377. Naturally Supernatural

Hebrews 12:18 NLT  You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai.
Hebrews 12:21 NKJV  And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I AM EXCEEDINGLY AFRAID AND TREMBLING.”)
Hebrews 12:22-24 NKJV  But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,  (23)  to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,  (24)  to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

There are things in the natural that have frightened me.  There are situations of genuine & perceived peril I’ve been in that were horrifying.  Still, I cannot imagine the hiking up an ominous mountain surrounded by a dark cloud with a horrible storm, lighting and fire engulfing it.  Moses was right to be, “exceedingly afraid & trembling” as he trekked up the mountain with Joshua to meet with the Lord God of Israel.  It was a truly “awesome” experience.  But though God has not changed and is still as AWESOME as ever our relationship with Him has.

No longer do we approach God like Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin-man, Cowardly Lion, & Toto approached the Wizard of Oz.  Instead we come to Him and by the Spirit dwell and commune with Him in a new and precious way.  The NLT case in Hebrews 12:23 that, “(We) have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. (We) have come to God Himself, who is the judge over all things. (We) have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect.

A lot has changed from Exodus to Hebrews.  1) The place we meet and commune is different.  It was the ominous and scary mountain, where we venture alone or with one other to meet Him; Now it is to an incredible and divine city, filled with precious saints, angelic beings, and an eternal party (festal gathering, Weymouth New Testament).  2) Our relationship with God has changed and become more intimate (from the all mighty creator to our FATHER God who is the almighty creator.)  3) Our nature has changed (no longer unrighteous sinners, but righteous joint-heirs with Christ).

This also means that in all natural circumstances we can overcome fear.  You see by the Spirit of God we can constantly dwell in this place of Mt. Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem while still being physically on the earth.  Ephesians 2:6 tells us that we are simultaneously here on earth and seated with Christ in heavenly places.  How is this possible?  Through the Holy Spirit who dwells with us, in us, and is ever present in Heaven too.  Because of where we dwell by and in the Spirit, even when in a naturally scary place we are in the comfort and divine presence of God.  When we tap into that reality and remind ourselves of it when in a fearful circumstance we don’t have to fear, because we know Heaven is with us, our Father is near, and we are walking in a position of authority as joint heirs with Christ.  The reality of all of Heaven with us reminds us to fear not.  You are naturally supernatural.

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346. Supernatural Boldness

Acts 2:43 NKJV  Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.

A great reverence and awe fell upon this entire community as 3,000 people gladly received Jesus as their Lord, were baptized, and devoutly continued to follow the teachings of the Apostles.  It was just a few weeks before that many of these same people had been shouting “crucify Him” and now they have believed on Him as Messiah.  The verse records that a great many wonders and signs were now also being done through the Apostles of Jesus.  Now notice the first word in this verse. It says “then”.

Before this great reverential fear took hold of the community, before these many signs and wonders were done, before these 3,000 people were saved and baptized, Peter overcame fear.  On the day of Pentecost Peter, who 7 weeks prior had denied even knowing Jesus when inquired by a lowly servant girl (Luke 22:54), stands up with the other apostles and addresses a large crowd that had gathered after hearing the sound of a rushing mighty wind (Acts 2:2,6) and then hears the disciples off Jesus who were in the upper room all speaking and praising God in many different languages not previously known to them.  Something happened to Peter.  A few things actually.

The first thing to note is that Peter had been born-again.  Peter had seen and spent 40 days with Jesus after His death, burial, and subsequent resurrection.  Peter knew Jesus was alive from the dead and determined to follow the risen Lord (John 21:1-10, Romans 10:9-10, Acts 1:3).

Peter also received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).  This new encounter and relationship with the Spirit of God not only empowered Peter and the others for the supernatural ministry that would follow, but also brought an increased confidence & boldness through this encounter that Jesus he would, “receive power” through to “be witnesses to Me (Jesus)” throughout the world (Acts 1:8).

Thirdly, Peter wasn’t standing alone.  Although there would be times he might be physically alone in the future, this day he had 119 of his closest friends and supporters nearby.  Acts 2:14 says that as he stood to address the crowd and explain to them what they were seeing and hearing the other 11 apostles (original 10 and Matthias chosen to replace Judas) stood up with him.  It is easier to be courageous when you have support.

All these things added to the boldness of Peter as he ministered to the multitudes that day.  He had received the fearless nature of Christ through the New Birth.  He had received supernatural power and boldness through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  And he had a core group of people that were standing with and supporting him.  He fearlessly stepped out to proclaim the Gospel of Christ and explain the move of the Spirit, “THEN” a holy fear came upon everyone in Jerusalem.  You too can be bold and live fearless.  Be born-again giving your life to Christ.  Pray for and receive the baptism in the Spirit (Luke 11:9-13).  Congregate with other like-minded Believers that will encourage you to step out in faith and be the light you are.  Then stand up and be bold for Christ, who knows… maybe a holy fear will fall on your community too.