Recently, in our local assembly, we heard a message from 2 Kings 6 about the presence of God with his people. The idea was to live with an awareness of the supernatural during this year. God is with us, and we ought to act consistent with that reality. A couple days later, I was asked to lead our small group study. Usually, there are questions connected with the Sunday message. But since there were none, I developed what followers. Look at each of the points below as “feeder streams” into the large stream of our comprehension of the presence of Almighty God with us.
Since we have faith in the true and living God, the people of God ought to look at life from the perspective of living in the presence of the Almighty, Sovereign Lord. Christ with us by the Spirit is one of the core realities of being a member of the new covenant people. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). God is with us (Hebrews 13:5)!
How can we build a supernatural outlook more consistently into our way of life?
- Set our minds on heavenly matters. This is the idea of Paul’s “heavenly thesis statement”. Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4 NIV). Add to this the spiritual investment advice that Jesus gave us (Matthew 6:19-21).
- Invest time in prayer with our Father in heaven. Unlike the worldly-minded person that “spends time”, children of the heavenly Father ought to invest time. We should be in a continual conversation with our God. Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2)
- Live in the awareness that true Christianity is supernatural. It only happens as God is at work in us. Every part of the walk of faith requires God’s all-powerful activity in us. God made us alive when we were totally helpless, spiritually dead. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV). To experience God’s love in Christ requires the supernatural activity of the Holy Spirit. For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV). Since we encounter spiritual opposition, we must rely on the Lord’s amazing power. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might (Ephesians 6:10 NASB)
- Develop a walk in Christ by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7 ESV; cf. Galatians 5:15-26; John 15:5). Our way of life is joined to an ongoing experience of Jesus Christ as Lord. He is the one who rules over everything for our benefit. We live in his kingdom (Colossians 1:13). As we connect with him, his presence and power change us. If we lose connection, we lose the ability to grow and flourish.
- Read the Bible as it is, a book through which God acts powerfully. And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers (1 Thessalonians 2:13 ESV). When we read the Bible, we must remember that it is the very word of God, the voice of the Lord God speaking to us. This word is used by the Spirit to change and to transform us (Romans 1:16; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23).
- Remember that we live in relationship with God, who is supernatural. Our fellowship or sharing of life is a vital connection with the living God. What we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3 CSB; cf. 1 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
- Expect God to work in our lives and in our local assemblies. Listen to the apostle Paul describe his way of ministry. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me (Colossians 1:29 NIV). It all happened as Christ worked in and through him. This is the way ahead for our churches (Acts 2:47; 4:31; 9:31; Romans 15:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 5:5-7). We don’t need more or better programs, buildings, and church staff. We do need the presence and power of the Lord Christ acting in us.
So then, let’s take each of these and build them into our daily outlook and way of life. Taken together, they will help us build a supernatural focus this year.
Grace and peace, David