Things are changing around here. Slowly but surely. God is redirecting my words and thus, this blog. Yet despite this, I’ve had a difficult time writing.
But, God keeps nudging me…forward. Except that much of what I used to write is no longer how I want to write, or what I want to write.
I sat the other day looking through my blog post ideas, a seemingly endless list of notes I’ve jotted down. While scrolling my post ideas I I found a draft titled “Supernatural Everyday.”
It got me thinking. I have to admit, I’ve been surprised by your reactions to my recent posts. I suppose I shouldn’t be. Perhaps I didn’t give you guys enough credit. Perhaps I underestimated you.
For that, I’m sorry.
But, I am thankful that the threshold has been crossed–that door has been flung wide open. Cliche as it is, there’s no going back.
Because what I have come to realize, no, what I’ve come to know, is that there is no such thing as the supernatural.
People either whisper this word or refuse to speak it. The “supernatural”, the spooky-spookiness of God. God the vodoo doctor. God the charlatan.
And what I’ve also come to know is that they are afraid. Fear feeds their belly. They would rather wrap themselves up in theology, or intellectualism, or feel-good feelings than be surrounded and cloaked by the Living God. They would rather dismiss or ignore that which alludes them, then press in and ask of the Father for that which is available.
So, if you want it…ASK.
If you want to experience the things of God, the fullness of spiritual life, the Holy Spirit moving freely, ask. If you want to see miracles, sight restored, the sick healed, demons cast out, the dead rise, ask. If you are desirous or even just curious about the Spirit, words of knowledge, tongues, prophesy, and the like, simply ask.
Either we can be afraid of what we do not know or we can believe the words of God and ask…
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
And asking should be easy…
Because there is no such thing as the supernatural. There is only that which is natural to God.
God is not bound by our expectations. He does not yield to our desires, nor is He constricted by our limitations. He does not answer to the laws of nature or the rules of man, for He existed before them and exists apart from them. “He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing.” Job 26:7.
“To admit that there is One who lies beyond us, who exists outside of all our categories, who will not be dismissed with a name, who will not appear before the bar of our reason, nor submit to our curious inquiries: this requires a great deal of humility, more than most of us possess, so we save face by thinking God down to our level, or at least down to where we can manage Him.” –A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy
Yet, it is natural, meaning it is the character of God, to perform miracles, to heal the sick, and bind up the broken-hearted. It is natural, meaning that through these acts, God can and has, chosen to reveal Himself to us.
As Tozer continues to explain,”…He is everywhere while He is nowhere, for ”where” has to do with matter and space, and God is independent of both. He is unaffected by time or motion, is wholly self-dependent and owes nothing to the worlds His hands have made.”
This is our God, however, whom we may know and beseech and ask of because of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus allows us to ask for the natural things of God. The Holy Spirit empowers us to participate where and when God is moving. It may all seem “supernatural” to us, but it is natural to the Lord. So, I beg you to ask…and see what happens.
38 thoughts on “There’s No Such Thing as “Supernatural””
“God is not bound by our expectations. He does not yield to our desires, nor is He constricted by our limitations. He does not answer to the laws of nature or the rules of man, for He existed before them and exists apart from them.” -Thank you, Nicole, for encouraging me to ask for the impossible, knowing that impossible does not exist with God.
I am praying for my immigration papers to come through in the next 15 days, so I can legally live and work in the U.S. as a religious worker. The process has been slow, frustrating, and the source of much unwanted anxiety. But I know God can exceed all my expectations.
Lord, I pray that You would open the way and allow John to live and work here legally. I pray that you would remove any obstacle or hinderance that might prevent this from happening. I ask that Your favor be upon him and that you would sustain John with peace and trust as he waits on You.
In Jesus name. Amen.
I’ve been coming to this realization, myself, lately.
Don’t tease me…
How’s it ging? What realizations? Come on, spill the beans.
Great blog post. We are told in the Word that we will heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out devils. We are told we’d speak with new tongues. I don’t know why that is so scary when it’s plain as day in the Word. I love the “supernatural” and have found that when I became willing to receive the supernatural, and discovered who I was in Christ, and what we’ve all been called, and empowered, to do because of Him, I began seeing more of the “supernatural” in my life. Great post.
The words “ordinary” and “extraordinary” are much like “natural” and “supernatural.” They attempt to draw lines and boundaries where none actually exist. “Ordinary” used to refer to the duties of the ordained, particularly of bishops. During the era of the reformation, secularism was on a rise and the meaning of that word changed.
