Today’s reading is Acts 11-12.
In these chapters we see what I will call the following “supernatural” events….
- Jesus speaking to Peter in a dream and showing him a vision making certain foods now clean to eat and also representing that forgiveness is possible for Gentiles, not only Jews, through repentance and belief in Jesus.
- A man declaring an angel had appeared to him to tell them to go to Joppa to get Peter who would give them a message to help their family be saved.
- A prophet Agabus accurately telling of a future famine.
- An angel freeing Peter from prison.
- Herod being struck down and being eaten by worms because he did not give glory to God.
Where do you draw the line in what “supernatural” things God still does today? Do you believe angels still appear delivering messages and even physically helping people today? Do you still believe Jesus appears to people or that people hear the audible voice of God? Do you believe real prophets still deliver messages God gave them (I’m not talking about psychic call lines)?
I find most Christians, including myself, likely believe some of these things still happen today, but for some reason may question others. If someone told you one of these things happened to them today, you would either think the person was completely nuts, it was just a coincidence, they were dreaming, or they just imagined something?
In 2019, I was struggling to make a decision if I was going to step down from my role as a Managing Director and solely focus on financial planning for clients. In fact, I had been struggling for years with this decision. In September of 2019 I made the decision, although I still wondered if it was right and what the future would hold. I told our Managing Partner my decision and drove back from Champaign to meet with one our new advisors I was coaching. He proceeded to tell me that he normally doesn’t tell people this (because many would think he was crazy), but God had given him a spiritual gift of prophesy…not in his own life but for the lives of others. He told me that he was praying for me that week and God clearly laid it on his heart that I was going to have some major professional change, although he didn’t know exactly what, and that the change was going to be a great thing for my future. He felt he was supposed to and should tell me this. Because my Managing Partner and I agreed my decision was confidential and would not be made public yet, I some how kept it together until he left my office despite being absolutely blown away. Keep in mind, he would have had absolutely no idea that less than 2 hours previously I told my Managing Partner of my decision. I had told no one except my wife. When he walked out, I broke down and thanked God for delivering that message through him to give me peace and confidence moving forward.
I would say before this I believed in angels helping people, but someone hearing the audible voice of God or prophesying for the future..I wasn’t so sure I believed. But why? If God did those things in the Bible, why not today? Most in the Bible who experienced these events were regular people and some of the worst sinners (take Saul/Paul for example). Does God not have the same power now as then as well? Most Christians believe that God orchestrates seemingly normal events and occurrences for His purpose and plan. But doing “supernatural” things like those listed earlier..c’mon..get real.
I would challenge all of us to reflect on why we may put limits on what God either can or does do still today. Does this also reveal a lack of faith and add more stress, worry, and anxiety because we put limits on what God can and will do today in your life or our world? How would your life be different if you believed God can and still does “supernatural” things like those which occurred in the Bible today? If God did them then… again, why not now?