miracles vs. power

In Acts chapter 2 we read the story of God pouring His Spirit out over all people and creation in a way like never before.  Like NEVER before.  Seriously, that part is easy to lose.  It changed EVERYTHING.  The coming together of Heaven and Earth in new ways began something incredible here, and they are continuing to come together today.

In verse 22, we read words describing Jesus, whose Spirit they’re now receiving.  Clarifying that this is not some “new” or “separate” thing that God is accomplishing, rather the continuation of what had been happening through the physical presence of Jesus Christ.  In these words, we find the word “dunamis“, describing things Jesus had accomplished while He walked among them.

This word is used about 38 times throughout all the Gospels.  Rarely is it ever translated as “miracle/s”.  Rather, it’s definition is more focused on “power, ability, inherent nature, resources, etc.”  The meaning here was clear – this is NOT a Spirit that is coming to help us do parlor tricks.  To help us defy laws of nature, or win contests, or prove anything to skeptics.

This is the raw, natural, inherent, wonder-inducing SPIRIT OF GOD being poured out as something transformingly accessible to all.  The Spirit who was rightly feared for generations before, now bursting through the veil, colliding with humanity and creation in a way that CHANGES THINGS.  Which brings me to a closing thought:  How USEFUL is the Holy Spirit in our lives?

In Revelation 3, we hear the famous verses about God vomiting lukewarm water out of his mouth.  Commonly, we hear that this points out “hot water is good, cold water is bad, so we need to be on fire for Jesus!!” (the crowds cheer)  But that could be missing out on something.  Laodicea had sources of water on both sides, hot springs of Hierapolis, and Colossae had the cold waters of Lycus.  Laodicea had ducts from Hierapolis, but the water would’ve become lukewarm by the time it got there.

Hot water is useful.  Cold water is useful.  Lukewarm water is just wet.  

We’ve been given the Holy Spirit for more purposes than simply to have it.  God’s Spirit is always active, or it isn’t there.  Not hype.  Not miracles.  Not explosive showy tricks and intricately planned out emotionally driven worship services.

But transformed and empowered living in a way that is only made possible by the Spirit of Jesus who lived the same way.

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