This past week we studied Luke 5:1-26. In these verses we see God break into the normal pain and suffering that people were experiencing and do something miraculous. And I believe God wants to repeat this pattern in our life and city.
We live with what we believe is normal. We surrender to normalcy. Some of us talk about how much we appreciate routines. But let me suggest to you that normal is like a baseline or backdrop in which God works supernaturally.
In all three accounts from Luke 5 we see God’s supernatural power breaking in to normal life.
Here’s the thing!
What we call normal is actually a world fallen from God’s original design.
Are you settling for normal?
Are you okay with brokenness, sickness, dysfunction?
Have you surrendered your expectations to what has become normal and routine?
Or are you fostering and cultivating and vision for the supernatural intervention of God’s work?
This is the difference between kids and adults. Most adults have had the optimism kicked out of them by painful experiences. But kids dream and hope.
We read God’s Word and the Spirit breathes into our life a vision for something better. We have story after story where God breaks through normal and makes himself known.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
I’m not talking about blind optimism or faith in faith. We are not talking about dream and dream. I’m not asking for you to come up with your own good ideas.
I’m asking you to let scripture influence your perspective on life. I believe that that will result in a hopefulness, optimism, and vision for more.
By way of illustration consider a scene from Frederick Douglass life. He writes:
"Very soon after I went to live with Mr. and Mrs. Auld, she very kindly commenced to teach me the A, B, C. After I had learned this, she assisted me in learning to spell words of three or four letters. Just at this point of my progress, Mr. Auld found out what was going on, and at once forbade Mrs. Auld to instruct me further, telling her, among other things, that it was unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read. To use his own words, further, he said, "If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell. A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master — to do as he is told to do. Learning would spoil the best nigger in the world. Now," said he, "if you teach that nigger (speaking of myself) how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master. As to himself, it could do him no good, but a great deal of harm. It would make him discontented and unhappy." These words sank deep into my heart, stirred up sentiments within that lay slumbering, and called into existence an entirely new train of thought. It was a new and special revelation, explaining dark and mysterious things, with which my youthful understanding had struggled, but struggled in vain. I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty — to wit, the white man's power to enslave the black man."
The slave master wanted slavery to be Douglass’ “normal”. But then Douglass learned to read and it awakened in him a vision for freedom.
You say “Normal life is so painful and discouraging. Scripture has all these nice stories about people being rescued from calamity, but that doesn’t change my struggles.”
And that is where prayer fits in. Prayer is the middle ground between the vision God gives us for life and the present reality. I’m not saying that all your problems will go away. But the answer you need, the supply that you need will be given to you by God.
We looked at these three accounts where Jesus worked miraculously.
There is a voice in your head that wants to mute these stories and censor these stories from encouraging you to trust in God for miraculous intervention.
Let me encourage you to let down your guard and allow the Holy Spirit to encourage your heart.