Even Stranger Things…

I have a confession to make:
 
I’m in my forties and I’ve never seen a single episode of Stranger Things; even though the show panders to people my age… (I would be about the same age as the characters on the show from what I understand.)
 
It’s not like I don’t have Netflix (I do); and it’s not like I don’t watch TV (but not really that much anymore); nor is it that I am opposed to watching TV shows about the supernatural (twenty years ago Stranger Things would have probably been right up my alley).
 
Instead, I feel like I am living in a real life supernatural TV show called Even Stranger Things.
 
Because, I believe and experience the supernatural every day. I see supernatural forces moving and influencing events around me in invisible ways. I have a supernatural understanding of people and why the say and do certain things. But I also realize that most people are blind to these realities.
 
But here is what makes it all “strange…”
 
A lot of other people claim to believe in the same supernatural things that I believe in… but they do not act like they actually see them…
 
They claim to believe and understand them, but their actions lead me to believe that they do not actually see and experience them…
 
…at least not in the way I am seeing and experiencing them.
 
One obvious answer could be that I am insane; I am aware of that possibility (again, I did say that I feel like I’m living in a TV show).
 
The problem with that explanation is that the supernatural things I believe in are those found in the Bible, and the things I see occurring actually line up with what the Bible says. So, if I am delusional, at least I’m in good company.
 
Often, I particularly feel like I am living in the end times that Paul wrote about to Timothy:
 
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, […] lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. They are […] always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. […] also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone” (2 Timothy 3:1-9).
 
The Even Stranger Things in these end times are the people who “have a form of godliness” but then deny its supernatural power and influence.
 
Or as Paul wrote to Titus:
 
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him” (Titus 1:16).
 
But perhaps, I should actually say that I feel like I am living in a supernatural TV show called Even Greater Things...
 
For as Jesus said to Nathaniel, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see GREATER THINGS than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man” (John 1:50-51).
 
And as He said to the rest of the Apostles:
 
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do EVEN GREATER THINGS than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:12-17).
 
So, I’m not here to condemn Stranger Things. I really don’t know enough about it to condemn it. But, I’m am here to say that there is a much more interesting supernatural story that is actually real and occurring all around you called Even Greater Things that you are welcome to be a part of
 
What are these Even Greater Things you ask:
 
  1. The Image of God as the Basis of Discipleship. The ultimate goal of the Gospel is that men bring glory to God by being re-conformed to the image of God that they were originally created to be (Genesis 1:27, 1 Corinthians 11:7, Matthew 5:48, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 4:22-24, 5:1, Colossians 3:9-10, 2 Peter 1:4).

 

  1. The Purpose of Imitating Jesus as His Disciple. The goal of men being re-conformed to the image of God is accomplished by men imitating Jesus (who is the perfect image of God) as His disciple; through the empowerment and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:29, 1 Corinthians 11:1, 15:49, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Galatians 2:20, Philippians 2:1-5, 3:7-11, Colossians 1:15, 1:28-29, 2:2-3, 2:9-10, 1 Thessalonians 1:6, 2 Timothy 3:12,Titus 3:4-6, Hebrews 3:1, 6:1, 12:1-3, James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1:1-4, 2-21, 2 Peter 3:18, 1 John 2:6, 3:3, 4:17).

 

  1. The First Century, Biblical Understanding of Discipleship. Imitating Jesus as His disciple begins (but does not end) with specifically learning and then keeping the words, teachings, commands, and example that He gave during His earthly ministry. It is simply impossible to imitate someone without knowing what they said and did (Matthew 7:24-29, 10:24-25, 11:25-30, 12:41-42, 13:16-17, 13:34-35, 17:5, 24:35; Mark 4:24-25, 4:33-34, 6:34, 8:38, 9:7, 13:31; Luke 6:46-49, 9:35, 10:24, 10:38-42, 11:31-32, 17:10, 19:47-48,  John 3:31-36, 4:25-26, 4:40-42, 5:24, 5:38-39, 5:46-47, 6:28-29, 6:63, 6:66-69, 8:31-32, 8:51, 9:26, 10:27, 12:48, 13:34-35, 14:12, 14:15, 14:23-26, 15:7-17, 15:20-24, 16:6-8).

 

  1. Biblical Discipleship in a Relational Environment (Relational Discipleship). Being conformed to the image of Jesus by imitating Him as His disciple is not a passive process, but an active/interactive process that occurs within a relational environment; which was established and demonstrated by Jesus during His earthly ministry (Acts 2:42-47, 1 Corinthians 14:40, 2 Timothy 2:2).

 

Photo by Randy Jacob on Unsplash