A new mindset entered the world in which we relegated things of the spirit to a second storey of the universe. God became “the man upstairs” and when the floor boards creak above our heads, we get excited and shout “hallelujah!” because some “supernatural” event occurred. (Fr Stephen Freeman writes brilliantly about this).
Everything in existence owes its existence to God being within it, sustaining it and holding it together. That includes us, the angels, and even Satan’s existence is owed to God holding him into being.
In regards to your final questions, God has already exceeded my expectations. I just pray that He opens my eyes to see more fully that we live in a one storey universe in which He is “everywhere present and filling all things.”
“Ask, and it will be given to you.” Oh, how I have struggled with this verse. There are things that I *have* asked for, earnestly, and God has not given them. They aren’t superficial things like a shiny new car, either. I asked, fully believing in God’s power, that my 29-year-old sister be healed after a car accident — and she died. I’ve been asking God for years for a soul-friend, and just as I thought I’d found one, she had to move away under somewhat tragic circumstances.
I know that God isn’t Santa Claus; He doesn’t give us everything we ask for; some of it wouldn’t be good for us. But how am I to think of that verse, “Ask and it will be given to you,” when I have asked for such things as healing and friendship, and they are withheld?
I’m not saying God has never answered. I have a family member who nearly died –“should” have died — or at least been severely impaired, about 25 years ago, and he had some kind of encounter with God in that hospital room which he could never quite articulate. He recovered and is still alive and kicking and ornery as ever. I *know* God has healing power beyond what we consider “natural.” I also know God doesn’t always, or even usually, in my experience, give it when asked. But I keep asking, and I keep struggling with that verse.
Yeah, I have a hard time with this verse, too. . . actually, to put it more bluntly, it really bugs me. I have a hard time believing it.
Like you said, I’m not asking for the newest thing, or a shiny car. . .but maybe I’m just being impatient. I did pray for a friend, and it took me three years after many failures, thinking that certain people were “it,” to get that friend. And she is truly a blessing, there are some people that really change your life; people who. . . without them, you wouldn’t be where you are.
God even gave me a way out of of my dysfunctional/borderline abusive “home.” Unfortunately, it had to be through losing my job, and being literally penniless for nearly three months, but. . . in hindsight I realize that I never would’ve left that toxic environment if I wouldn’t have lost my job.
And see, when I hear stories of people not being healed despite all the asking and constant prayer, that makes it hard for me to trust God. I read the verse about Him having the hairs on our heads numbered, and about how he cares for the sparrows, and it seems contradictory. . . I mean, people starve everyday. That alone makes me feel guilty for asking for things like a job (which I do not currently have) . . .
. . .yeah, I understand your frustration. And I’m not sure what to do either. I’m glad that you brought up your experiences, because it’s not often I find others who will talk about their frustration with God.
I empathize with your struggles and questions. Much of what you raise here too, however, calls into question the character of God…a whole ‘nother can of worms.
You riase the seemingly apparent contradiction between a Just God and a Merciful God. How can He know the hairs on our head and still let children starve? It’s a basic theological question and an important one.
To be clear, I can’t write everything I’d like to write here, nor am I theologian. But I will say this, the more we understand the true nature of God, the more we see these so-called contradictions as non-existent.
Blaming God for the suffering in the world is an error in thinking. God does not cause suffering. Him choosing not to snap His fingers and end all suffering is also not the same as Him *causing* suffering either.
We, humankind, are more responsible for the starving children in the world than God. There is more than enough food to feed every person in the world. There are not however, enough good men and good governments to distribute and supply this food to the people who so desperately need it.
God has chosen to create a people who can exercise free-will and in doing so, we witness suffering and pain. Were God to squash our free-will and override it, well then, we would have a whole different kind of humankind.
Also, please read my response to Erin. I share with her some of my own realizations in struggling with God not answering my prayers. All that to say, I’m glad too that you are able to share your frustrations about God. We have to be able to wrestle and I believe He honors this.
I struggle with that verse too. A lot. I have asked G-d, begged, G-d, pleaded with G-d for healing – and it hasn’t come. I’ve seen others around me healed in miraculous ways, I’ve seen others prosper, yet I wait.
And it’s hard. It’s really hard. I know G-d can do it, but for some reason he is choosing not to. So I struggle with the verse “ask and it shall be given”. It’s hard to believe.
