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Tag Archives: supernatural

When God is Near… Fear Disappears

If you have lived long enough, you will see something that you can’t explain.  Whether you experience some sort of spiritual phenomena, are spooked by the presence of darkness or witness an unidentified flying object, fear is a common emotion.  These events result in awe, goosebumps and head scratching thoughts.  When God’s presence seems distant, fear can overwhelm souls.  However, when God seems near, fear disappears.

In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened, Luke 2:8-9.

At the beginning of the first century, a few shepherds had their own encounter with the supernatural.  When the country side began to glow with the presence of heavenly hosts, these men were frightened.  Shepherds are use to sudden attacks by wolves seeking to eat one of their sheep.  Yet, when the evening sky is overwhelmed by the glory of the Lord, it’s not surprising that these shepherds were freaked out.  Recognizing the fear in their eyes, an angel used a conversation to settle their nerves.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. 11 For this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (the Messiah). 12 And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find a Baby wrapped in [swaddling] cloths and lying in a manger,” Luke 2:10-12.

The term certainty refers to a fact that is definitely true.  Prior to entering into a personal relationship with Jesus, fear riddled my life.  My lack of direction in life along with the uncertainty of my eternal destination resulted in a reoccurring nightmare.  By the age of ten, I cried myself to sleep on a nightly basis, unaware of the meaning to life.  This state of sadness led me to pursue answers to my questions.  While I still get scared from time to time, the moment God entered my life, fear disappeared.

by Jay Mankus

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A Lesson about the Human Mind

The word mind appears 95 times in the original King James Bible translation.  Many of these references appear in the New Testament.  The Greek word noús is the God-given capacity of each person to think.  This is where the concept of reason is derived, the mental capacity to exercise reflective thinking.  Thus, as an individual reads the Bible for the first time, the idea of an invisible supernatural force may be difficult to grasp.

But the natural [unbelieving] man does not accept the things [the teachings and revelations] of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness [absurd and illogical] to him; and he is incapable of understanding them, because they are spiritually discerned and appreciated, [and he is unqualified to judge spiritual matters], 1 Corinthians 2:14.

The apostle Paul addresses this struggle in the passage above.  Today, agnostics, atheists and scientists  reject initial thoughts of the Spirit of God.  To intellects, taught to expand their mind with natural and worldly ideology, biblical teachings seem absurd, foolish and illogical.  While debating, discussing and sharing the good news about Jesus to educated men, Paul came to the conclusion that many were incapable of understanding spiritual truths.  These stubborn souls are blinded by minds steeped in age old traditions.

But the spiritual man [the spiritually mature Christian] judges all things [questions, examines and applies what the Holy Spirit reveals], yet is himself judged by no one [the unbeliever cannot judge and understand the believer’s spiritual nature]. 16 For who has known the mind and purposes of the Lord, so as to instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ [to be guided by His thoughts and purposes], 1 Corinthians 2:15-16.

In May of 2008, Hollywood released Indiana Jones and the Kingdom Crystal Skull.  This film is based upon gnosis, the knowledge of spiritual mysteries.  After a pursuit for an ancient crystal skull, the climax reveals that knowledge belongs to aliens, higher beings beyond earth.  You don’t have to see this movie to be informed.  Rather, the passage above unlocks the secret to this life.  The Holy Ghost, an invisible counselor guides those who place their faith and trust in Jesus, Romans 10:9-10.  When you let God in, the Holy Spirit opens your mind to spiritual truths once hidden by a sinful nature.  May this blog inspire you to develop a Christ like mind.

by Jay Mankus

Properly Utilizing God’s Power

Prior to beginning his earthly ministry, Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit.  Over the next forty days, the Devil began scheming of ways on how to trick Jesus into improperly using God’s power.  The longer Jesus went without food, fasting and praying to spiritually prepare his mind, the more vulnerable his body became.  Thus, in the passage below the Devil tempted Jesus to use God’s power for selfish reasons.  In a game of Truth or Dare, the Devil dared Jesus to show off, calling upon angels to keep him from falling.  Responding with Scripture, Jesus corrects the Devil’s abuse of God’s power.

Then he led Jesus to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle (highest point) of the temple, and said [mockingly] to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; 10 for it is written and forever remains written, He will command His angels concerning You to guard and protect You,’ and, they will lift You up on their hands, So that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jesus replied to him, “It is said [in Scripture], you shall not tempt the Lord your God [to prove Himself to you],’” Luke 4:9-12.

Before gathering a ministry team of disciples, Jesus experienced the best and worst from his fellow Jews.  Upon entering a town, Jesus went to the local synagogue, debating, listening and teaching God fearing Jews.  Jesus quoted the Old Testament, speaking with authority without any education or extensive training.  On one day, Jesus spoke about God’s grace extending to Gentiles, non Jewish believers.  This comment turned the crowd in Nazareth against Jesus, committing heresy in their eyes.  This uprising forced Jesus outside of town to a nearby cliff, as residents attempted to push Jesus off the edge to his death.  On this occasion with his life in danger, Jesus properly utilized God’s power, like a ghost, Jesus passed by the crowds escaping to Capernaum.

As they heard these things [about God’s grace to these two Gentiles], the people in the synagogue were filled with a great rage; 29 and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the crest of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to hurl Him down the cliff. 30 But passing [miraculously] through the crowd, He went on His way, Luke 4:28-30.

