The original pastor of Shekinah Fellowship, Brant Baker, knew something about faith.
He would never appear out on the platform until he knew that the Holy Spirit had manifested His presence in the meeting.
Those who were there recall seeing Brant sitting in a chair back stage, with his head bowed in prayer.
Once the presence of Almighty God showed up in His magnificent Shekinah glory, Brant would get up and go out on stage declaring God's praises and leading the people of God into deeper worship of Jesus Christ.
If you were there in those meetings you will recall Brant crying out, "Worship Him. Give Him all your praise. He loves you. To God be the glory," as the congregation sang songs of praise.
Then Brant would lead everyone in singing the song "Hallelujah, hallelujah.
And also the song, "Then sings my soul, my Savior to thee..."
The atmosphere was contagious as every heart came into unity in worship and adoration of Jesus.
Just about everyone of Brant's meetings were like this.
How did he do it?
How come his meetings were so filled with such powerful manifestations of God present in them?
Most of us Christians will at one time or another wonder about faith and how it operates.
Do we step out in faith or do we sit passively waiting for God to command us to action?
With this on my mind I once asked the evangelist Lonnie Frisbee if he heard God telling him to do stuff or did he just step out in faith and expect God to back him up.
His brother, Stan always tells me, "I don't do anything unless God tells me to do it."
Which always seems a bit off to me when I hear him say it, where is there room for faith in action or free moral agency initiative?
Lonnie's answer to my question was a story that he told me.
Lonnie was at a hippy gathering somewhere in Northern California.
There was a small canyon where all the hippys had gathered together, smoking pot and drinking wine etc.
A young man had asked Lonnie if what he does is in direct response to God commanding him to do it or is it his own step of faith initiative?
In answer, Lonnie walked out to the middle of the rope bridge, raised his hands up and waved them while shouting loudly to those below, "Hey, hey, come to God. He loves you. Jesus died for your sins!"
Several dozen people got up, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and came under the bridge and repented of their sins and gave their lives to God.
Lonnie then walked back over to the young man and said, "I just now stepped out in faith and you see the fruit of it."
Lonnie once told me, "The man of God dares to be wrong, he climbs out on a limb, expecting God not to cut it off behind him."
So who is right?
The man who rigidly only does stuff if he hears God command him to do stuff, or the man who takes the initiative to step out in faith believing God to back him up?
Today's lesson addresses this and more...
What is synergistic action?
It is the tremendous effect that takes place when one force, having little or no effect alone, is combined with another force.
Their combined energy is then multiplied in an outstanding way.
The word "synergistic" comes from the Greek word sunergeo, which means "work together."
Two words make up sunergeo: sun, which means "together," and ergeo, means "work."
From sun we have the English prefix "syn," which we find in words such as synthesis, synergistic, and synchronize.
From ergeo comes the English word "erg," which is a scientific measurement of work.
Sunergeo means a combination of forces that are turned loose, one energy turned loose to work with other energies.
Satan understands the principle of synergistic action.
That is why he and the demons, being spirits, seek to move through human channels.
Dispossessed demons are rather helpless, but if they can add their force to human channels,
they can turn loose something deadly in the earth.
That is also why God, with His omnipotence, is stepping up His power by choosing to turn loose His energy and to work with the energies of the believer in a synergistic action that multiplies activity without limit.
Synergistic action is the power of bringing different, distinct energies into one relationship.
In the realm of science, two chemicals that have distinct, nonexplosive attributes individually may create an explosion when combined.
That is synergistic action.
Almost every explosive material is a combination of different chemicals that are brought together to create a very powerful explosion.
Dynamite in itself is rather harmless without a detonator.
Once the dynamite has a fuse , it can do great damage.
The combined action, the action together, is what is important.
There must be a change in your thinking, like a shifting of gears, so that you realize that the Lord is with you.
His energy and your energy are to be combined.
Do not intercede as though you are expecting God to bring forth His will sovereignly.
Intercede as though you are lighting a fuse.
Believe that what you will and what you ask are going to spring forth.
What you set your heart to see happen, in faith believing, will come to pass because you ask in the will of God ( I John 5:14-15 ).
As God's heart and energy and your heart and energy are united, the explosive quality that results will be the difference between making it and not making it into the Kingdom.
Whenever the disturbing lies of illusion and deception come against you, just put them aside and believe the Word of the Lord.
By faith dig a hole under the obstacles and plant the dynamite; then light the fuse.
Believe to move the world because you can.
To help us understand the meaning of synergistic action in our relationship to the Lord, we will examine some of the Scriptures that originally used the Greek word sunergeo.
Jesus commissioned His disciples, saying, "All power in heaven and earth is given unto Me.
Go ye therefore" ( Matthew 28:18-19 ).
Mark 16:20 tells us, And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them ( they worked together- sunergeo; the feeble efforts of the disciples were combined with divine strength ), and confirmed the word by signs that followed.
This is the way the Church started out, and this is also the way the Church will reach its culmination point and see the Kingdom established.
As we speak the Word, the Lord is working together with us who believe, and He is confirming the Word by the signs that follow.
Another passage very similar to this is Romans 8:28.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Here again in this Greek word sunergeo for "work together," indicating that everything has to work together in synergistic action.
This does not mean that something happens to you just so that by itself it can contribute to the will of God in your life.
It means that everything that happens to you- every force that is turned loose, every event in your life- all dovetails together to create a combination of forces that are multiplied beyond measure.
God has ordained that every energy and force, everything that works in your life, has to come together in the explosive drive to bring about the will of God in your life.
