Posts Tagged ‘supernatural’

Coincidence and Providence

April 15th, 2015

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” Ephesians 1:18 NIV.

There are supernatural moments woven into the fabric of daily life.

My thoughts and comments today are about “coincidence and providence.”

There are things that just seem to happen amid the routines of everyday life. Are those occurrences random coincidence or divine providence? Some things just happen as a part of life; you and I are not exempt from those but we are accompanied by God at all times in every circumstance. Read 2 Kings 6:13-17 NIV. There are also moments of divine purpose and appointment. I do not live in a world where anything and everything is merely random chance. I choose to believe such moments can be providential, evidence of a Father’s loving involvement and personal investment in my well-being, and yours. Job trusted God, “You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in Your providence watched over my spirit.” Job 10:12 NIV.

EDL pic heartA friend advised me, “When you only look for God in the sensational and spectacular, you will often miss the supernatural.” In the midst of the apparently ordinary, there should be moments when something occurs to open your eyes, allowing you to sense the discreet evidences of the surprising, extraordinary, and supernatural being purposefully woven into the daily fabric of your life. Expecting God to be present in ordinary events is the prerequisite for experiencing His loving company and care.

With assurance, David wrote of the faithfulness of God, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm [He delights in every detail of their lives/NLT]; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” Psalm 37:23-25 NIV. How confidently would you live if assured of the constancy of God’s favor and delight?

Elijah’s life seemed out of control, the victory over the 450 false prophets on Mt. Carmel now a fading memory. Read 1 Kings 19. Now Elijah felt the terror of fear. The wicked, powerful queen vowed to end the prophet’s meddling once and for all. The once courageous prophet was now fearful, fleeing from the queen until completely exhausted physically, emotionally, and spiritually. His fear was real but exaggerated; his discouragement was overwhelming; his emotions were uncontrollable; his despair was unmanageable. Then God appeared to Elijah. God was not absent until that moment; He was there all the time. “And the Lord said, ‘Go and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’” 1 Kings 19:11 NIV.

There was a tornadic wind, “But the Lord was not in the wind.” Then a shattering earthquake, “But the Lord was not in the earthquake.” And then a raging fire, “But the Lord was not in the fire.” God is not always found in the sensational and spectacular. Elijah felt as emotional frayed and physically vulnerable as a man could be. “And then there came a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:11-13. That “still, small voice” was the discreet evidence of God, present and gloriously at work in spite of everything Elijah was feeling and fearing. There are supernatural moments woven into the fabric of daily life. Look for God and listen for His voice.

Keep a quiet heart before God and eyes open for the discreetly supernatural; you will discover where God’s love, grace, and kindness will be found in the ordinary starts and stops of daily life. I repeat my friend’s observation and warning, “When you only look for God in the sensational and spectacular, you will often miss the supernatural.” Paul’s prayer is also mine, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you.” Read Ephesians 1:15-21 NIV.

Today, my prayer for you is that your heart is attracted to Him, not distracted by what surrounds.

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Abounding Life

June 13th, 2012

“Be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV

A small life is no credit to your Creator’s intention.

My thoughts and comments today are about “abounding life.”

Every life has God-given potential. When lives with so much potential are lived on a marginal scale, it is sad. The routine and repetition can shrink your estimation of the expansive life available to you. Smallness and scarcity is not in your spiritual DNA. A small life is no credit to your Creator’s intention. Jesus expressed the Father’s heart, “I have come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV. In Christ alone, you find abounding life!

In his powerful explanation of resurrection, Paul concludes with a most practical application. “Therefore . .” in light of all that precedes and as introduction to what follows – . . be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV. My friend, Campbell, often reminded me that “whenever Scripture says, ‘therefore,’ stop and see what it is there for.” Jesus’ resurrection is God’s assurance of the “power of His resurrection” for abounding life today and everyday, not just someday. See Philippians 3:10 NKJV.

Would you describe your life as abounding – in your faith, marriage, family, relationships, career, or finances? This is God’s goal for your life, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 NKJV. What would abounding life look like for you? I think it would include bigger dreams, focused effort, clear priorities, strong confidence, firm faith, greater risk-taking, joyful anticipation, peaceful satisfaction, and so many other expressions of living above the norm. God intends His provision and purpose “more abundantly” for you.

The supernatural finds expression in the most natural, beneficial ways. “As you abound in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us – see that you abound in this grace [of liberality] also.” 2 Corinthians 8:7 NKJV. His life enables you to remain “steadfast, immoveable, and always abounding” in all you do in His name and in obedience to His direction. To the extent that you choose to live steadfast and immoveable in your life of faith, your life will abound with God’s blessing. “A faithful man will abound with blessings.” Proverbs 28:20 NKJV.

This supernatural quality of life does not just happen; abounding life results from the practical ways you choose to live your life. ”Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8 NKJV. You build an abounding life by living according to God’s Word.

My prayer for you today is that life abounds and overflows with goodness and blessings

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s Not Natural

May 19th, 2009

“Until Christ’s nature is formed in you.” Galatians 4:19 Today’s English Version

“You can be less like you and more like Jesus. That’s not natural; it’s supernatural.”

My thoughts today are that “it’s not natural.”

You can go through life feeling pretty good about doing what comes naturally, but I think there will be times that you as well as others may be a bit shocked to find what is natural to you. The Bible does not give a very encouraging picture of people who live according to their own nature . . “live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature . .” Ephesians 1:3 NLT. That evil nature is at the root of everything that comes naturally to you.

Ever wondered how that original nature can still affect a Christ-follower? Paul described three states of spiritual life – the natural man, who is oblivious to God and lives by his own wits, will, strength, and resource – the carnal man, who is redeemed and forgiven but still struggles with the old nature – and the spiritual man, who is redeemed, submitted and obedient to God, and living by the power of the Holy Spirit. See 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:3 NKJV.

There is a significant distance between the natural and spiritual man, some noticeable difference between the natural man and the carnal Christian, and a greater measure of distinction between the carnal and spiritual Christian. Another picture of these three stages might be seen as: unborn, immature, and mature – not by chronological age, but by spiritual development and understanding.

The carnal Christian is a person alive in Christ through salvation, but often dominated by worldly affections and attractions. What does that look like, according to Paul? “You are still controlled by your own sinful desires. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your own desires? You are acting like people who don’t belong to the Lord.1 Corinthians 3:3 NLT. Such people appear as unsure of themselves, insecure in their salvation, conflicted in their spiritual commitment, unpredictable in behavior, and inconsistent in matters of faith and daily life. Now that’s natural.

Paul had great compassion for those who struggle in such ways in their spiritual lives. “My dear children! Once again I, just like a mother in childbirth, I feel the same kind of pain for you until Christ’s nature is formed in you.” Galatians 4:19 TEV. Can you feel Paul’s heart as you read his words, a spiritual father having personally birthed many of these Christians in Galatia? (Galatia was a province in modern Turkey settled by the Gauls from France, and including cities such as Antioch, Phrygia, Derbe, Lystra, and Iconium). See Acts 13/14. See Acts 13:42-49.

Imagine what it is to have Christ’s very own nature being progressively and increasingly formed in you! Romans 8:28-29 NIV. What would be different about you, better about you? Stated in the simplest of terms, you would be less and less like you and more and more like Jesus! Now that’s an incredible possibility. John the Baptist caught that excitement when he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 NKJV. That’s not natural; it’s supernatural. Where, and in what ways, would you like that to begin in you today?

My prayer for you today is: chose the supernatural every time. Anyone can do the other.

Devotionals , , , ,