A New Normal
Acts 8:3-8: 3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. 4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.
Have you ever wondered why we don’t see daily supernatural activity as the disciples of the book of Acts did? Why did the New Testament Christ-followers find themselves to be witnesses on a regular basis of “death-to-life” miracles? Did such phenomenal encounters end with the martyrdom of each of those disciples? Were those miracles truly just a part of the process God used to establish His Church, among both the Jew and the Gentile?
There are multiple theories and explanations of the decrease of such supernatural exploits. But I’d like to highlight one of the most simplistic. As citizens of the modern western world as we know it, we have progressed in many areas of life. Much of this progress has definitely improved quality of life, making day-to-day lifestyle less strenuous and taxing. But a greater portion of it has replaced man’s reliance upon God’s provision, His intervention, and the expectation of the supernatural.
Recently a Facebook friend posted about an additional diagnosis they had received for a family member. His post was requesting prayer for the family member but it wasn’t a request for healing. It was a request for the process of accepting their “new normal”. My heart twinged a bit as I realized they weren’t asking God to manifest in the fullness of His power.
They were accepting what our culture had told them was now to be their new normal way of life.
Friend, don’t allow this godless society to dumb down what God says is normal for the life of the believer! If you can trust God to wash away the sins of your past, taking you from outer darkness to the Light of eternity with Jesus through one prayer of repentance and commitment of a life surrendered to Him, you can trust Him to produce the miraculous in your life! It was ALL paid for by Jesus Christ on the Cross!
My challenge for us today is to acknowledge the new normal that we must expect by faith each day. Don’t settle for life with a debilitating illness! Shake off the temptation to worry and fret over your finances when the Word of God has promised that He “shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”! (Phil 4:19) What would happen if you dared to believe that your lost co-workers would actually say “yes” when you invited them to church…again? Could that lost loved one actually turn away from addiction and back to the Lord? Begin to believe that the supernatural is possible in YOUR daily life and it shall come to pass.
Once you hold in your mind and heart what you are daring to believe God for, begin to speak it from your mouth. I don't know about you, but it's often tempting to me to speak what I'm feeling more often than what I'm believing. But today I am asking a perhaps strange request of you: find a place in your day today to speak out loud what it is that His Word says about you and your situation(s).
Speaking the Word out loud works in three powerful directions:
It puts the Word of God in your mouth, so that you are speaking His perfect will BY His own Word!
It creates a powerful impact on the environment around you. Even Satan Himself is confronted with the potency of God’s Word. (And sound waves impact Satan’s ‘domain’…the air! [Eph 2])
It causes the basic principles you already know to be true, but perhaps are a little overwhelmed emotionally or physically to rest in, back into full effect in your own heart, mind, and soul. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Rom 10) You will build your own faith by what you speak.
Speak to yourself! Speak to that mountain! And speak unto both God and your adversary.
“(Bridgette), Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart(s) and mind(s) through Christ Jesus. Finally, (Bridgette), whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Now obey this simple directive. Whatever is TRUE…not what it feels like…think, dwell, center.
What will you expect in your new normal? Can you believe for joy in your city?
Bridgette Tomlin is a wife, mother of two girls, and 'minister of the et cetera' alongside her husband, Chresten from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She loves a great cup of steaming hot tea, the blessing of quiet spaces where she can think now and again, and the art of a handwritten note. While she's a vocalist, speaker, writer, and admin, Bridgette's heart is fully engaged in connecting every woman to their God-given call and gifts with authentic candor. You can follow her blog from their ministry site at www.ctministries.com.