”, and to seek and to save the lost as He did. We save them by bringing Christ to them.
This is what the Lord showed me. A wire is useless in and of itself. When you connect the wire to a battery it has potential, but no power flows yet. The wire is “hot” and ready, but unless it is connected to a load, no power flows through it. If you want the power of God, which is in you, to flow, then you must touch other people; specifically the lost. We have been deceived by Satan into believing that we are powerless and just holding on until the end. No! All power and authority in heaven and earth has been given unto Jesus, therefore, because of this, Go! And make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and I will be with you unto the end of the age. Do you want to have humility? Do you want to heal people? Do you want to prophecy? Do you want to desire spiritual things more? Then begin to obey the Lord Jesus Christ. Go and become friends with the lost and share your faith with them. Lay your hands on them and command sickness and pain to depart. Keep praying until it goes. Jesus says that if we will speak His Word to people that He will bear witness to the truth of His Word. Paul was not gifted, he was obedient. Speaking of Paul and Barnabus in Iconium the Word says, “So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (Acts 14:3). The Lord is faithful. IF we will step out in faith He meets us there, and He shows a Gospel power!
I want to encourage you concerning fasting. It increases our faith in and dependence upon God. When combined with prayer and done properly, it also prepares us for everything that comes our way. I think we are meant to pray and fast regularly. Consider the story of the boy possessed with the demon that the disciples could not cast out. In Matthew it says,
And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
When the story is relayed here, Jesus says that it is because of their lack of faith. Where will the disciples get faith like Jesus? He seemed ready, and the entire episode seemed easy for Him, because it was. Jesus was always prepared. How, though? “And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:28, KJV). Jesus says that we need to prepare ourselves with prayer, and in some version fasting is also included. The point is that we must spend time continuously praying and being in close relationship with the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. This is not striving for certain gifts and t be prepared, but striving to rest in Him. We can do all things through Him, and nothing without Him. We cannot manipulate Him, and can only trust Him. By resting in Him we receive all of the boldness and understanding we need. Let us strive to rest in Him, and in response to His love, go out and extend the kingdom territory with boldness and power. Preach the Gospel without dilution or compromise. Do not water it down. Speak it with boldness and integrity and the Lord will bear witness to the truth of His Word. Amen.
 Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture comes from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).
 The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009).