The Game-changer That Empowers You
and how it works
The fourth of the seven game-changers celebrated in the SYNC annual cycle is Jesus's first act after he ascends to take his throne in heaven--sending his Holy Spirit down to earth to empower his followers to continue his campaign. That event tells us the source and the purpose of the power we have.
God's campaign aims are to connect, heal, and bless. The Holy Spirit is our connection to Jesus and his power. As we will see during Power Season, everything depends on that connection. We are not merely trying to do our best to follow what Jesus taught long ago; we are living with a vital, empowering connection to him today.
1G - Game-changer How Jesus sent heaven's power to earth in the first place
As the Bible tells the story, Jesus lived and died on earth, was resurrected, lived another 40 days on earth, and then went up to heaven without dying again. Once Jesus took power on his throne in heaven, his first act was to inject his followers with his power so they could show that the new era he announced is under way on earth. Jesus had taught that the new era of freedom and power would not arrive like a lightning bolt but a mustard seed or a bit of yeast, starting small and gradually affecting everything. The power would work little by little.
But as it turned out, Day One of the power era actually was a bit like a lightning bolt. It certainly started some fires (that's why fire is the icon for Power Season). It was a spectacular day that no one could ever forget. As Jesus’s power arrived that day in Jerusalem, his followers heard things, saw things, and did things that defied human explanation, and all this evidence pointed in the same direction—to Jesus as the rightful King, the power holder, making his power visible on earth through his followers for the blessing and uniting of the whole world.
A huge crowd gathered, and Peter explained to them that they had made a colossal mistake when they executed Jesus as a fake messiah seven weeks earlier. By raising him from the grave, God had declared him the rightful Messiah, and now he was on the throne in heaven!
Horrified by their mistake, the crowd knew that Jesus’s first act as King could have been to have lightning bolts strike each member of the court that condemned him. That would have got everybody’s terrified attention! But Jesus had a different strategy.
And what would this other strategy be?
Instead of flaunting his power against his enemies, Jesus poured out his power on his friends, and he did it in a way that gave his enemies a second chance. Peter, speaking for all Jesus’s followers, told the crowd they would be forgiven if they would renounce their mistake and welcome Jesus’s Spirit, the Spirit of the King, into their lives. Thousands did that on the spot.
Jesus’s strategy was also designed to display the global implications of his power, not just the benefits for his own people, the Jews. The sign of the power that day was not a healing miracle like Jesus had done many times. It was a miracle Jesus had never done in person! Jesus’s followers were praising God in languages they had never learned, and foreigners who were present understood what they were saying.
The message between the lines was, “The Messiah’s power is going global. Foreigners no longer have to learn a special language in order to worship God properly. By the Spirit of Jesus working in his followers, God is sending his message to foreigners in their own languages! The game-changing Spirit has arrived.”
2G - Gift The gift of Christ's power is available now
because the game changed
Each of SYNC's seven game-changers comes with a new gift for us. The gift we get from Jesus as Power-holder is the privilege of his power working for good in us through his Spirit who moves into our bodies. If this sounds a little eerie, it is, but in a good way.
The good thing about it is that we do not lose our normal consciousness or identity while Jesus' Spirit works on us. We are not in a trance, “possessed” by some spirit or force that replaces our normal identity or speaks in a weird voice. As we come under the influence of Jesus’ Spirit living in us, we stay fully awake and fully ourselves, yet we are gradually turning into new “selves.” We also discover that God sometimes works through our new selves in miraculous ways.
Bottom line: in this era of freedom and power, something more than human is happening on earth. We who join the connect-heal-bless campaign get to be walking evidence of it. When we honor Jesus as the spearhead of the campaign, we have this gift handed to us. His power goes to work on us, in us, and through us. It takes a lifetime to open and explore this gift.
3G - Get it The gift helps us if we "get it"
that our old idea of power is now outdated
God has something he wants to prove. His gift of the Holy Spirit is his strategy for proving all over the world that Jesus is still alive, still coordinating the attack that will destroy the forces of darkness on earth, and still providing his power to ordinary earthlings like us as we participate in his campaign to save the world from itself.
We get it. When we are “evidence,” that is what we are evidence of. When we are “witnesses” about Jesus, that is what we are witnessing about.
We are not merely evidence that Jesus taught good things and that people become nicer if they follow what he taught. The world knows that already. What the world doesn’t know, and what God wants to prove, is that Jesus is the power center of the universe. The proof is that Jesus is strategically exercising his power through his Spirit working in his people, the members of his global campaign team, a.k.a. his “kingdom” or movement.
