So many times it seems there are well-meaning Christians in my life who are urging some kind of supernatural experience — especially physical healing, specific supernatural knowledge about someone else’s life, dreams, visions, prophetic utterances, tongues, the interpretation of tongues, and so on. These people believe, apparently, that unless a Christian is seeing unusual things happening in his or her life, a person is not very spiritual or close to God. In their opinion, if a person is godly these things should be regular occurences in that person’s life.
Personally, I have deep conviction about the power of God and that He does and is able to touch our lives with what is considered supernatural in all kinds of ways. There have been times when I have seen God heal persons quite instantaneously, for example. I have also witnessed some great moments in the church from musicians or speakers that could only be regarded as prophetic utterances because of the timeliness or specific relevance of the words given. And there are times when I have needed or looked for some very specific, more instantaneous answer to prayer. I am eager to see God work in what might be considered unusual ways in my life.
But I do think that the emphasis and expectation for the supernatural the way people commonly think of that distorts an important theological truth which is that as Christians we should always be living in the supernatural world. The problem is that many Christians confuse living supernaturally with the idea that there have to be unusual things happening all of the time. Yet, it is evident from the New Testament that Jesus has made provision for us to be living supernaturally all of the time — in the sense that as we live our lives in this natural world, we are drawing upon his supernatural life and strength in every aspect of our lives.
When people think of the supernatural only in terms of the miraculous they develop a dichotomus idea of how the Christian life works. They think God is only active in miraculous experiences. This leads to the fallacy that we just need God for miraculous experiences and, that God is not active when the miraculous does not occur. It also means that people who think this way tend to live their lives independent of God’s grace and power in the rest of their lives. Often these people are looking for sensational spiritual experiences and aren’t interested in the impact of Christ’s sanctifying power in more everyday aspects of their lives as in their marriages, family relationships, business dealings, and working lives.
I believe, as a Christian, my whole life is a supernatural existence and experience. I need God 24/7 and find myself often praying and relying upon Him for the smallest details of life. Living supernaturally, in my view, is a matter of drawing upon Christ’s energy for every aspect of our lives — for the little things as well as the big things. It is developing the consciousness that God is continually active in all the details of my daily life. It is realizing that God is closing doors and opening windows constantly and also developing my own practical sanctification. It is really the way God intended us to live all the time. This surely is what Paul is talking about when he speaks of being crucified with Christ, and yet living — but not by his own strength (Galatians 2:20).
So, let us look for those amazing unusual experiences that God is inclined to give to his children from time to time, but even more so, let us look for God’s supernatural activity in the hundreds of little things that He allows in our daily lives. Let us not develop an unhealthy dichotomy that builds false expectation of God and of what the spiritual life is all about. Let us teach true discipleship based on the living presence of God in every aspect of our lives.
Right on Ed !
I don’t actually see the dichotomy here… unless some actually think everything has to be extraordinary. God is so evident everywhere…. we just need our eyes and spirit open to what He is doing. His Word says, ” All things are possible with Him” … Amen.
You are a blessing !