The Holy Spirit has been challenging me to redefine in my own life what Christianity looks like. What can I really expect to happen in my life as a disciple of Christ? Can I really expect the supernatural or was that just reserved for the apostles who helped establish the church? Look at what our Teacher did. He lived a supernatural life. He healed people (spiritually and physically), cast out demons, prophesied, discerned the hearts of others, was carried away by the Spirit, etc. And look at what His disciples did. They healed people, cast out demons, prophesied, discerned the hearts of people, were carried away by the Spirit, etc. Can this happen for those who follow Jesus today? Or has Christianity traded the supernatural lifestyle for stimulating doctrinal conversations because we don't have the faith to believe God?
Why don't we see the supernatural today?
There are probably many factors. The Lord pointed one of them out to me this morning. Look at Matthew 19:16-22...
16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
18 "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,
19 honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"
20 "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
We should probably note that eternal life starts when you follow Jesus, not when you get to heaven. (There are plenty of scriptures to back this up.) This being the case, Kingdom Living is meant for now. This does not mean that we should never get sick and if you do then "you just don't have enough faith". Paul certainly didn't believe this. But we can expect eternal life...Kingdom Living (the uninterrupted will of the Father) on earth as it is in heaven. Sooo...back to the text...
If we look at the dialogue between Jesus and the rich young ruler we can see Jesus dialoguing with the American church.
We tell Jesus "Lord, our churches are dead. We have not felt your life giving presence in so long. Our teachings are dry. We're losing members. What do we need to do to gain everlasting life?"
Jesus replies "...keep the commandments."
And what do we say to Jesus in return? "We have kept all of the commandments you listed, Lord." (It's interesting that Jesus left out a few of the ten commandments. There's a message there.)
Jesus finally cuts to the heart of the matter and tells us to give up all of our riches. Instead of doing what Jesus commands, we walk away sad. Why? Because we value our earthly treasures, success, and status over heaven's mentality of success. I talk to young people all of the time and you can tell within the first few minutes of the conversation that Christ is not their treasure. Their ambition is simply to be what they wanna be. And what's worse...parents wholeheartedly back their children in their selfish ventures. But here's the problem: If you want resurrection power you must embrace the cross. Christianity costs us something. If your Christianity allows you to live without ever coming into contact with the circumcision knife then you have the wrong Christianity. Why don't we see the power of God. Very simple. We have chosen our wealth of traditions, our wealth of programs, our wealth of finite wisdom, our wealth of shiny but rusting fool's gold.
I believe that Eternal Life is waiting for us to drop everything and join Him on a supernatural adventure! Lord, give me the grace to follow you.