Human campaigns may disappoint but the campaign of Jesus won't because it has what every campaign would love to have:
a leader so smart he never makes a mistake or miscalculation
a charismatic leader who can fire up every campaign team member by putting his own Spirit into them
a leader who can go on forever since he has already come back from death
Jesus actually does what all other campaign leaders only dream of doing.
Even when we do “get it” that Jesus's power-sharing through his Spirit is God's strategy to prove his point about Jesus as the world's power center, we still cannot predict exactly when and how Jesus's power will work. We have to discover it as we go along, and different people discover parts of it in different ways. There is no miracle manual because the power of Jesus’s Spirit is not a predictable technique to learn from a book. It is a life of discovery to be lived.
(Jump to FAQ page if you wonder this: If Jesus’s campaign team members have all this wonderful power, why don’t they routinely use it? Why can’t they heal all the sick and bless all the poor right now?)
4G - Go with it Once we "get it," we enjoy the gift
and we work so others can enjoy it, too
Just before he rose to heaven to begin his reign, Jesus said to his followers, "All power in heaven and on earth is given to me" (Matthew 28.18). The next verse says, "So get going!"
In other words,
"I'm the power holder now. I can bring in the era of freedom and power that I was teaching about. This is how I'm going to do it: my campaign team is to recruit more team members (a.k.a. 'disciples') and train them in all my instructions about campaign work, that is, how to heal and bless the world in my name. And I will go with them on every campaign assignment until this whole thing is over and victory is ours." (Matthew 28:18-20, SYNC's paraphrase)
We go with that. Jesus has the power. His strategy is to put some of that power into his team for the good of the world. We are his team. We throw ourselves open to his influence. “SYNC me!” becomes our new mantra as we go with the flow of his power.
We watch as Jesus’s Spirit changes us at deep subconscious levels. This personality repair work is a mystery, but we love it every time some new evidence of it comes up to the conscious level and blesses someone.
We watch as amazing things happen when we speak with the power of Jesus's name. The healing work of the campaign goes ahead. Things that could not be healed get healed. People who could never change change. People get over things they were sure they could never get over.
We watch these things happening but we do not take credit for any of them because we know it wasn’t really “our” power at all. Jesus’s power is the power that did it. We did nothing to earn that power. We just went with it, and we loved the result.
We don't get arrogant. All we get is more grateful to the Lamb who sacrificed himself to give us access to his Spirit. Our work on the campaign team becomes a pleasure, not a burden, even if it almost kills us sometimes. It is a token repayment on our debt of gratitude.
We gladly keep listening for our next assignment, opening up to more of the Spirit's power so we can do more campaign work--healing and blessing others, inviting them to discover the power of saying, “SYNC me!” It works for anybody.
5G - Genuineness As we "go with it," we become walking evidence of God's power for good
What kind of evidence are we? Character witnesses and smoking gun evidence.
The character witness is not our witness to Jesus’s character. It is evidence of changes in our own character.
Old habits and desires break down, though we could never get free of them before
When people push our buttons, we don’t react like we used to. The buttons seem broken
New character traits emerge in our lives, like concern about others we never cared about before. We get generous, loyal, and exuberant about life
All this adds up to a genuine character transformation, and we can’t even explain how it happened. We know it wasn’t because we tried harder or we got better at faking it. We say the Spirit is doing it and handing it to us as a gift we are thrilled to get—a new authentic self!
Smoking gun evidence
The “smoking gun evidence” is the miraculous part, things that defy human explanation. Even the people who don’t believe in God may wonder if they are seeing his fingerprints in these cases.
The Spirit of Jesus mysteriously empowers different people in different ways. Some see many healings happen when they pray in Jesus’s name, some know things they had no way of knowing (secrets, things in the future, or instructions to do or say a particular thing), some speak in a spiritual language, some can translate the spiritual language into ordinary language.
All these things defy scientific explanation, but it is unscientific to deny the evidence that they are happening somehow. Our theory is this: the Spirit of Jesus, whom he sent onto his original followers on Pentecost Day, is still at large, still bringing heaven’s power to earth, still pointing to the true King of the Universe, and still saying to the doubters, “Over here! Look at this!”
These signs cannot be merely the result of some good truth that Jesus taught. In fact, Jesus didn’t teach his campaign team any techniques to guarantee a miracle except to ask in his name that God would do them. But Jesus did teach that he would be with his campaign team members. Where Jesus is, his power is. Character changes. Miracles happen. And it’s all good. We are in SYNC with Jesus’s intentions when he sent his Spirit down on his team in the first place.
Graphic of the "5G Cascade of Grace" that guarantees the success of God's campaign. See "Success" under "God's campaign" tab or click here.