All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.
In Romans 16:21 we find another usage of the word sunergeo.
Timothy my fellow-worker greets you....
Paul used a form of the verb sunergeo, which by translation is best rendered "a fellow worker."
When two believers are fellow workers, they work together.
Together, their energies and God become an explosive force, and they are able to do things far beyond what either one of them could do separately.
This is synergistic action.
God is telling us, "I will combine all my energy with yours.
As you flow together and believe, I will turn loose whatever you ask in My name."
As we move into that position of unity and faith, we must be careful how we pray, because we will surely have answers on our hands.
Paul used this same term "fellow workers" again in Colossians 4:11.
And also Jesus who is called Justus; these are the only fellow-workers for the Kingdom of God who are from the circumcision; and they have proved to be an encouragement to me.
Justus, and others who were named previously, were the only Jews who had really worked with Paul; therefore he called them fellow workers.
Their combined energies were very great.
Sometimes people seem to work against each other.
If a husband is of one political party and his wife of another, they will cross each other out at the polls year after year.
That is not synergistic action.
There is no synergistic action unless there is an agreement.
The prefix "sym," from the Greek sum, means "with," "along with," or "together."
This prefix relates to the Greek word sumphoneo, which is translated "agree" in the promise, "Whenever two of you agree on anything you ask, it will be done" ( Matthew 18:19 ).
It means that two or more are asking together.
The English word that comes directly from sumphoneo is "symphony."
In a symphony orchestra, a number of people all perform together in harmony.
Sumphoneo is a crying together of two or more in the symphony of prayer.
Intercession may not sound like a symphony; but God hears it, and to Him it sounds beautiful.
This truth is very simple,but you will find a real key to your walk with God as you understand that you are linking yourself with God.
No longer let it be that you, as a person apart from God, merely ask God for something.
Determine that God is going to walk with you.
Take the initiative to move out and let God catch up with you.
This is the attitude that motivated the evangelist Lonnie Frisbee.
Someone once asked Smith Wigglesworth (an apostle of faith who lived a generation ago) if he waited for the Spirit to move him.
He said, "No, When I see a devil-possessed person, I start after him.
It is up to God to see that the anointing catches up with me."
God will see to it that the anointing is there at the right time, if you move out.
Do not wait for God to do anything anymore.
You take the initiative.
In his epistle, James wrote, "You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected" James 2:22.
This passage speaks of Abraham, telling us that faith was working with his works.
Here again is the Greek word sunergeo - a synergistic action of faith and works.
What you are doing cannot be only an expression of obedience.
It has to be an expression of faith too.
It has to be done with a faith that something will happen.
If God tells you to get a walking stick and throw it down, you can easily do that; but it does not necessarily mean that the stick will turn into a serpent, as it did for Moses.
You must have the faith to expect that something will happen when you throw it down.
When Moses complained that he could not speak very well, God asked him, "What is in your hand?"
From that time on, through all the ten plagues in Egypt, God said many times, "Stretch out your hand over Egypt."
Each time Moses stretched out his hand, something happened.
This continued out in the wilderness.
When the Amalekites invaded and tried to destroy the Israelites, Moses stretched out his hands.
While he had his hands up, the Israelites prevailed; so Aaron and Hur held them up for him when he became tired ( Exodus 17:8-13 ).
Here is another instance of synergistic action.
Aaron and Hur held Moses' hands up for him, believing God was going to bless.
However, they still had to exercise their initiative.
The victory would not have been won if man had not cooperated with God in faith.
By faith, Moses believed God.
By faith, he raised his hands.
By faith, unspeakable miracles were performed that had never before happened in the history of the world.
All of this came about because one man raised his hands with faith.
Paul wrote to Timothy, "I want men everywhere to pray, lifting holy hands without wrath or doubting. ( I Timothy 2:8 ).
Raise your hands up to the Lord without any doubting, but with faith in your heart to believe.
God's power will be turned loose because you link your feebleness with His omnipotence and dare to believe for the explosive channeling of divine omnipotence into the world again.
Dare to believe that what you do is an expression of faith which God honors.
Believe that God is tied in with it.
Refuse to lift your hands on your own; insist that God lift His hands too.
This is the way God ordained it to work.
The initiative of faith is required of us; then faith working with our works can create the explosion.
We have to light the fuse, because God has laid upon us the initiative of seeing His Kingdom come forth.
Again, Moses is an example for us.
But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear!
Standby and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.
The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent."
The problems, which are very evident today and seem to be closing in on us, will disappear suddenly, never to be seen again.
Then the Lord said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to Me?
Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.
And as for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land" Exodus 14:13-16.
In other words, God was saying , "You do it, Moses.
You go ahead and divide the sea."
There is a time for praying; then suddenly there is a time to move out actively in faith.
First the Word of the Lord came, "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord."
But shortly after that God said, "Why are you crying out to me?
You have to position yourself.
The moment comes when God will fulfill everything, and then you have to position yourself in it.
Many promises may seem to be hanging in abeyance, and you may not know the answer; but when God speaks to your heart to go forward, take a step of faith and move out.
Refuse to sit on the sidelines; instead, take a step into the mainstream of what God is doing.
Take the initiative, and with authority loose the power of God.
Focus yourself with God on the will of God coming forth in the earth.
Refuse to be disassociated from God any longer.
Since you must take the initiative, there is no reason for you to blame God for anything.
You can either walk humbly with faith and see His will done, or blame yourself for walking apart from God.
Why not identify yourself as one with God and as one with one another to see the Kingdom come.