Read: Acts 19:1-41
God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. Acts 19:11
Paul settles in Ephesus for a few years and spreads the word of God all over Asia Minor. He preaches regularly at the Synagogue there, but when opposition forms, he moves to a daily discussion format at a lecture hall.
While Paul is teaching and holding workshops and discussions, God is empowering him in special ways to perform signs and wonders – healings and deliverences through handkerchiefs that had touched Paul.
I love the book of Acts and the power of God on display for all to see. The Christian faith would have never got traction without the miracles of God at work through the early Christians. God was faithful to work through the apostles and other Christ followers to save, heal, and deliver people and the word spread.
There is some debate today as to whether God is still doing these kinds of miracles. Some say He is and some say He isn’t. Jesus said His followers would do what He was doing. Nothing in the New Testament says that God’s power would stop working through His people, and I have seen God heal me and others. So full disclosure – I believe He is still in the wonder working business.
That said… there is an important balance to draw here. Luke says that “God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles.” The endowment of power and authority given to Paul was unusually strong. Some people say all Christ followers have the same abilities as Paul if we just believe and lean into the miraculous with enough faith. But Luke makes it clear that Paul had special abilities, which by definition means that not everybody has them.
At the same time many modern believers use this as an excuse to not walk in the authority and power that God does give. God gives every believer more power and authority than we realize. Every believer can and should pray for healing, for the presence and power of God to fill them and others, and for spiritual freedom for themselves and others. That’s basic Christianity.
Not everyone will get the “power to perform unusual miracles,” but that’s okay… the results are up to God. So don’t get discouraged if your handkerchief doesn’t heal people, or if every prayer doesn’t get answered the way you envisioned. Just keep praying and trusting God and you’ll see His power at work through you too.
Jesus – help me to walk in faith today. Work powerfully through my life and prayers and use me to help people find and follow you. In your name I pray, amen.