Sustaining a Life in the Supernatural
Living a life in the supernatural is really, really tough!
If it isn’t bad enough that we experience failure and disappointment, we also experience isolation, and spiritual attack of many varieties.
Just today, I’ve battled with unbelief on a major scale; not mine, but someone else’s who is adamant that he has never seen a miracle or anything that can’t be explained by something else. (This topic of burden of proof I would like to deal with in a separate post, as our culture is laden with unbelief and we have to fight it.)
But back to the topic…
Because of the difficulties we face, if we are going to sustain this counter cultural supernatural life, we need to learn to be street smart. Our enemy certainly is, and he uses it against us.
So I took the opportunity of asking Alan Scott, Senior Pastor of Causeway Coast Vineyard in Northern Ireland, a church that is experiencing phenomenal growth and seeing amazing miracles, for three “biggies” – three major tips – on sustaining an expectation of the supernatural.
All three tips are foundational, but two really speak to me.
1) I resonate with the “Big” is in the “Small”. He actually illustrates it in this video of the healing of Emily.
If we had limitation of movement anywhere and went to a doctor who through medication was able to increase our range of movement, we would be delighted and full of praise for the doctor even if our full range of movement had not been restored. Yet, when we have a partial healing, so many Christians become disappointed with God, and in their disappointment don’t persist in praying for people. As a result they miss the biggest breakthrough of their lives because they stopped living a lifestyle of risk and persistence. As Alan says, that big breakthrough comes in the midst of many small breakthroughs.
In fact, although Alan doesn’t say this here, he would also add that our mindset needs to change. Too often we have an “And suddenly….” mindset. With that mindset results have to be spectacular… all the time. No one can live with that kind of pressure.
Better to take an “And gradually…” mindset. It will sustain you over a lifetime.
I am sure he would also add – ministry is littered with “Bigs” and “Smalls”! We should not despise the “Smalls” or take pride in the “Bigs” but treat them both the same and rejoice that our names are written in heaven.
2) His second pearl of wisdom – “Press in while we are Processing Pain. Usually the pain of failure and disappointment. This takes courage! Most people simply lack this emotional quotient. The first failure they experience, the first disappointment they come across and they give up.
I get the persistence point that Alan makes but he goes much further. “Ratchet up the risk”, “Turn into the Skid” he would say. Ok, you failed here, why not really put yourself out there and raise the stakes? Go public? Gather a crowd?
Or spiritually astute?
Whether this makes us more desperate and dependent on God, or whether God loves to see faith being expressed, or a combination of the two, I don’t know, but I have definitely seen it work – faith is spelt…
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