Recently I encountered the phrase “normal Christianity.” That is not a phrase I am accustomed to hearing and so it caused
me to pause and consider the concept. One of my first thoughts was to try to define normal Christianity. If we were to take a
survey of church-going believers and ask them to define the phrase normal Christianity, I wonder what they would say. No
doubt the first criteria most would be to elude to whether or not the Christian attends church regularly. They would then
mention a regular practice of prayer and maybe daily Bible study as actions in which normal Christians would be involved.
Finally, most would in some way discuss living a life that is consistent with traditional Christian values like honesty,
kindness, diligence, faithfulness, etc. After a day of surveying and receiving answers like this, we would probably sit back
and rejoice that the people of God know what normal Christianity is all about.
The longer I pondered the phrase normal Christianity the more convinced I became that we are not experiencing what the
Bible would define as normal Christianity. The reason I make this rather radical statement is that the Church as I see it in
the Book of Acts does not look at all like what we see today. Some of those people had actually seen Jesus and others
certainly were privileged to be under the ministries of elders who had walked with Jesus. That is why the first century
Church is the model after which we are to design the Church in the Twenty-first century and the standard by which we
define normal Christianity.
The basic difference between the First century Church and the Twenty-first century is power. When I read the Book of
Acts and see how God demonstrated His power through these everyday folks, I almost turn green with envy. My cry to God
is this: “Why don’t we see these things happening today like they did back then?” Perhaps the answer to this question is
not all that hard. Maybe the reason for the regular demonstration of divine power was that these people expected it to
happen. After those people had lived in an atmosphere of faith day in and day out for weeks and months, they fully
expected God to supernaturally manifest all the time. They expected the miraculous to happen. We do not.
In some Church circles today miracles are totally dismissed as an historic fact but with no possibility of present-day
occurrence. In other churches miracles are preached about and believed in, but in reality there are few (if any) miracles
that actually happen. It would seem our idea of normal Christianity does not embrace the likelihood of God demonstrating
His power to us or through us, which was what normal was all about in the early Church. I think it goes without saying that
we must return to that state of expectancy the early Church had with regards to God demonstrating His power in our
churches, our homes, and in our personal lives.
In this brief teaching we do not have the time to fully develop why the early Church lived in a miraculous state, but suffice
it to say, their normal days were quite different than ours. They lived to help others; they walked in a state of love toward
their brothers and sisters in Christ that few of us have ever witnessed. Their Christianity was a lifestyle not a once-a-week
visit on Sunday morning to a place where religious activities happen. Their lives were enveloped with the Word of God that
was preached and taught by those who had walked with Jesus, and they experienced His anointing that was on them.
Believers nowadays spend a few brief moments quickly reading a verse or two of Scripture and they tend to treat prayer as
a ritual that must be done. Such shallow religious activities hardly equate to the dedicated lives of those early Christians.
So, the next time you read about those wonderful miracles in the Bible, consider that you too can experience a life in which
the supernatural power of God is common-place, all you have to do is to pattern your life after the followers of Jesus who
lived in the First century.
Remember the word EXPECTANCY. What you expect is what you will get. God will not do more than you expect nor will you
see His power at levels above your expectancy; actually your level of expectancy is what tells God how Big He can be to
you. So the key to living in the supernatural zone of God’s power is your expectancy – the Bible calls this expectancy faith. I
encourage you to start right now expecting God to be God on your behalf! Amen.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
II Corinthians 5:7