After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”
Matthew 2:13-15 NLT
Not too long ago, I was having lunch with a minister friend. He’s not a pentecostal, but we manage to get along anyway. In the course of the conversation, he referred to several occasions when God had spoken to him supernaturally, whether by an inner leading, a still small voice, and even in a dream. He finally stopped and said, “Maybe I’m more like you than I thought!” He’s right. If we are Christians, then we are people of the Spirit, know it or not.
Our modern Western thinking slowly but surely marginalized the “supernatural” aspects of Christianity. It became an intellectual acknowledgment of a set of prudent propositions. As the Charismatic and Pentecostal moves came down the road, many of us became enamored of the spectacular, making a differentiation between the “natural’ and the “supernatural,” as if they are two different things. In the ancient world, the two were all part of a seamless reality. They still are, we just tend to ignore what we don’t deem sufficiently spooky to qualify as “supernatural.” We love our goosebumps!
Reading through the first two chapters of Matthew, we find lots of really cool supernatural stuff. Angels and dreams and shining stars. WOW! But I wonder if the most amazing part of the tale told there lies in the genealogy. With a simple list (recorded and compiled without a computer), Matthew recounts a process spanning 2,000 years and 42 generations of kept promises. Each name holds a story of a life lived like normal people, hearing the promises of God but going about daily life just like you do. The vast majority of this 2000-year long miracle was accomplished by the Hand of God ordering the steps of His people in the midst of their “natural” existence. That is supernatural.
We live in the supernatural realm, born of the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, guided by the Spirit. This is true whether we have any goosebumps or not. He never leaves you nor forsakes you, even when you can’t feel Him. He orders your steps even when you think you are on your own. He arranges life to fulfill His ends, and if you start to wander too far afield, or if His plans need you to do something out of your groove, He knows how to get your attention. He even uses your screw-ups to improve your ability to serve. I encourage you to take a look back at your life up to now and begin to recognize the Invisible Hand of the Almighty. He has been there every step of the way.