Breaking Through The "Barrier"
Breaking Through "The Barrier" Between The
Natural And The Supernatural
By Rodney W. Francis
This invisible barrier is much more real than we think, so let us take a few minutes to consider what we can do to break through it. The key is hearing and doing (obeying) whatever Jesus tells us. This is the realm where we Holy Spirit filled believers are called to walk in. Not much happens for us until we do. You can break through this barrier in the name of Jesus!
EVERYWHERE I go today, I encounter Christians who struggle to step out in obedience to the Word of God. Somehow we have not been effective at releasing people out of a natural mind-set into a supernatural mind-set. The whole purpose of the teachings of Jesus Christ is to reproduce His character, His attributes, His ministry in the lives of those who will dare to believe Him. The purpose and the importance of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is to give us "power to be witnesses to Jesus" wherever we go (Acts 1:8). Jesus is Supernatural. The Holy Spirit in our lives is the voice of God to us. As we get to know Him, trust Him and obey Him, He enables us to break through from a very limited, natural, logical, analytical position to one of believing faith that sees things happen supernaturally. It is that invisible "barrier" between hearing and doing that we must confront if we are going to fulfil our destiny as men and women of God. Our calling is to represent Him here on this earth in the here and now! This means a commitment to Jesus – and all He asks of us – that is demonstrated in our obedience to His Word and Voice NOW.
"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him" (John 14:21, 23).
It is clear from this statement that love for Jesus is demonstrated by our obedience to what He says. Obedience is an action word. Often obedience means stepping through that logical barrier that has held us back for far too long. (There is a lot of emphasis upon "worship" today; but let us not forget that worship is what this article is really all about – "an act of obedience to the will of God," for that is what Bible worship is.)
THE FIRST MIRACLE OF JESUS:
In John 2:1-11 we read of the wedding in Cana of Galilee. Jesus and His disciples were there. They ran out of wine and Mary, the mother of Jesus, told Him. It seemed Jesus rebuffed her approach to Him. But Mary knew something in her spirit about Jesus, so Mary told the servants at the wedding, "Whatever He (Jesus) says to you, do it" (John 2:5). Christianity cannot be made any simpler than that – WHATEVER JESUS TELLS YOU TO DO, DO IT! (If your faith is too complicated, it needs simplifying.) In this passage of Scripture the servants represent us. The servants came to Jesus and told Him of their dilemma of having no wine. Jesus gave them a totally illogical instruction, "Fill the water pots with water." To the logical thinker the thought would arise, "What has that to do with supplying wine at a wedding banquet?" (Maybe the servants repeated their question to Jesus?) At that moment they had a choice. They could believe or reject what He had said. The Bible tells us they did what Jesus said. They filled the water pots with water. Then He told them to take that water (most likely foot-washing water) and pour it out to the master of the feast so they could drink!
Jesus told them to do something that, to the natural mind, was absolutely ridiculous! He was telling them to do something that could have totally humiliated them before the eyes of everyone at that wedding. They asked for wine and Jesus told them to give them foot-washing water! Again I ask,
This very clearly illustrates the barrier that so many of us battle with. We cannot and will not obey Jesus like those servants did until first we have learned to recognize the voice of Jesus to us – in whatever way it comes to us. The voice of Jesus has to become more real to us than our own natural reasonings and doubts, more than the fears of what other Christians and people will think of us. If we love Jesus we will obey Him. He lives in the realm of the supernatural (which far exceeds the realm of the natural where, unfortunately, too many Christians remain locked into). Our obedience to Jesus (whether it be illogical or logical) demonstrates our love for Him.
Those servants chose to "blindly obey" what Jesus told them. They, by faith, took their jugs of water to the master of the wedding feast and filled his wine glass. To their amazement wine – not water – came out. They had broken through the barrier as they demonstrated by their actions their love and obedience to Jesus. The result was a miracle, the first miracle of Jesus recorded in the Bible. And those servants were a key link in making it happen! Jesus longs for us to partner with Him in the working of His miracles.
THE HUGE CATCH OF FISH:
In Luke 5:1-11 we read of Jesus teaching a large crowd of followers from Peter’s boat. He then turned to Peter (who had been out all night fishing and had caught nothing) and said to him,"Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." The moment Peter heard that personal challenge (in the hearing of the crowd), his natural "fisherman’s expertise" mind and logic began to argue back at Jesus, "Master, we have toiled all night out there and caught nothing." Peter knew naturally there were no fish out there – he had done everything he knew to catch any that were there. However, he stopped short of arguing and chose to believe what Jesus said more than his own reasonings, "Nevertheless at Your Word I will let down the net." He responded by pulling up anchor and sailing out into the deep, where he let down a net. Peter obviously struggled with total obedience to Jesus (at that point) and was somewhat partially obedient in that he let down only one net (KJV & NKJV). But when he did what Jesus said (by going back out there), he caught a huge net full of fish – so much so he had to call for help from others to draw them all in. When Peter saw what simple obedience to the Word of Jesus could accomplish, he was convicted in his heart of his own sinful ways of doing things. It so impacted his life that "he forsook all and followed Jesus." That one act of obedience on Peter’s part changed his life forever. It caused him to make a decision to leave behind everything and follow Jesus. The Word of Jesus should impact us like that too!
