The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit (John 3:8, ESV)
The term supernatural is not in the Bible, but it abounds in everyday Christian conversations. Therefore, since it is foreign to the scriptures but so common, it is understandable why Bible scholars have difficulty with this word. However, the concept of the supernatural spans the entire Bible and is crucial for every believer to grasp fully.
Supernatural, like devotional, derives its meaning from common usage and an established Biblical concept. What do Christians mean when they refer to the supernatural? They generally mean above or beyond the natural. So, an understanding of the supernatural begins with comprehending the natural.
In the beginning, God created two worlds. The first is the spiritual world; we can sum this world up with one word, spirit. This spirit world has beings, things, and processes. The second world is the natural world, and natural in this sense is that which is distinct from the spiritual. This natural world can also be summed up by the word nature, with beings, things, processes, etc. Furthermore, nature has both physical (material) and immaterial such as our emotions, as discussed in a prior Deshen Daily. So, spirit (or spiritual) and nature (or natural) are two distinct but closely interwoven worlds.
God created the spirit to operate in nature as an invisible power. This operation is in two folds—indirect and direct. Nature is indirectly sustained and held together by the spirit(Hebrews 1:3). This indirect, invisible power is not tangible or palpable by the senses; it transcends the natural world, yet it is in it. Please think of how our bodies are alive because of the invisible spirit, yet they function as a complete physical entity based on physical laws. So natural things exist and behave based on observable natural laws but are powered by the indirect unobservable spiritual power. This indirect spirit in nature is not supernatural. It is part of the natural.
The supernatural is spirit in nature directly causing visible manifestations beyond natural laws. When spirit or the spiritual directly interrupts natural principles and laws to create natural states and processes, we call those observable natural phenomena the supernatural. For example, when a 35-year-old woman becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby, that is not supernatural or miraculous. However, when Sarah, for example, became pregnant at 90 and gave birth to Isaac, that was the supernatural.
It is crucial to note that the supernatural is in the natural. In John 3:8 above, Jesus describes the spirit in nature. He says the wind—invisible but powerful—blows and moves trees. We do not see the wind, but we see the trees moving. We do not see the spirit or the wind. We see the trees moving; we see the natural. Because the supernatural is usually in the natural, two common problems result. First, the supernatural is not always spectacular because it often comes in the natural things we see daily. Second, since the supernatural comes as natural, the natural mind, blinded to the reality of the spirit, will always seek a natural explanation. When Jesus multiplied bread, there was no spectacular appearance of angels everywhere baking thousands of loaves of bread. The disciples distributed the bread as Jesus commanded and the five thousand had more than enough. The people suddenly realized what had happened was not normal, though it was not spectacular. They had just witnessed the supernatural, a miracle. Yet they could have had some strange minds amongst them, as we see today, who sought to explain what happened with the bread using natural laws.
Furthermore, there are two broad categories of the supernatural: divine and demonic. There is no middle ground. Whatever is supernatural and not of God is demonic. As Christians, God has given us the unique privilege of releasing His kingdom on earth through the divine supernatural while subduing or destroying the demonic whenever we find it. By the Holy Spirit in us, we can release the supernatural in our emotions, thoughts, bodies, finances, families, communities, etc. God wants us to draw from the deep wells of His presence and power in our spirits through the Spirit to bring the natural world around us under divine order.
How would you define the supernatural from the natural? Is the supernatural always spectacular?
Apply the Word
Release the supernatural in your life and world. There is an invisible power at our command to reign. Naturalize the spirit—unleash God’s presence and power into your world and subdue stubborn conditions and circumstances.
Ask the Father to teach His Church how to walk in the supernatural.