Monday, June 23, 2008

Day Twenty Two: Signs and Wonders

We're reading Acts 9 today. I dig this chapter, I guess because it's action-packed, and because when I first read it, it helped make sense of what was going on for me. I felt a bit like Simon the Sorcerer, then--I'd keep people amused and amazed by my own little collection of magic powers: knowing things about them through astrology; explaining how if they'd just move the couch to the other side of their living room, everything in life would go better; repeating words of authors I'd seen on Oprah that seemed wise and profound... And yet underneath my sparkling fun facade, my life was pretty disappointing. Whatever "it" was I'd been searching for, it was pretty clear to me I hadn't found it.

But when I read what Jesus claimed in the Bible, and then saw it playing out among real, live people who were trying to follow his lead, the difference between that and what I was hawking was like night and day. It's not that what Jesus says is altogether different than the other spiritual systems I was working (although I'm fairly certain Jesus never rearranged anyone's tent furniture to fix their love life...) It's that he offers real power through the Holy Spirit to get us from where we are to where we want to be. Other systems might tell us how important it is to overcome our fear, or our ego, or our past...in my experience, only Jesus has the power to pull that off; without him, it's just a bunch of wasted effort.

When you're in the middle of a long trip (as we are, here in this 40 Days of Faith), it's easy to wonder where you are, and if you're even headed in the right direction. I've been on many a highway in my various travels, longing for a sign to tell me I was actually headed north on Route 301. I guess this post--and this passage in Acts--is like a highway sign. If you're trying to follow Jesus' lead in this, you're on the right road.

For obvious reasons, THIS is our song for the day :)

13 comments:

Sarakastic said...

There was a new age movement a few years ago that was very popular, which will rename nameless. Everyone was raving about it. I tried it because it just sounded so good. People on TV seemed to get what they wanted from it. I tried it a few months ago & it totally did not work for me. Real power if the operative phrase.

Suzanne said...

I really relate to today's post about being in the middle of things and not even knowing whree I'm going. At this point, I'm just asking God to show me, just a nudge in the right direction.

Liza said...

I've been asking God everyday to show me a sign that I'm going in the right direction. Thanks for this post today.

Nic said...

I'm in the middle of this journey and I'm getting skeptical. I feel lost. I'm surprised this is so hard. How do I know if I'm doing it correctly?

the teacher said...

i feel very confident that i am on the right path. i am not that far that i see the light at the end of the tunnel, or my prince charming, but i feel closer to God than i ever have been. i am having a bit of trouble organizing my life when it comes to friends. i feel like i need a better support system and friends i can share with. it has been hard and lonely, but i am happy that i have chosen to change my social setting. just recently a friend of mine brought up religion. (she does not go to church and never has spoken of it). she asked about going to church and which one would be right for her. i always thought evangelizing was a creepy thing done is some very pushy ways by people. however, when the time is right, the opportunity just presents itself to you. things are looking good...

heiress said...

Trish, I just finished reading your book and I would recommend it to everyone. I cried trough the last chapters because I saw myself. Last night I told God, if you did it for Trish I know you can do it for me. I know this journey is hard, but I am expecting God to give me my happily every after.

Kim said...

There have been times I have asked for very specific signs from God to prove that I was really following Him and doing as He willed. On several occasions, God came through and gave me the silly sign I requested. I have given him the wheel and have learned to trust Him (most times) and believe that He will guide my path. Even when times seem as dark, I trust that He can see where He is going and that everything happens for a reason.

Accidental Admin. said...

Nic--

I totally hear you with that comment, "how do I know if I am doing it correctly?" I like user's manuals. I like sure things. I like safe risks. And it is so hard when none of those things are in available to you. I have nothing more to say, really, than I totally get your questioning and uncertainty and skepticism. Totally.

Larramie said...

Not to sound cliche, but aren't there times when you simply need to take a leap of faith?

Kwana said...

Thanks for reminding us to stay on the right road. I've often strayed off. Well, very often, fluttering from fad to fad looking for quick fixes. There are none. I'm happy to still be on this road. I don't know for sure if this is right but I have to believe it is right.

Stephanie said...

I guess I'm headed in the right direction. I got a call today for a job interview. No matter what happens, I'm totally thankful (though completely nervous). God is truly amazing.

Elizabeth said...

I've been MIA for a while.
We had a VERY serious incident with my 24 year old step-son. All I can say is that the Powers of Darkness were snipping at his heels and urging him to make some truely deathly decisions. He is injured mentally, spiritually and physically, but I think he has FINALLY begun to understand that God is at work in his life...and he's yearning for that Truth that can only be called a Revelation!
This post spoke to me so much about him. I'm going to share it with him. Pray for us! EJT

ForstRose said...

There are times I wish God gave us directions as clear and detailed as the ones you can get from a map or better someone who knows where you are and where you are trying to get to and can give landmarks, etc. that a map or sites like mapquest can't.

Yes I know God knows where I am and where I am trying to get to but His direction is often one step at a time without the destination (at least in my case) being revealed till you there or nearly so.

Knowing He is the only one capable of getting me from where I am now to the intended destination (whatever that looks like) without a zillion detours and delays (though they may seem that way to me at the time) is a good reminder that I need to keep my focus on Him and His directions so that when I get to the time for that next step I am not trying to figure out where I'm going with no road signs at all.

Melissa