by Joel Willson
After growing up in relative obscurity in the family carpentry business, Jesus burst onto the scene in Galilee proclaiming, “Give up your agenda! The kingdom of God is at hand! God is here to rule and reign on the earth!” He further explains that he came to, “destroy the works of the devil.” After a visit to nearby Capernaum, where amazing healing miracles took place, Jesus visited the synagogue in his hometown, Nazareth. There he read from the scrolls of the Prophet Isaiah, “The Spirit of The Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor…freedom for the prisoners…sight to the blind…set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of God’s favor,” Luke 4:18-19.
Not only was Jesus a carpenter, but he had also been trained as a rabbi. Those who became followers or students of Rabbi Jesus endeavored to emulate him in every way. They came to understand that his words and his works were inseparable. Proclamation of the Gospel and demonstrations of power always went together. He said, “The kingdom is near,” and then he healed the sick, or he would expel demons and then say, “The kingdom of God has come.” As present day followers of Jesus, we continue following this same model.
For many years the yearning of my heart has been, “Lord, there must be more!” There must be more than the initial salvation experience, which is vital and amazing, then just waiting to go to heaven. What about that interim period between salvation and heaven? Where does the “life more abundant” fit in?
At New Life Church we are very intentional about our role in the rule and reign of God on earth. When questioned about his return to the earth in Acts 1, Jesus clearly directed his followers to focus instead on the kingdom now and the mandate to bring this gospel of the kingdom to every corner of the earth. With this “kingdom now” idea in mind, I want to highlight two ministries that New Life provides to Baton Rouge – Bethel Sozo and Healing Rooms. Currently, individuals from at least ten local churches participate on teams in these two ministries.
Sozo is the Greek word translated “salvation” in scripture. It means: “saved, healed, and delivered.” It is not only justification by faith, but it encompasses the ongoing process of making whole the body, soul, and spirit. This is a unique inner healing ministry aimed at getting to the root issues that hinder our connection to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Vickie Willson and Sherry Hartt are the directors of this ministry and Sozo sessions are by appointment only.
If your primary need is physical healing, Healing Rooms is the place you need to be. Terry Hale, director and Peter and Marcela Jowett, assistant directors open the Healing Rooms from 5-7 PM every second and fourth Sunday at New Life Church. No appointment is necessary and every session is completely confidential. Come in and soak in the presence of the Holy Spirit and then receive healing prayer from a trained team of ministers.
There is not enough space here for testimonies from these ministries, but we have some great ones. Father God loves us dearly and he wants his children to walk in wholeness and blessing. The answer to my yearning is, “Yes! There is more! This truly is the time of God’s favor!”