My heart breaks to read about your loss and hurt–the things you beseeched the Lord for. But, as you hinted at, it is not that the answers did not come, but that they were not the things you asked for.
This hurts. I have been there myself many times–pleading with God for a specific answer only to have that wish never materialize. I have questioned God, been angry at God, resented God.
And I don’t have some tidy, perfect answer for you. I struggle with this verse too, when it comes to asking for the personal things that I desire. But what I have learned in the last few years is a few things:
I need to keep asking. This sounds cliche, but it is so true, God’s timing is not our own. We do not snap our fingers and have Him jump to it. I prayed too for a “soul friend” for about 4 years. I’d say it took another 3 years before I had friends that I would consider sisters.
His silence is not punishment. God choosing to be quiet or not answer in the way that I expect does not mean He is punishing me or that I’ve done something wrong. It means He is being silent and God does NOTHING without purpose.
He is worthy. Despite what He does or doesn’t do, He is still worthy. God still deserves my praise, even if it through tears and frustration, pain and disappointment.
My will aligns with His will. More and more, the closer I am to Jesus, the more I abide in Him, and am in step with the Holy SPirit, the more and more my will becomes His will. My prayers become His prayers, my dreams His dreams.
Praying for you, friend, that God would bring the relationship you are longing for, but also that you would grow in hope and faith to ask for what you desire, aligning your will with His in the process.
I know many who have had an issue with this verse, me included. Let me offer my discoveries about this and other verses that are spoken often with a misunderstanding of the meaning or context of the verse. If we examine the full context of this verse we see that our hearts have to right with God, we need the “mind of Christ” to fully be able to ask and receive fully from God. Now this does not mean that we will not receive when we ask for material things, God is our father and like our earthly fathers he enjoys blessing us. This also doesn’t mean that when we are asking for the “right reasons” or with the “right heart” we will receive what we ask. This is where things go a bit on the uncomfortable side.
Let’s look at Job first and then I will talk about my own experience. The story of Job is one that is widely misunderstood. The story is not about the faith of Job, nor is it actually about the massive losses either. The story is actaully about the Glory of God being shown through a faithful servant who is committed to God for reasons that go beyond possessions, either material or family. Even though we can look at the story and see the great faith of Job, that actaully waivers a bit in the middle of it, we can really see that this is actaully a glimps into the mind and nature of God and our enemy, Satan. It shows us many things there, bt that’s not what we are talking about. Here the point is Job was a righteous man, and obedient servant “doing all the right things”, yet experienced losses and suffering that were terribly harsh, all for the sake of proving Satan’s weakness and God’s Glory. Job never did get his family back, he most likely never recovered form that loss. You can talk to parents who have lost children and even when they end up having more there is always the pain of the loss with the, for the rest of their life. Job was no different. Remember also that Job never was told, not did he ever understand why the things that happened to him did. He simply had to live his life and go to his grave never understanding the question “why”..
Now to bring this into focus for us here, let me explain a little about me. I am a graphic artist and animator. I write, teach and have worked in some really neat places in my lifetime. However, after working at a company for close to ten years I was let go after the company was bought for the third time and found myself unemployed. This went on for the next four years. To this day I have yet to find a position that will support my family. We are still living with relatives and just barely surviving. In the middle of this I had a very successful young adult ministry at our church and had been feeling God’s call to ministry full-time. So, stepping out on faith we left our church to form our own. We got it off the ground and withing two oaths it dissolved for reasons too numourous to count. Was I doing the wrong thing? Did I hear god wrong? What happened? Well, in the midst of all of this, one night I was sitting on my own and praying very hard, asking over and over, why, why? What is it I am supposed to be learning, what is it I did wrong? Everything I asked I was imply trying to figure out what it is I needed to do to change things. The a dear friend of mine told me that he felt God leading him to tell me something and he had not wanted to. I told him to never refuse to do that, be obedient, regardless of the message. Well. Here is what he said to me. “God said that only in your arrogance would you assume all of this is about you! What about the young man who knows you are a Christian and is sitting on the fence waiting to see what this life is all about! What will you show him about me? Will you show him I am faithful. That your faith is strong and worth the struggle, or will you show him that commitment to me is only based upon what is obtained or how things go with us?” To say the least I was crushed. I sat in a corner and sucked dust for a while. I begged for forgiveness. I will tell your that I have still had times when things have gotten incredibly difficult and I have been tempted to ask why again. I just know this…there is a purpose that is greater than me. God’s glory is worth whatever may come. I know this is not even easy to say, much less live, and I do struggle for time to time with this. But know that we have the hope of Heaven, we have the assurance that God is working all things for our good. I can not promise things will get easier, but I can say that God will bring us all through it. He doesn’t promise to give us everything we ask for.
