Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Modern-Day Movings of God's Spirit

A friend of a friend blogs about her recent healing by God. I believe her story. I've witnessed similar things myself, even though I'm assured at church that such things don't happen in the modern day, or if they do, that they are psychosomatic "acts pf providence" rather than miracles.

Who cares what label you give them? What matters is, does God get the glory? My church's attitude leads to giving "nature" the glory (while giving lip-service to God); I think we should praise YHWH for healings.

This same church also assures me that God does not act directly in our lives any more by providing modern-day prophecy, etc. As I read the New Testament with a new set of eyes, allowing me to see layers of meaning to which I've previously been blind (and making me realize that I most likely am currently blind to even deeper layers, which hopefully the Lord will reveal to me in the future), I'm somewhat stunned, and quite saddened, to realize that my former way of reading the scriptures (as is common still with the members of my local church), results in a trimming away here, a snipping off there, of more and more of the New Testament, discarding those passages as applying in the first century but not in the modern day. For example, look at Ephesians 1:17-18 (NIV, 'cause it's easy to understand, but it says the same thing in the half-dozen versions I checked, including the venerable King James Version):
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints....
Paul constantly prayed that the Christians would "supernaturally" be given the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, and that their spiritual eyes would be allowed to see.

The doctrine I grew up with, and to which I am still being exposed, insists that this type of revelation from God may have happened supernaturally during the lifetimes of the apostles and shortly thereafter, but now only occurs via normal, non-supernatural absorption of God's word into our minds.

Thus we've trimmed and snipped the word of God to fit our paradigms (which paradigms, I might add, have been arrived at by (fallen) human logic, not by clear teachings from the scriptures).

Am I saying that modern-day miracles occur?

No, not necessarily. What I'm saying is that we need to be open to the possibility that our dearly-held paradigms might be unscriptural. And, that when good things happen, no matter what label we give to those things, give glory to God for them.

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