Today, the debate of properly utilizing God’s power continues.  Should you treat God like a supernatural Santa Claus, praying to the Lord with a long Christmas wish list?  Or should you only ask for things in accordance with God’s will?  Do you take Jesus literally, “ask and you will receive?”  What is a good middle ground, a place to start?  If you use Matthew 7:12 as an outline for prayer, this may clear up any confusion that you currently are struggling to grasp.  Prayer is a three step process, asking, seeking insight to explain unanswered prayers and continue to persist, wrestling with the Lord in prayer.  May this passage guide you to understand how to properly utilize God’s power.

by Jay Mankus

Somebody’s Watching You

Hollywood was been warning individuals for years through movies that somebody is watching you.  In 1995 Sandra Bullock starred in The Net, illustrating computer security concerns of the world wide net in this cyber murder mystery.  Three years later Will Smith, Gene Hackman and Jon Voight took this concept further in Enemy of the State highlighting how satellites and technological advances can be used to spy on American citizens.  Twenty years later, Google, Facebook and tracking devices have made this fear a reality, using cell phones and tablets to actually track where you are and what you’re saying if certain features aren’t turned off.  While the popularity of social media continues to climb, many have become distracted, unaware that somebody is watching you.

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good, Proverbs 15:3.

From a spiritual sense, the somebody who is watching your every move is the Creator of the heavens and earth.  The biblical term for this supernatural ability is omnipresence.  According to various authors who have written books describing judgment day, this data is collected over the course of each life.  After you die, every deed is made into a movie reel as your entire life flashes before your eyes.  Following this presentation, God separates the sheep, followers of Jesus from goats, those who rejected God by their actions, behavior and deeds.  If this process does occur, this serves as a warning for the world to shape up by giving your life to Jesus before your hourglass of time runs out on earth.

Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord, Jeremiah 23:24.

After wandering away from the Lord during my first semester of college, I came to my senses feeling empty by what the world had to offer.  Through Christian groups on the University of Delaware campus, I went through what I call my spiritual rehab.  On one occasion I was introduced to the word integrity.  A friend illustrated this in terms of doing what’s right when nobody is looking.  This image should be the mindset for all modern day Christians.  For some reason, human nature makes people believe darkness or secrecy can hide sins from God.  However, the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah exposes this false notion.  In view of this truth, may the Holy Spirit fill you with integrity so that as God watches your deeds will be pleasing in His sight.

by Jay Mankus

Forged by Fire

In an age of reality television, few careers, fields and occupations are left out of Hollywood.  This inclusive environment has given bladesmiths a voice in the show Forged in Fire.  Beginning in 2015, the History Channel has featured competitions to see who is the best according to panel of three judges.  Four seasons later, it appears that this series hosted by Wil Willis has found it’s niche, likely to continue a fifth season in 2018.

John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,” Luke 3:16.

During the first century, Jesus eludes to a different kind of fire.  Instead of a typical black smith forging metal with fire, Jesus introduces a spiritual fire.  Referred to as the Holy Spirit, a local doctor is intrigued by Jesus’ use of vocabulary in the passage above.  This symbolism suggests God will anoint those who are baptized with an invisible force.  This power will replace the natural with a capacity to do supernatural things.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed, 1 Peter 1:6-7.

One of Jesus’ disciples expands upon Jesus’ words.  According to Peter, trials in life are used by God as opportunities for growth.  Like pottery being placed into a kiln, faith is refined by extreme conditions.  As the heat intensifies, imperfections are slowly glazed over as souls are forged by fire.  While Jesus is no longer present, the Holy Spirit was sent following his ascension into heaven to continue this process today.  Although it’s never pleasant to endure difficult and hard times in this life, this process is necessary so that faith may be refined, forged by an invisible fire.

by Jay Mankus

Tears of Healing

The gospel according to John was written for a specific purpose.  The Holy Spirit led the disciple whom Jesus loved to concentrate on a collection of miracles.  According to the book Master of All Trades, each miracle of Jesus demonstrates an unique God given power over death, elements, time and so on.  In one account, a man blind from birth experiences tears of healing after seeing his reflection for the first time in a nearby pond.

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name, John 20:30-31.

Due to a battle with iritis of the eye, my vision tends to come and go.  Some days I wake up and my sight is clear.  Other times I feel like I’m in some sort of fog.  Although there are many things I can’t control, my hope is in Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord who heals.  During a Raymond Lee Band concert last Saturday night, I was moved by a few songs.  As I was brought to tears, the water in my eyes served as a source of healing.  The rest of the evening my vision was completely clear like the healed blind man in John.

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written, John 21:25.

At the conclusion of John’s gospel, he reveals the purpose of his book.  Whenever anyone gives a testimony or shares about an account of a miracle, faith spreads.  While some may never be an eyewitness, those who experience the supernatural instill hope within others.  Unfortunately, healing doesn’t visit everyone as Paul suggests in 2 Corinthians 12.  However, if you carefully examine the minor details within your life, perhaps your eyes will be opened to a miracle that can bring tears of healing.

by Jay Mankus

Embracing the Headwinds in Life

Without wind a sailboat is dead in the water.  On the other hand, when gale or hurricane force winds arrive, the situation turns to a matter of life and death.  Thus, one man’s curse is another’s blessing.  Either way, its important to embrace the headwinds in life.

And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord,” Job 1:21.

As a golfer, I once hit a drive in high school 340 yards uphill with a 75 miles per hours gust at my back.  On the same day, I struggled to hit mid-irons 100 yards into the same wind.  For an airplane to take off, it must face headwinds.  If attempting to get off the ground with the wind at their back, the downward force of this wind prevents lift, doing just the opposite.  Therefore, headwinds create ideal conditions for flight.

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.

Although wind is invisible, you can hear it coming.  While tornadoes create debris clouds, the Holy Spirit restores human beings from the inside out.  Transformation usually takes time, especially for anyone overcoming previous storms which has ravaged souls.  Beyond broken hearts, pain and scars, a supernatural force uses headwinds to bring individuals back to where they need to be.  In view of this fact, remember to thank the Lord like Job for the good and bad so that God will use headwinds to lift you up.

by Jay Mankus

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