One thing about asking. A very wise man told me that one can tell the difference between someone asking for something and telling someone to give them something. You see, the one truly asking will accept “no” as a viable answer, the one telling someone to give the, something will not! Ouch, the first time I heard that I knew I had to repent! LOL!
I hope this has helped so,e with this very touchy subject. Nicole, thank you for your honesty on this subject, I pray you will continue to express the Godly wisdom that comes from Him.
I do believe in the supernatural, but I think I define it a little different from you. It’s not something which is unnatural to God. It is simply that which goes beyond the observable, testable, repeatable laws of nature—super (above or beyond) + natural (nature).
It’s funny that you should post this now, because I actually have a post already written for my blog on why I do believe in the supernatural. I’m planning for it to go up on Friday.
Scratch that. The post I referred to should go up next week.
I’ll check it out! Thanks for sharing.
You got me thinking. And I like that.
Ha! I like that too.
the term ‘mystic’ used to make me as comfortable as someone with a rash in private place while in a public place. but ‘in’ grace I have some to ‘see’ that this term helps to express the dynamic, amazing, creative and artistic Christ that surrounds us all, and lives within us all.
there is a revolution underway, one not of man, but through man, one that upsets the tables of our belief ‘systems’ much like Jesus overturning the tables at the temple.
His desire is to be expressed ‘in’ and through us all accomplished ‘in’ His Love.
Lookin forward to your upcoming posts!
Oh, Nicole. This challenges me. To answer your questions at the end: yes and yes. I believe in the “supernatural” and yet it is simultaneously scary to me. And, to be frank, it’s because of my own unbelief. I have often felt like the father in Mark 9– “I believe; help my unbelief!” I want to see the “supernatural”, experience it firsthand. I think part of my fear is that I’ll ask and I won’t see it… and there’s the unbelief. But I think my fear also comes because I know that there has been so much abuse and damage done in the name of Jesus regarding the “supernatural”. I think of gold dust, and gold teeth, and faithful men and women who love Jesus being told they’re not being healed or not receiving those things because they don’t have enough faith, or because there must be hidden sin in their lives. So yeah, it scares me to a point. I don’t want to deny what I know God can do simply because others have abused it (such is the case with everything, not just the “supernatural”, of course). But I have a lot of questions and fears, honestly. This post encourages me to go to the only One who can truly answer those questions and quiet those fears…
PRAISE GOD FOR YOUR POST NICOLE!!! I was just crying out to God about this last night. God has been showing me His power in healing. Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with mono and now I have strep throat. The pain is so bad that I’ve been losing sleep. Out of tiredness and frustration, I cried out to God to take away the pain. Laying in bed, I asked God to heal me and to show His healing power to me. The doubt is gone, I believe He will heal me! It’s so awesome how God’s presence is so real. He hasn’t taken away the fleshly pain yet, but He has given me peace in believing :) I asked of Him, now I wait to see how He answers.
Thank you for your words and for following God’s leading in your blog.
Just like all things, we humans are naturally inclined to try and surround and hold captive anything, whether it be the world around us or in this case God, by using the term ‘supernatural’ it is just one of humanity’s many boxes to put things in and helps out limited intellects get some sort of focus.
I have experienced times when God did something for me that was way outside what we would call the laws of nature – He did it because He wanted to show me He is all powerful whilst at the same time being personal – To this day I cannot explain what happened – I am just compelled to believe that He did it
I don’t know…. I’ve come to accept that however. That there is a lot I don’t know, and God will reveal it to me in His time, though that may not be in this life.
I know He CAN do anything. But I also know that He hasn’t done some things that my family prays and literally begs God for. Like finding my missing brother, or healing my ill husband. So there are moments when knowing He can makes me feel unworthy, like He has chosen not to and it must be me coming up short. But I know that isn’t true, and know that there are reasons I can’t see and can’t fathom, and He loves me as much as the person that He allows to have many fewer troubles.
But wow that’s hard, and I’d rather have all the answers. Or at least the answers to my most pressing questions.
Nicole – this is the kind of post that keeps me reading your blog. :) I’m glad to be back home so I can catch up on my reading.
