Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Supernatural

We live in a supernatural world, one where God can intervene. It goes beyond particular questions, such as the continuation of spiritual gifts, to affect our general approach to life. It is easy to see the supernatural as something that happened a long time ago but has no effect on us now. To live our lives based on our own natural understanding and abilities. To see God as saving us and then leaving us on our own to cope with life until He comes back. While those who take the Bible seriously will not openly espouse such ideas, it is easy for them to find a lodging in the back of our minds and hearts. We look to our own resources to live for God. We look to our organizational abilities to accomplish God's work. We see everything as depending on us, which leads to pride or discouragement. Now I am not suggesting that we shouldn't work or that we should work with sloppiness and inattention. But I am suggesting that if we take the burden of living for God or doing God's work on our own shoulders, we will be crushed under the load.

In contrast, we can see the supernatural as something we tap into and control. We can see it as a place for the favored few who manage by the right formula to attain it. This can make God's power a kind of magic that we control. We will believe we can expect supernatural intervention on a regular basis in the way we want it to happen. This too can lead to pride or discouragement, depending on whether we conclude that we have reached that realm or fall short. And living in light of the supernatural is something that is reserved for those who manage to attain it.

But the Bible says God is at work in all His people (2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 2:10). It also says that God is at work in all His church, accomplishing His purposes in the world (2 Corinthians 3:5,6; Colossians 1:29; 1 Corinthians 3:6,7). Also, He has given gifts to all His people (1 Corinthians 12:4-27;  Romans 12:3-8; 1 Peter 4:10,11). We Christians all live in the light of the supernatural. But we do not control it. It is God who controls us, working in our lives to accomplish His purposes (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:11; Isaiah 43:13). We need not not fear this, for He is a God who loves us and takes care of us (Psalms 127:1,2; Isaiah 40:11; Matthew 6:25-34). We need to live in the expectation of God working in us, leading us and intervening on our behalf. But we also need to live with the recognition that God will often lead us through difficult times and in complicated ways (John 16:33; 2 Corinthians 4:17,18; Romans 8:18). And we need to trust Him to accomplish what He wants in His own way (Proverbs 3:5,6; Hebrews 11:6; 2 Corinthians 2:14).


  1. God is at work in all His people - Yes!

    God is at work in all His church - Yes!

    It is why Christian love is so important in meeting the needs of others. Sadly, many Christians think that God works supernaturally independent of his people when he rarely does.

    Just a few thoughts.

  2. I would agree, we are His body to accomplish His purposes in the world. And while I do not want to limit God, I think it is a mistake to sit and wait for God to do things without our involvement.