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Posts Tagged ‘supernatural’

 

hocus pocusWe can’t understand everything. In fact, we can’t understand most things. When life moves along logically, the idea of “why” we choose to go one way or another might make perfect sense in the moment. But as soon as circumstances drop a bomb in our midst or we look back with 20-20, no answer to “why” explains or justifies the outcome. Not now, not ever. Whether the events are good or traumatic, the why this or why now will remain a mystery. Some can accept the miracle and others cannot.

As soon as Jesus threw the evil tormenting spirit out, the man talked away just as if he’d been talking all his life. The people were up on their feet applauding: “There’s never been anything like this in Israel!” The Pharisees were left sputtering, “Hocus-pocus. It’s nothing but hocus-pocus. He’s probably made a pact with the Devil.” [Matthew 9:32-33, The Message]

Personally, I would say it’s equally miraculous to make a pact with the devil as it would be to make a pact with the Lord. Both require a leap of faith. But what these Pharisees were really doing was rejecting something that was  “not-I.” They did not enter into the event; they remained aloof and thereby guarded.

It’s a negative view of the world: It’s a trick! The devil made me do it. My glass is half-empty. Fake! Liar! Thief!

All of these possibilities may be true since I would be the last to say that evil does not exist and people can be less than altruistic.

miracle02But, when a person crosses the line into faith, the potential for good manifesting out of the seemingly bad circumstances goes up exponentially. When a person accepts the Presence of God in the universe (both macro and micro), then why becomes less important. (Please, scientists, I’m not blasting your world at all, you grace our world with understanding.) I simply believe that there will always be inexplicable events and human decisions that cannot be explained away by what we know now, or more likely, ever. Our reality is not driven by 3-D but by an unseen realm we cannot fathom.

Miracles are possible because this world is fleeting. And in the same vein, sorrows happen too.

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Art by Catherine Andrews

The implication then is this: if the Christ appeared in a more perfect tabernacle not of “this” creation, there must be other creations. Hmm. The psalmists write, Selah, “pause and calmly think of that.”

Hebrews 9:11
But [that appointed time came] when Christ (the Messiah) appeared as a High Priest of the better things that have come and are to come. [Then] through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with [human] hands, that is, not a part of this material creation . . .
[Amplified]

Are there other clear references to another creation? I mean, it isn’t necessarily heaven designated in this passage from Hebrews, it could be anywhere. It seems a bit “woohoo” and “new agey,” right? In fact, I find it totally other-worldly, Star Trekian, multi-dimensional, and clearly, we’re “not in Kansas anymore.” We’re outside our human understanding. We don’t know about this other creation(s).

I understand, some commentators still believe the “perfect tabernacle” is in heaven because the human tabernacle was intended to mirror or replicate some heavenly place. But I think that’s simplifying the Spirit realm of God. It’s anthropomorphizing what we don’t understand and trying to put it into human terms.

It’s a similar situation with all the prophets who were given extraordinary visions of things outside their ken such as animals covered with eyes and wings in Revelation or Ezekial’s animals with four faces.

When my children were little, my husband and I liked to have fun with the various holiday characters such as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, etc. We always told them these characters existed in a different dimension. As the kids got older and realized how unbelievable it was that Santa could fly across the world in a single night and deposit gifts in each and every house, we reiterated: different dimension–anything can happen. Of course, our story is not as creative as C. S. Lewis and his world of Narnia, but ultimately, we share the same idea, once anyone goes through a “portal,” things are very different “there” (wherever there is).

The world and words of the Spirit realm are best depicted through the arts I think. Music, visual art, performance art, dance, film, scent, poetry: these are some of the better expressions of God’s kingdom or sphere or neighborhood.

What the Messiah did for Human is not really fathomable in our limited cosmos. One sacrifice for all? One outpouring of blood covers all sins from the beginning to the end of time? Perfection in human form? Covenants, promises, reconciliation, restoration, renewal, all of these possible by the act of one offering? Absurd, right?

Nope. It’s the link between our creation and all the other ones. The ultimate portal. Not science fiction or fantasy, but God business. And the stuff of dreams, imagination, love, resurrection, and transfiguration.

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Does it matter–our genealogy? our heritage? our family line? In scripture, it’s recorded in many ways as quite significant, from the “begats” in Matthew to the repetitive list of kings and their fathers and their fathers. Am I a child of the promise, a child of the free woman?

Galatians 4:31
Therefore, brothers [and sisters], we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

Paul goes into a longish discussion of the “figurative” nature of Hagar (the slave woman) and Sarah (the free), who bore children, one “naturally” and the other as the result of a God-promise and power of the Spirit (a supernatural birth). The slave child (and subsequent generations) is born to a time and place in history, while the implication is that the child (and following generations) is of a “new Jerusalem,” a place out of time.

Despite the fact that Sarah and Abraham are usually considered the “father and mother” of the Jews (who we know followed the law), now the focus is on the next step when the Abrahamic children come into their true inheritance. The long-awaited Messiah was part of the promise, the miracle of Isaac. Christ too was born supernaturally. (Isaac was born from an old woman’s barren womb and Jesus from a very young woman’s virginal womb.)

And just so, because I have accepted that same long-promised Messiah as my Messiah too, I become a child of the free woman, the metaphysical, the kingdom of God. I now have a different genealogy than I did before. This is a truer meaning of “new creation.”

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” [II Corinthians 5:17]

I’m not living in this freedom really. It’s positional only, not internalized. It’s head knowledge, not heart knowledge.

It’s like I’m so close to really understanding the enormity of this truth but not quite. It’s a thought butterfly flitting around my head. I can’t quite grab hold of it. But someday I will. And when I do, I will be changed.

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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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In my daily devotion, I am up to Luke 1:5-38, the conception stories of both John the Baptist and Jesus. In both cases, the angel Gabriel comes with the big news, first to Zechariah in the temple and then to Mary herself in Nazareth. In both cases, the human response is “How can this be?”

Things haven’t changed much in today’s world. If anything, they are worse when it comes to accepting the possibility that God could/can/will work a miracle in our lives. We are entrenched in the 3-dimensional world. We doubt the supernatural.

Belief … faith … are part of the supernatural world. To experience the fullness of faith, we must also be willing to accept the fullness of the supernatural.

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