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6th April 2014
I don’t know about you but throughout much of my Christian life, I considered the supernatural to be limited to signs and wonders and miracles such as healings. To live with the conviction that a supernatural God calls us to live a supernatural life, yet see limited amounts of healings and acts of the supernatural is a tension that we all face and work through in our journey of faith with Him.
However, I’m understanding more and more that living a supernatural life is far more than just these acts that we read about in the Bible and even witness in the modern day. In John 14, Jesus says that those who follow Him will do the works that He did and even greater things! What an amazing promise that those who follow Him will continue His work in proclaiming and demonstrating the gospel to the four corners of the globe in both word and works of power.
With this commission, we must understand what Jesus meant by works and how He would have us live for him over 2,000 years later. In John 13:15, Jesus says, “Look at the way I live, and do likewise." So here are three aspects of Jesus’ life that I want to highlight as key to living a supernatural life:
Light of the world
Jesus was light of the world from the very beginning. Before He led a large ministry, before He saw miracles, certainly before He was crucified, He described Himself as the light of the world because His life pointed people to the Father. What’s amazing is that the whole of the Bible up to the gospels is pointing to Jesus as the Messiah, the light of the world that would shine in the darkness and provide kingdom opportunities to the lost and the lowly. But in our salvation, an incredible transaction takes place: not only did He take our sin and credit to us his righteousness; not only did He remove our chains of bondage and declare us free; but He also removed our darkness and replaced it with the life and light of the Father. He passes the baton onto his disciples (that’s you and me) and says: “You are now the light of the world” (Matt 5:13).
If you’re a Christian, like Jesus, you are about something supernatural, not because of the miracles or the signs and wonders you may or may not have seen, but because you are called, because you are light and because you point people to the Father. Supernatural acts stem from a supernatural life, they don't make it one.
Identity and the Father
Jesus’ identity was centred around the relationship He had with the Father. He prioritised it beyond any ministry time or works of service; He gave time to relationship. Jesus made claims such as “the Father commanded me to say all that I have spoken” (John 12:49) and “I only do what I see the father doing” (John 5:19). Jesus’ ministry and works were at no point in conflict with relationship, but flowed through it to the point that He could say: “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:9). His life demonstrated what the Father's will was; does ours in the same way?
We do not so much represent the Father, but we present him to others. By our life and our works (miracles or otherwise), we present Him to those who are still in darkness. We must not forget that the Father instigated the Christian faith and our freedom; a gospel that is centred on Jesus and neglects relationship with the Father is no gospel at all. Is your identity centred on the Father or your ministry/gifting?
John the Baptist proclaimed that the “kingdom was near”. When Jesus arrived, he proclaimed the “Kingdom was at hand”, yet for so many Christians today, the Kingdom is now a distant history or at best a promise to come. I’d like to submit to you that the Kingdom is closer than we think; in fact it’s well within arms reach!
If we now have the light of life as Jesus says, it would be unwise and I fear unbiblical to not be active bringers of the Kingdom in the here and now. That is after all, the Great Commission we have. Jesus prayed: “Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10) and that is as clear as any instruction of how Kingdom faith and supernatural living is to be demonstrated. Those things of the Kingdom are to be loosed on earth and we have permission from God to bind the things of this world that are not of the heavenly Kingdom.
The 'greater things'
Now, about the ‘greater things’. Do not be disheartened when you fail to walk on water, demonstrate rapid fermentation or multiply mackerels at this summer's family gathering. In doing those things, Jesus demonstrated His divinity (John 2:11), but it was not to give us a model or formula that we need to follow. To my knowledge, no-one before or since Jesus has done all of these things, so it can’t be what He is saying here in terms of what we will do. So what are the 'greater things'?
We are about the supernatural, we are about the greater things, not because of the individual works that we will do, but because of the access of the Kingdom that is available this side of the cross. In some amazing way, when Jesus healed, forgave and performed miracles, it was in light of what he was going to do on the cross that He did those things. For us today, we have access to an open heaven because Jesus has now died, risen, is seated at the right hand of God and has been given all authority and the name above every other name (Eph. 1:20). The biggest evidence for this is by reading what comes next in the John 14 passage. He says, “You will do greater things, because I am going to the Father.”
Never forget, our confidence and faith in the supernatural is based not on a formula we’ve come to know, but on the Father we’ve come to know. God’s given us an appetite for the supernatural... Let’s continue to push into it!
You can listen to the audio of this message and download the life application notes here.
Posted by Aled Cousins