Even as a teenager new in the Lord, I witnessed a Christian culture of living miracle to miracle rather than living in the realm of miracles.
Many of my peers seemed unable to simply walk in communion with the Father; their spiritual life revolved around the last miracle He did and the next miracle they needed. In between, they were in a wilderness, a valley, living for the next miracle. They didn't know Him as much as they knew what He did for them.
Come up to my ways and thoughts: Isaiah 55: 7-9
"Let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to the Lord and He will have mercy on him. And to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts says the Lord, nor are your ways my ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Many a sermon and many a Bible teacher have used these words to beat the congregation into condemnation, proclaiming how God's ways and thoughts are higher than ours, and therefore beyond knowing. But look closer: It is actually an invitation to forsake, or leave, our ways and thoughts and return to Him and His ways and thoughts. It is an invitation to live in the realm of His ways and thoughts. It is not a statement proclaiming how high and unreachable He is.
New Testament realities
The Isaiah 55 passage above highlights the difference between Old Testament thinking and New Testament thinking. If a person has a difficult time seeing the invitation to come up to the Lord's thoughts and ways in that passage, it is an indicator just how steeped their mind is in Old Testament thinking. We are to forsake our ways and thoughts and return to the Lord. That is actually NT thinking. Here is New Testament truth, so we must adjust our thinking to this:
Colossians 1: 26-27 says we have 'Christ in you'.
I Corinthians 2: 10-16 tells us we have the mind of Christ, and the Holy Spirit searching the Father on our behalf.
II Corinthians 5: 17 tells us all old things are gone, and all things are new in Christ, for we are a new creation in Him.
Galatians 5: 17-25 tells us we can leave the works of the flesh and walk in the fruit of the spirit (Spirit) - which are His ways and thoughts.
We don't have the mind of Jesus- Jesus the Man has His own mind. We have the mind of Christ. God. In us. Unlimited, able to share with us His wisdom and His will in any situation.
Romans 10: 6-10 tells us New Testament thinking isn't that we need go up to heaven to see Jesus to bring Him down to our situation so He can give us 'a word'. Nor does New Testament thinking say we need to go down to hell or to see Jesus raised again from the dead in some glorious spiritual vision so we can start over.
No, New Testament thinking says if you believe in your heart Jesus was raised from the dead, and confess Him as Lord with your mouth, you will be saved. Christ is now in you. Nothing more can be done. Nothing better could the Father do for you - He gave His Son, you now have Christ in you. That tops all.
You have Christ in you - how can you improve on that? How can you add to what Jesus did for you?
Can you add to that?
A key to walking in the realm of miracles is to know, really know so that it is deep in you, that you cannot do anything to enhance or improve upon Christ in you. Nor can you take away from the fact your spirit has already been recreated by the Holy Spirit, you are a citizen of heaven, child of the King, and you have Christ in you.
Throughout Paul's letters he told people like he did in Colossians 2:16-23, that Christ is everything:
"Therefore let no one judge you in respect to food, drink, sabbath days, feasts...and don't let anyone trick you concerning visions they say they've had causing them to worship angels or an experience they claim, having made them arrogant. They don't hold onto the Head of the body of Christ, from whom we gain spiritual nourishment and direction. So why do you follow men's teachings of 'touch not, taste not, handle not', which are all going to perish. These things are just the teachings of men."
What taking up the cross really means
In Matthew 16: 16-27 Peter makes the exclamation based on revelation from the Father: "You are the Christ. The Son of the Living God!" Verse 21 tells us (now that they knew Who He really was) Jesus began to share with them He had to be crucified and die, to which Peter vehemently objected.
Jesus said to His friend in v23: "You get behind me Satan! (In the Greek): "A stumbling block you are to me! For your thoughts are not the thoughts of God, but of men."
The Greek word translated 'stumbling block' is 'skandalon' which was literally a noose or snare used to trap an animal. Jesus was saying Peter's thoughts were a snare, a trap, to get Him off the plan of the Father.
To that Jesus replied: "If anyone wants to follow me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me..."
The 'deny himself and take up the cross' is therefore denying our thoughts and plans for our lives in favor of thinking God's thoughts and plans for our lives. That often hurts. That pattern of giving up our thoughts and plans in favor of His thoughts and plans, trickles down to things we'd like to say and think towards others, especially thought who hurt us or do us wrong.
His thoughts seem more tortuous, to keep our mouths shut when accused, or to reply without similarly accusing though we have been accused - that's torture. But it is the daily crucifying of our thoughts of what we'd like to say to someone that is the denying of self Jesus is talking about here. Kill your thoughts and say a prayer for them instead. Bless them, do good to them - that kills the flesh - but it is His way. His thoughts. Come up to them.
Living in the realm of miracles first means willing to give up our ways and thoughts in favor of taking His ways and thoughts - about a person, about a situation, about things we'd like to say or do to a person. His way is not a truce with old carnal ways of dealing with people, or even setting up a mental 'demilitarized zone' you don't cross in your mind; it is an annihilation of the old ways and thoughts of how we dealt with people in the past. By using crucifixion as an example rather than say, a swift beheading of the thought, Jesus understood the torture involved before those old ways and thoughts actually die. It is a gradual process, but a needed one if we want to walk in the realm of miracles...
Living in the realm of miracles next week, until then...blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org