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Saturday, January 8, 2011

A miraculous email or just 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


Perhaps it's being a pastor (but I know this likely happens to you as well), but my inbox/spam folder receives an average of 1.5 Forwards a day that can be categorized as "spiritually inspirational." Most of them now are filled with stories of the miraculous or at least extraordinary -- and some of them are really pretty cool, even spur on my faith.

As I mentioned in a sermon a few weeks back on "The Spirit," however, a longing for extraordinary manifestations of the Spirit's power can (notice can) become what the Apostle Paul describes in Romans 6 as an "over-passion." A good thing that becomes idolatrous when we make it into an ultimate thing -- above our love for God & whatever He wills for our lives.

I was reading through an old journal recently and ran across an important lesson for the people of Judah and, I think, a good reminder for us that God displays great glory in the 'mundane' -- trusting Him enough to respond in ordinary obedience.

Disaster comes upon disaster; rumor follows rumor. They seek a vision from the prophet, while the law perishes from the priest and counsel from the elders (Ezekiel 7:26).

While people looked everywhere for and even followed rumors of the miraculous or 'extraordinary,' the faithful teaching of the law perished and the giving and receiving counsel from those who'd gained godly wisdom dissipated.

Notice this principle doesn't advocate not seeking God's will, but rather through responding to His great love through obedience in the day-to-day as well as seeking wisdom from those in your life who are equipped to give it (godly friend, parents, spouse, and especially godly pastors & elders in your church) can prove more valuable and ultimately more revealing than wishing one of these almost unbelievable emails would happen to you.

So we do know this about God's will for you and I: "Be joyful always, pray continuously, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18). And in doing His will, don't be surprised to see the miraculous happen also.



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