Jesus knows exactly how to minister into the lives of every human being. As we will learn to listen to Him, and deny our own reasonings, we will discover the joys of working together with Him in the realm of the supernatural. The difference between the natural and the supernatural is our obedience to the voice of God – the voice of truth! It is as simple as that. It is stepping from the realm of theory into the realm of action – a practical act of obedience to whatever He (Jesus) says. Tragically, far too often, Christianity has been reduced to a realm of teaching, preaching and Bible knowledge without the supernatural dimension confirming it. The Bible is clear, "The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power ("dunamis" – "power capable of anything" - but useless until we release it)" (1 Corinthians 4:19-20). The voice of God usually demands an action, which is demonstrated by our obedience. It is that action which takes us from the natural to the supernatural, which causes us to break through that invisible barrier. God always honours our obedience to Him.
THE SUMMARY OF THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT:
In Matthew Chapters 5-7 we have the teachings of Jesus, which we call "The Sermon on the Mount." He summarized His teachings with the illustration of the wise man who built his house on the rock, and the foolish man who built his house on the sand (Matthew 7:24-29). The only difference between those two men – between success and disaster – was that the wise man obeyed what Jesus said. That was the only difference. They both heard exactly the same words from the mouth of the same Jesus, yet one (the foolish man) finished up bankrupt and the other (the wise man) finished up very successful. OBEDIENCE TO JESUS is the vital difference!
"Whatever He (Jesus) tells you to do, DO IT!" (John 2:5).
The principle has never changed. The real issues of life and Christianity are determined by our obedience to Jesus and what He tells us. Religion is a very poor substitute to the reality of the supernatural Word of Jesus. Sadly, when we fail to obey Jesus we finish up being religious and devoid of power. We remain "locked into" the realm of the natural, and the natural is always a poor substitute for the supernatural.
WE MUST FACE OUR BARRIERS:
Until we can face those barriers that are stopping us from breaking through in simple obedience to the voice of Jesus, we will never know the joys of what we’re saved (redeemed) for. All of us have to continually develop a love for God that demonstrates itself in obedience to whatever He tells us. God’s will is that we know the freedom and joy of obedience to Him, so together with Him we can be genuine Holy Spirit filled witnesses of Jesus in a sinful and unbelieving world. God wants to show the world JESUS through believers like you and me, believers who are willing to demonstrate their beliefs by their acts of obedience to whatever He tells us.
The operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is all about our response and obedience to the promptings and voice of the Holy Spirit within us. Our obedience in releasing them enables God to do something in the lives of those we minister to, as well as within us. Recently the Lord spoke to me these words, "Rodney, I want you to keep releasing the gifts of the Holy Spirit out of your life; for when you do, you are releasing Me to set your future up for you!" I had never thought of it that way before. But when He showed how He had opened doors for me around the world through my releasing spiritual gifts, I realized how important they are. And the resulting obedience has some amazing positive repercussions right around the world! I certainly want my future set up for me by God, don’t you?
Spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12) function when we first have a sense that God has shown us something, asked us to say or do something, and then we step out in obedience to that and make it publicly known. I have learnt that God never asks us to say or do anything we are unable to. When God speaks, there really is no room for excuses or "out clauses." It is then we have to decide whether or not we are going to step through that "barrier" and see what happens. God will always confirm that which He has asked us to say or do.
Every Holy Spirit filled believer in Jesus Christ can break through the barrier of logic and natural reasoning into the supernatural of God. It happens when we are committed to OBEY WHATEVER JESUS TELLS US.
Are we listening enough, with a love big enough, and a commitment of heart, that WHATEVER JESUS TELLS US TO DO, WE WILL DO IT? Let me repeat: Jesus will never ask us to do anything we cannot do. At the same time His heart is to stretch us so that we will become stronger in faith. Faith is an action, and "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the (spoken)word of God" (Romans 10:17). Once we HEAR we then have to RESPOND – either with a denial (resulting in no act of obedience) or with a demonstration of obedience showing WE TRUST JESUS MORE than anyone or anything else. Until the barrier between the natural and the supernatural is broken through, we will never know how much God really wants to use us for His glory. It is not a matter of "doing it once and it is all automatic from there." No, each time we hear from Jesus we are faced with the challenge to once again step through that invisible barrier and demonstrating to Him our love, and that He does come FIRST in our lives.
Be encouraged afresh today – BREAK THROUGH THOSE BARRIERS that keep you locked up in the natural, by a demonstration of love and obedience to Jesus Christ. Step out of your "comfort zone" and see what He will do with you when you OBEY WHATEVER HE TELLS YOU. God bless you Conqueror!