I believe a few things that might sound a little crazy. I know it sounds like it’s straight out of the movies, but I believe we live in a spiritual world with good and evil forces vying for our attention. That there are invisible powers at play in our lives: interfering and intervening. That there is breakthrough available for each of us—often on the other side of trial. I also believe that we can tap into actual supernatural power when we believe in Jesus. Sound crazy? Go with me for a minute.
I think if anyone believes in God, we have to believe he is incredibly powerful. He wouldn’t be God if there weren’t things about him that were beyond our human ability to comprehend. Similarly, I believe He made each of us to live powerful lives. I believe you have something potent within you. Behind the doubt, the fear of failing, the preference to stay comfortable a little too often, there is something big just begging to be released.
####Now here’s where it gets real weird. I also believe another realm is interacting with ours. The Bible says there was an angel who was jealous of the relationship God wanted with us. He’s known as the devil, and he’s out to viciously ruin the good God intended. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy. He’s really good at using fear, distraction, doubt, and anything else he can to do it.
Besides believing that the Bible is true (another crazy one, I know), I have seen this play out in my life. Every time something deeply good is on our horizon, there has been a subtle but real war to get there.
When my husband and I were about to take a motorcycle trip that would change the trajectory of our marriage, we hit two deer on our practice route. Two deer literally ran into our bike at the same time—one hitting in front of my husband’s legs, and one hitting behind mine. Somehow we weren’t hurt, but we were definitely spooked about a two-week trip out west. So my friend prayed something simple and spectacular. She said, “Well, God can command animals, no problem. We share His power. So I agree with God and say that no animal is allowed to cross your path on the trip.” I kid you not, several times we passed a buck or an elk that could have taken us out. Each one stood perfectly still as if it could not step into our path—beautiful, stoic, like a statue with feet planted in its place until we passed. Taking that trip as newlyweds laid a foundation that has given us courage and vision to choose risk ever since.
When we flew to England to start an important chapter in my job, uh…we ran over a guy in our car. Yikes! Cut us some slack, though, because those tiny English country roads are crazy! We were driving a stick on the other side of the road—on the other side of the car—through a million roundabouts after a redeye flight in the rain. But even still, it wasn’t our fault. All witnesses agreed, and the guy miraculously wasn’t hurt besides a broken leg. He actually jumped up on his one working leg yelling, “I’m OK. That was my fault!” What wounded pedestrian ever does that? It rattled us big-time, but it could have been so much worse. We left the accident and walked into a profound session on spiritual warfare at the church we were heading towards when it happened. Our lives were forever changed.
When we first tried to get pregnant, it took us over a year. As months went on, I started having weird rashes all over my arms and chest that were flaming hot and itchy that would start at 5pm as I drove home. Doctors couldn’t figure anything out. We started with allergy tests and ended being tested for Lupus. The weirdest part was it only happened when I was ovulating as if something/someone did not want us to conceive. Not only was I definitely not “in the mood” to try when my skin was on fire, I was taking drugs that I didn’t realize prevented pregnancy for months before noticing the connection. We felt in our gut that something was working against us, so the next time, I didn’t take the medicine. As best we knew how, we just prayed through it. I was so uncomfortable I couldn’t sleep, so we sat on the bathroom floor praying and singing songs about trusting God on the worst night. We tried believing God would not only heal my skin, but help us conceive. He did both.
When I was a week past my due date with our second daughter, my husband fell weirdly ill. My strong, healthy husband could not move a limb or even open his eyes for a week. He was vomiting every hour. The doctors were stumped, and the symptoms were so concerning they started guessing at deadly diagnoses. Then they added he probably shouldn’t be in the delivery room with me. I was 10 days past my due date at this point and trying to keep the baby in until he was better. Waiting on him and our toddler is not how any 42-week pregnant mama wants to spend her days, let me tell you. After intense prayer from many friends and forcing ourselves to trust, my husband was just well enough to go to the hospital with me literally at the last moment. I labored alone in our bathroom until I was five centimeters—trying to be quiet to let him sleep until finally waking him to say, “We have to go.” He got up, drove me to the hospital, and was just OK. Like my Lupus scare, the doctors never found a thing wrong with him. And I don’t want to brag, but we have the most incredible babies that have probably ever lived, and that delivery was beautiful.
The list goes on and on. I could tell you stories of how God has spoken to me for others, and to others for me. I could brag on friends of mine who have chosen to practice growing in healing and see miracles regularly as a result.
I can’t say what actually happened in each of those stories. But I do know that God’s power is much more accessible than the average person taps into. He desperately wants us to share it. He wants us to experience adventure, passion, oneness in marriage, and beauty in parenting. He wants to share his supernatural power over the darkness of fear, sickness, pain, and apathy—despite how frequently we doubt or mess up. And there is an enemy who desperately wants to prevent us from that breakthrough.
My guess is that you have some amazing corners to turn too, if some obstacle would just get out of your way. You might have a potent dream that is meant to come to life. You probably have real needs that no human wisdom or effort can conquer. If you’re suffering or stuck, you may be on the verge of breakthrough. Maybe something is warring against you. Maybe it’s an opportunity to believe something bigger and walk into risk with power beyond your own.
I don’t think that there is a demon behind every bush. The world is broken, and it impacts us daily. Suffering is real and to be expected. There are consequences for choices we’ve made that we receive and mature through. But whatever the obstacle, maybe the most countercultural thing I believe is that God really is good. He really is powerful, and he wants the absolute best for us. Prayer isn’t a magic formula, but there is supernatural power available to us—even when we’re just guessing at it or new to believing.
Give it a try. Believe God is good and has good things for you. Ask Him for help, breakthrough, something big. That obstacle in the way doesn’t have to stay. It’s OK if you don’t totally believe it yet. Borrow on my belief, because I believe it for you. No barrier is bigger than the God who loves you and wants to see you free. He’s powerful, and he has power for you, too.