There have been a lot of headlines in recent years having to do with doping. In case that’s a new word to you, it refers to the act of an athlete taking performance enhancing drugs—adding a little something to their system that gives them an unfair advantage over the rest of the playing field.
In the world of athletics, this can result in suspensions, fines, and even lifetime bans from the sport. But in the world of Christianity, this should be an everyday, non-stop experience.
You see, as Christians, we have a little something extra that the rest of the world does not have. This little something is called God, i.e. the Holy Spirit. And lest you understand me to be saying less than I am, the Holy Spirit is not simply a performance enhancing substance; rather, He is a whole-being recreating substance. We are not merely human anymore.
Yes, as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:7, we are only jars of clay, but that’s not what defines our substance anymore. We are now defined by the treasure that lives inside of us that gives us life and transforms our mortal bodies into living, breathing embodiments of Christ Jesus. This was the whole point, “…to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). The fact that we appear to be merely human only serves to glorify God that much more when His supernatural power explodes out of us. Just like a treasure chest, the value, identity, and purpose of the outside is completely determined by what lies within.
It is only our lack of honor for ourselves and each other that restrains us into acting merely human. If we really started honoring one another as vessels indwelt by the Living God, then we would empower each other to do things far beyond what we can currently imagine.
In Nazareth, Jesus was received without honor. In other words, they saw a person who could build with wood, but not a person who could do miracles. Because they couldn’t see miracles within Jesus, Jesus couldn’t do miracles within them. It might be easy for us to relegate that miraculous status to Jesus alone, except that Jesus immediately drew a parallel between His situation and Elijah and Elisha, who were both sent to gentiles because Israel wouldn’t receive them (Luke 4:16-30).
I believe that miracles are waiting inside each and every believer until someone sees them there, and that once they are finally discovered, they will be released. So many books and training materials are published to help believers live supernatural lives, but all of these are focused on training individuals to honor themselves as vessels of a supernatural God who will do miraculous things through them. That’s great, and even necessary, but it will only get us to Nazareth unless we can develop a culture of honor within which we expect miracles to come out of everyone.
It’s time for us to begin looking at ourselves and our Christian family differently. It’s time to treat each other as more than human.