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Posts Tagged ‘principalities’

sunday-school-jesusWhat does that really look like? Sometimes, my imagination carries me away and I think of my body as some kind of hollow, yet intricate cave where the Jesus of Sunday School paintings sits around and chats up all my body parts and memories. Absurd, I know. Or, how about one of those alien movies where the creature pops out of the chest or stomach? Yuk.

Now I have found the freedom to truly live for God. I have been crucified with the Anointed One—I am no longer alive—but the Anointed is living in me; and whatever life I have left in this failing body I live by the faithfulness of God’s Son, the One who loves me and gave His body on the cross for me. I can’t dismiss God’s grace, and I won’t.” [Galatians 2:19b-21a, The Voice translation]

The scriptures about Christ’s Spirit, that also being called the Holy Spirit or Spirit, is the stuff of non-traditional thinking. The Christian experience, the believer’s life, with the Presence of God within, is supernatural. It is just as “woo-woo” as any other Eastern beliefs or “new agey” talk. The walk with Christ is the stuff of transformation. Because it is full of paradox, it requires faith . . . of things not seen or even understood. Miracles are things that happen outside of the natural order. That’s the point.

Jesus withinThe difference is the affiliation. Do you engage with the other powers or do you engage with the power of the One God, manifest through the Christ and offered to the faithful . . . freely. The sacrifice is in letting go of “self.” But the “other powers” want the same thing. Who do you trust with your soul?

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” [Ephesians 6:12, NIV] And when you see “heavenly realms,” think spiritual realms, the world within.

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Acts 16:16b
… we [Paul and Silas] were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.

This is the part that people miss: there are lots of powers in the world and people who can tap into those sources of power and use them (or abuse them).

Why else would this situation with the fortune teller cause concern? Why does Paul “cast out” the divining spirit from the girl? She was actually proclaiming the truth…. but something was amiss.

When I was younger, before I stepped into the waiting arms of a loving God, I was intrigued by all things supernatural. I pursued the entire spectrum of “experiences” from astral projection to channeling to communicating with the dead. I read books about the “point of power” and “creating my own reality.” I practiced. I didn’t just want to use magic, I wanted to be magic.

I suppose it’s a blessing I wasn’t very good at any of these things. I had an insatiable interest but no natural talent. In the end, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have turned to Christ if I had been more successful… if I could have “done it all” on my own. If I could have manipulated the world around me to satisfy my own dreams and schemes.

The major mistake people make with supernatural power is thinking they have the wisdom to use it. Like “Bruce Almighty,” folks end up acting like a children in a candy shop…. and ultimately, they over-eat and over-indulge with little understanding of the repercussions. Power used only for selfish ends becomes self-destructive. But of course, any person with that kind of power doesn’t see or believe it.

Personal power is rarely used with others in mind. Whatever power I was seeking was for myself. I wanted to use it to direct and control my life. I was not interested in helping, loving, or transforming the world around me except for personal gain. It was all about me. I wanted to be the center of my universe.

It is those with power, whether supernatural or circumstantial, who must submit their power to God. The more powerful the person, the more difficult it is to let go.

Here’s another trap I fell into: once I became a follower of Jesus, I also discovered there was a “Christian” version of power…. acts such as casting out demons, healing with a touch or a word, or prophesying the future. Can God use a person to broker these things? Sure. Is it real? Absolutely. But it is not intended that we seek power for itself. My call is to seek a deeper and more intimate relationship with God and Christ Jesus … power becomes a by-product. Power used without the wisdom and direction of God is no different from all that other supernatural stuff.

Oh yes, it’s real. And so are miracles. Who is the giver?

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