Ask A Pastor
By Rev. Syd Osenbaugh
The Healing Place (Nashville Assembly of God)
Imagine you are standing in a worship service, perhaps finding it a bit difficult because of a back injury. Suddenly you feel a hand on your pant leg and look down to see a toddler, four years old at most, earnestly praying for you to be healed.
Some might chuckle and think, “How cute, she’s imitating the grownups.” Others might be annoyed that this child wasn’t left in the nursery.
However, this is not merely an imaginary scene. It actually happened some years ago in a Florida church. The congregation was in the midst of a mighty revival and lives were being transformed by the power of Jesus Christ.
The little girl in the story had heard about how Jesus gave His life so she could be forgiven. She embraced that eagerly. She listened as the pastor explained that there is power available to every believer in Jesus through His Holy Spirit.
She innocently trusted her pastor, and prayed that this would happen in her. And so she came to the place where she was actually ministering to others in her church, being used of God to show His glory.
That event really summarizes the essence of what is practiced within the Assemblies of God regarding “the priesthood of all believers.”
Prior to the time of Christ, under the Old Covenant, priests had very specific functions. They were appointed by God (from the family of Levi, Aaron and his sons) by a lasting ordinance. (Exodus 27-29).
The priests were the ones who offered sacrifices for the sins of the people as well as offering prayers, praises, alms, and other duties. They were separated for this task and consecrated by God.
However, once Jesus came He made the lasting sacrifice, once for all, that was necessary to pay the price for sin. (Hebrews 10:1-10) His followers no longer need an intermediary to offer prayers and praises because the believer’s entire life is to be a sacrifice to the Lord. Thus, those things once done by priests are now the responsibility of the individual Christ follower.
Our offering of spiritual service is made acceptable to God by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.
We commune directly with God through adoration, praise, worship, and prayer. We hear from Him through His word, in prayer, through the circumstances He orchestrates in our lives, and through the confirming prayers of other like-minded believers.
We can call upon Him for the incomparable gifts provided through the atonement. Jesus’ death and resurrection provided complete healing, of body, soul, and spirit to any who would surrender themselves and submit to the Lord’s headship of their lives.
And the Holy Spirit flows through each believer who will allow themselves to be used by Him. He speaks prophetically, touches hearts in ways beyond imagination, and brings wholeness to fractured lives.
That was what a little four year old girl was doing in church that day mentioned above, exercising her part in the priesthood of all believers.