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A Christian’s life is like that–naturally supernatural.
Peter found that out one memorable night. After watching five loaves of ordinary bread and two fish become enough for over 5000 people, he saw his Master walking on rough seas. Hearing Jesus bid them to take heart and not be afraid, Peter asks for confirmation. So Jesus calls him and Peter steps out into a perilous situation and begins to go to him. It was only by the power of God working against natural forces that Peter keep his feet for a short way, until, seeing the power of the elements, his heart quailed. Then God allowed him to begin to succumb to the natural forces of gravity, wind, and water. In reply to Peter’s cry of faith, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately lifted him up and restored him to more normal circumstances, bringing him into the boat with the others. But even there, Peter was just as dependent upon God to uphold him as he was when he was standing on the surface of the Sea of Galilee. (You can see the whole story in Matthew 14:13-33.)
This reminds me of Jesus’ very simple reply to the Pharisees on one occasion: Is it easier to forgive this man’s sins or to cause him to walk? Both require the power of God working outside of and against natural forces. (Matthew 9:1-7)
God does not need natural forces to keep us alive. Indeed, we are kept in existance by the word of his power every second–regardless of outward circumstances. It doesn’t matter what our situations are–it doesn’t matter if we are literally or figuratively stuck between a rock and a hard place–God keeps us. Even as our very coming to life in salvation is dependent upon the direct activity of the Spirit, so is every detail of our daily existence. Everything is in his hands–why is it so difficult for us to really believe that God is doing something supernatural in our lives? Is it because we are all autonomous empiricists at heart? That self-sufficient pride is the root of our fear, as it was of Peter’s, to trust our Father and God who is already doing so much for us.
But the same power that raised Christ from the dead is the power that is now at work in us. (Ephesians 1:19-20) Let us not forget this. We need not fear anything in life because the same God who worked against nature to enable Peter walk on the water and then saved him when he doubted is the same God who has called us. For his name’s sake, he will preserve us and save us with that same power with which he raised up our Lord from the dead.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)