“Because it’s Tuesday..”
The phrase blesses me and challenges me to the core; always. I’ll explain.
Remember when Jesus was talking to His disciples He said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
I’ve been a follower of Jesus for decades and spent much of my life among those who profess to know Him and believe in His teaching. But we’ve done plenty, if not most things, without Him. Of course we believe, but when all is said and done, I/we have a tendency to focus on ourselves and our abilities (or lack thereof) when it comes to ‘doing’.
To be blunt, we’ve gutted the ‘supernatural’ out of most of Christianity and have settled for religion, commandments, good behavior, rational thinking, cultural and political awareness, science, and the list goes on. By supernatural I mean, the manifest presence of God that defies our explanation while making a significant difference on earth as in heaven. As Jesus did when he walked in the flesh among us. The supernatural in Him was manifest in healing, courage, wisdom, miracles, unselfish love as a life laid down serving others, freedom from the status quo, unmasking religious hypocrisy (not so much with pointed fingers but a demonstration of the alternative), and authenticity. He was unashamed to confess that apart from His Father he could do nothing.
The ’Christian’ world I’ve lived and worked in has been strong on doctrine. Every denomination exists because of doctrinal hair-splitting (mostly). We take offense at the slightest thing. We do or don’t believe in tongues, healing, various expressions of worship, and another endless list unfolds. We use ourselves (our opinion and experience thus far) as the beginning of understanding. We easily lose the adventurous humility of exploring ‘the more’ that God may have for us; provided we don’t insist on settling for our own understanding, our own strength, and our own insight into what we can or cannot do.
A common illustration of our silliness is described by Steve Backland (Igniting Hope Ministry) in one of his blogs recently:
What would happen if a baby determined its future from its past? What if they said, “I’ve never walked before, so I am not a walker. And when I tried to walk, it was a struggle, so this proves I do not have the gift of walking. Because if I had the gift of walking, it would not be so difficult to learn to walk.” This sounds ridiculous, but this is how I thought in many different areas of my life.
Those who succeed most also seem to fail most. Toddlers fall down much more, at first, than they take forward steps in their attempt to be able to walk. Even though this is true, they do not quit or create an identity belief from their apparent failure in walking. They understand they cannot get their identity from their past, they get it from their parents. “I am made in their image. I AM a walker, and I will walk.”
Religion sifts through teachings and catalogues them into rules and behaviors, which if we adhere to, will make us acceptable before God. It’s called living from earth to heaven and is the common practice of most world religions; very burdensome and without much power or joy.
Jesus invited us to follow Him and live from Heaven to earth. Meaning that a relationship with God is a gift offered by God to us through Jesus who brought revelation and supernatural power with Him. Revelation is about recognizing the meaning and purpose of life because of Jesus life death and resurrection. An insight I could not logically work out without help from Him. Power to live was released through the forgiveness of sin when Jesus died on the Cross and was resurrected on the Third Day.
That statement is unbelievable if one is stuck in human thinking without revelation. It’s also unbelievable if I cannot acknowledge myself as needing forgiveness and freedom from sin (living as if I am God and the center of the universe). And knowledge about Jesus and His teaching without the power of His Spirit, is futile and impossible.
Living supernaturally is when the toddler, constantly taking tumbles, learns to walk under the encouraging presence of a parent. The learning is filled with laughter, hugs, encouragement, and a hand in hand support. It’s fun, it’s a process, it’s experiential, and it’s transformative.
Too many of us pray that God will cause us to walk without having to go through the process of failing; so we stay stuck or grow bitter. Take a risk, take a first step, and see what happens. Pride closes the door that Jesus will lead you through if you step out in faith; teachable and humble. One day the toddler will have grown to a stage where it cannot remember life not walking alone.
Living from heaven to earth means we are no longer victims of our circumstances and defined by them. We get to choose whether we’re a toddler learning to walk in a new area, or not.
A favorite prophetic teacher of mine, Graham Cooke (https://brilliantperspectives.com/) related a time when a man approached him during a conference and said:
“I hate you, I hate your teaching, and you’re my enemy.”
“No you’re not,” Graham replied with a smile.
“Yes I am,” snarled the man. “I hate you, I hate your teaching, and I’m your enemy.”
“No you’re not,” Graham repeated.
“Exasperated the man insisted, “Yes I am!”
“No you’re not.”
“Why?” the man asked with voice raised.
“Because it’s Tuesday,” Graham said, “And I don’t make enemies on Tuesdays, or any other day for that matter.”
Living supernaturally, from heaven to earth, is our choice to implement as we are conscious of the revelation of Jesus and His power living in us. Without Him we make enemies every day of the week, we can’t help ourselves. We don’t even get to ‘lift off’ doing what comes naturally. The vast majority of followers of Jesus are slightly better behaved versions of everyone around them (maybe) – same agendas, same offenses, same goals, same calendar, same love of money and status. No risk, sacrifice, or humble dependence and interdependence. To venture into the supernatural and grow is impossible without the desire of a toddler, the encouragement of a parent, the safety to fall, the laughter to get up, and the celebration of another step forward.
If you can see Him, use challenge and ‘de-feet’ to toddle into breakthrough and victory, just because it’s Wednesday. It’s not about perfection after the first time of trying, its about stepping out and believing, in the presence of mentors, in order to become what at present seems impossible.
Apart from Him, we can do nothing extraordinary.
Need someone to talk to, listen, be encouraged to navigate your present and your future? Go to Little Mountain Counselling to find out more. Not a hopeless end, but endless hope.