THE SPECTACULAR AND THE SUPERNATURAL 2
(week 41, 2001)
In our article last week we saw that revelation through the written Word is more authoritative though not as spectacular as that through visions, dreams or personal prophecies.
The Prophetic Ministries of Joseph and Daniel Compared with Elijah and Elisha
Contrasting the prophetic ministries of Joseph and Daniel with Elijah and Elisha gives us further insight into how the supernatural dealings, though not very spectacular, may be more powerful than the spectacular.
It is clear that the ministries of Daniel and Joseph were not as spectacular as that of Elijah and Elisha. However the impact of the ministries of Joseph and Daniel on the history and destiny of Israel were far more profound than that of Elijah and Elisha.
The impact of the miracles in Elijah and Elisha’s ministries were localized to Israel and a few of the surrounding nations, like Syria and to the times in which they lived.
In contrast, the impact, of the revelations and outworkings of the same, given to Joseph and Daniel, had a profound effect on the history and destiny of not only Israel but also the whole world. Furthermore the effect of these revelations was not localized to the times in which Joseph and Daniel lived but were still being felt centuries after they had passed from the scene.
Of course, the spectacular ministries of Elijah and Elisha still have impact on us today since they are recorded in scripture, however the content and effect of the miracles they performed, though more spectacular than those of Joseph and Daniel, were not as far reaching in geographical scope and in historical time, as those of Joseph and Daniel.
This again shows that the supernatural, which God revealed through dreams to Joseph (since there was no written Word in his time) and through the written Word and dreams and visions to Daniel, though not as spectacular as Elijah and Elisha’s raising the dead or calling fire from heaven, had greater impact concerning the purpose of God for Israel and the church.
Divine Protection by Angels and Men
Paul’s deliverance from the Jews in Jerusalem as recorded in Acts 22 and 23 gives us another example of the supernatural, which is powerful without being spectacular.
Acts 22:22-30 (KJV): And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live. And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air, The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him. And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned? When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman. Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born. Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him. On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.
Here Paul is delivered and protected by God from scourging, simply by saying he was a Roman citizen. Even though this looks so simple we must realise that it was a supernatural deliverance, by the hand of the Roman captain. God ruling in the affairs of men moved upon the heart of the Roman captain to deliver Paul.
Furthermore in Acts 23:12-24 we read,
Acts 23:12-24 (KJV): And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy. And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul. Now therefore ye with the council signify to the chief captain that he bring him down unto you to morrow, as though ye would inquire something more perfectly concerning him: and we, or ever he come near, are ready to kill him. And when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul. Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, Bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him. So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee. Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, What is that thou hast to tell me? And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would inquire somewhat of him more perfectly. But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee. So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me. And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night; And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.
Here again his sister’s son and the Roman chief captain deliver Paul. God moving in the affairs of men, moves supernaturally causing Paul’s sister’s son to hear of plan to kill him; the captain to give favour to Paul to cause the young man to have access to Paul; and finally to cause the captain to believe what the young man said and take appropriate action.
This divine protection of Paul by God was no less supernatural, but much less spectacular, than that of Peter in Acts 12 when an angel was in manifestation to release Peter from jail and imminent execution. In fact in Paul’s case angels were also involved in the circumstances surrounding Paul’s protection, only that they were not in visible manifestation (for more details see our article on Ministry of Angels).
The majority of God’s supernatural interventions in our lives are like this: effective though not spectacular. We need to appreciate them and recognize that they are supernatural. In fact, angels execute them only that we do not see them. It is only occasionally that God allows us to see the mighty angels behind the scenes in the supernatural provisions He makes for us. Imagine what would happen if you saw into the spirit realm everyday seeing all the devil was doing and all your angels were doing: your heart would not be able to endure it. This is why God interventions in our lives are, for the most part, supernatural without being spectacular.
How to live daily in the Supernatural
To daily live in the supernatural we must have a daily supernatural prayer life.
This involves daily prayer in the spirit for at least 1 hour continuously (without interruption in the understanding), daily confession of the Word of God in faith, daily Bible reading and meditation and daily obedience. For more details see our manual for daily prayer in our article on keys of the Kingdom.
The spiritual power we generate and release from this type of daily supernatural prayer life ensures that there are daily supernatural interventions of God in our lives, even though they will not necessarily be spectacular.