Thank you, Matt. I so appreciate your support of this here little blog.
There is no going back. Like knowing that once you have tasted the goodness of The Spirit and the Truth of God our Father, there is no turning back, so it goes today with what is happening in Arizona.
I talked with your covenant husband and he filled me in on some of the happenings during Prism. Boom. Looking forward to coming down in March 2014. :)
Sons of God. The Holy Spirit. One meeting. Are you kidding me?
I love this! It seems to silly doesn’t it, of course God is supernatural… isn’t that kind of the whole point of being GOD? You can do anything, anytime, anywhere – you have no measly human borders? I always grew up believing that the God of the OT and NT was the same God as today, until I was taught by man (the church none the less) otherwise! But thankfully He has proven them wrong to me, many times. Praise Him, He is big, great, awesome and powerful! Keep on writing about the “natural to God”!
HA!! what is supernatural for is natural for God!! make sense to me
Very well said! Love to see someone living in the Living Word! :) Thank you for sharing. ~Mike
I’ve been loving the words which have been pouring out of you lately. (Not that I haven’t always). But there is something important about what you are saying just now. These are the things that we whisper about when we are sure we are safe, when they are, as you say, perfectly natural to God.
I’ve been listening to God lately, and He has challenged me to stop making assumptions about how “normal” my life will be. It’s had me crying, and laughing and calling people to read scripture aloud (also crying). This is everyday life with God.
I am nervous about what is ahead, and what He is asking me to do, but I can’t argue with the way that He moves. He moves roadblocks right away.
Please keep writing these honest words. We need to walk alongside one another as we listen to God and act accordingly.
Favorite line: “Because there is no such thing as the supernatural. There is only that which is natural to God.”
You did a great job explaining this concept.
I love the turn your blog has taken, Nicole. You clearly are approaching it both boldly and with fear and trembling. How can you share rationally what seems so irrational but is also more real than what most call “reality”? You balance it well.
Can’t wait to hear more stories of how God is using you and your family.
Also I still like the word “supernatural”. Break it down to it’s component parts you get super and natural. More than natural, greater than. Super.
I just love this. Such a perfect way to put it. The very nature (character) of God is above and outside of our nature and the nature of this world. Although, on one minor point… Jesus himself warns against seeking after signs and wonders (Matthew 12:39) as opposed to seeking after the face and Spirit of God. I love to see God at work in any way he chooses to reveal, but for my own heart not to stray, I always have to remind myself that God himself is my end. He is never my means for something else. But He provides so abundantly and pours out more grace and blessing even in the midst of trouble than I could ever hope for apart from him! He gives such good gifts, but He himself is the best one.
@Nicole awesome one,thank you for sharing! God Bless You!
You write beautifully, Nicole.
God speaks all the time, in big ways and small ways. He heals. We all know that. Sometimes He just lifts the wind and a swirls it around, to say hi.
After He claimed me 6 years ago, in a Jerusalem church where, as a Jew, I wasn’t supposed to be, a series of miracles unfolded. He took over my travelling companion’s camera and replaced her shots inside that church with tongues of golden flame.
She went in search of answers and found a Persian story rug with the likenesses of the two of us on it (for real!). The owners of the rug sent it to her in Canada.
Wanting to see the rug, I traveled from my native England to Canada. There she introduced me to her brother. It was love at first sight.
God restored me to happiness from broken when He claimed me and led me to a new husband of faith. I am so grateful.
I haven’t read your blog in a while. Thanks for your faithfulness to honest and bold truth. How refreshing.
The supernatural is relating to the miraculous which is not subject to the laws of physics, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature. What we see every day in the things of God is, or should be natural for us as Christians. But we have to remember miracles are for the unbeliever, not the believer. That’s why it’s supernatural.
Might it be better to describe these “supernatural” events as “Divine” events? Something to indicate that they are not of human origin or capability, but rather are divinely initiated and fulfilled beyond our imagination. Eph 3:20 – “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
So true. I guess for me the biggest one is that He is capable of giving me the desires of my heart. Namely, my passion for music, culture and academics. I really struggle to wholly believe that I can wholeheartedly walk with God as Christ did. In today’s world, it seems impossible on all levels!!! But you are right. He is a God who created me to be wholly and blameless in His sight. So no matter how much I sin, feel broken-hearted and like a failure, He enable me to walk with Him and grant me the desires of my heart. Thank you for reminding me that God can and does exceed all my expectations!