Changing the Unchangeable

If we’re really made in God’s image (see Genesis 1:26-27), can we change the unchangeable? Is there any greater use of authority than changing the weather? Talk about something “bigger than us.” Could there be any greater miracle?

In a former life, I was doing sneaky government stuff, or more properly supporting sneaky government stuff as a contractor. In order for our mission to succeed, we needed (mostly) clear weather over a 30-day period, on the other side of the world, in a particular place where statistically there was never clear weather at this time of year. It wasn’t looking good for the mission.

So my friend Don P, who had a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus and was one of the Ops Directors, announced at the daily high-level senior staff meeting that we were going to pray for clear weather, and that he believed God was going to deliver. Talk about going out on a limb! He was politely mocked, especially by a peer, another Ops Director named Dave T, who was a devote atheist. Don P and Dave T had some very interesting late night conversations.

Don P and I and others had a prayer group that met at lunch. So we prayed for the weather during that 30-day period.

The next morning at the senior staff meeting, when the big-wigs got the briefing of the previous night’s results, they discovered the weather in that place on the other side of the world had been clear as a bell. “Ok, you got lucky once,” was Dave T’s dismissive response. We continued to pray.

After 8 days straight of perfectly clear weather (which was darn-near statistically impossible), Dave T’s response was a hilarious mixture, to us at least. It was, on the one hand, extreme joy that this unlikely mission was succeeding, but on the other hand, extreme annoyance that God seemed to have something to do with it. He’d come in, shake his head, smile, and just say, “Keep praying”!

Don P had the last laugh.

There were some cloudy days in that 30-day period. In the end, the mix of clouds and clear weather we experienced was exactly the reverse of the statistical prediction. The mission succeeded, and God got the glory, at least between one hard-core atheist and one intense Jesus-lover.

As God’s image-bearers, we can do stuff like this. It should be Christianity 101. And yet far too often we look to supernatural solutions as last resort. Asking for God’s intervention in the natural world, or using the authority he’s given us to command it ourselves, should be the norm.

Another time, closer to home, my brother was doing electrical work with his friend, another electrician named Harlan. I knew (and worked for) Harlan personally, and he really loved the Lord. Anyway they were working on a room addition on a friend’s house as a side job, so it had to get done on a Saturday. But this Saturday was particularly rainy, and you can’t do construction, much less electrical, in the rain, since the addition was just framed with no roof yet.

They prayed when they started in the morning. It rained all over the neighborhood, all around the house where they were working. It literally rained on the houses to each side, but not on their job site.

When they broke for lunch under the covered, back-yard porch, it started dumping. After lunch, while it was still raining on their jobsite, Harlan stood up and said, “Well, time to get back to work.” After he said that, the others watched in awe as a curtain of rain moved across the swimming pool and out of the yard. The jobsite had no rain once again. Harlan was not surprised.

Why do we doubt? Jesus did it when he calmed the storm (Matthew 8:23-27 and Mark 4:35-41). And he said we’d do greater things than he did (John 14:12). Personally, I’d like to try it! Would you?

Action Step: I will be sensitive to situations where the natural world, including the weather, needs to be dorked with. I will listen to the Holy Spirit with expectation and not doubt, and I will pray what and how he tells me, whether by petition or by command. Either way, I’ll expect to see God move, and be surprised if he doesn’t rather than if he does.

How about you? Have you seen something like this happen, where God changed the weather for you? Share your story in the comments. And please share on social media if you think this would bless someone else.

The Authority of Image-Bearers

Recently my partner Ted and I learned something about the authority we have in Jesus as God’s image-bearers.

We were co-leading a Bible study for men (post-abortive recovery) at the crisis pregnancy center where we volunteer in Fredericksburg, VA. Ted was on a business trip in Boston. No biggie, we both have iPads, he could just FaceTime in. I’d set my iPad on a box in Ted’s chair, and it’d be just like he was in the room with us.

The night of the Bible study though, we discovered the wifi at Ted’s hotel was really bad. Not just sort of bad, like three-day-old-leftovers bad. But really bad, like rotten-eggs-sulphur-smell bad. We had been trying for like 10 minutes, but the connection was so sketchy it was dropping literally every 30-60 seconds. This was just not going to work, and it was completely out of our control. Or was it?

We prayed, “Lord, by the authority of the blood of Jesus, we take authority over the bandwidth of this connection, and we ask that you line up angels, wingtip to wingtip between Fredericksburg and Boston, and just shuttle the packets back and forth so we experience no more dropouts.” From that moment on, we had a two-hour connection without a single dropout.

When we finished, we thanked the Lord for protecting our connection, and prayed that he could release the angels now with our gratitude. Within 20 seconds we lost the connection.

Skeptics call that a coincidence. But when you see enough “coincidences” you start to believe. I’ve got a graduate-level degree in mathematics, and I know enough about network engineering to know that what we experienced that night was, without the intervention of God, something statisticians call “statistically impossible.” In other words, it takes a lot less faith to believe that God intervened supernaturally in that situation, because we asked him to, than to believe it was just a “coincidence.”

The point of this true story is that we, as God’s image-bearers, have authority over the natural world. We should use it. It’s who we really are.

Genesis 1:26-27 peeks in on God talking to himself as he made people:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

So often we just skip over that without thinking about what it really means. But it’s amazing! God created us in his image, his likeness, with his authority over the natural world. Yeah, we gave that authority over to the usurper, Satan, during the Fall in Genesis 3, but Jesus restored it through the cross. We have authority in his blood. Everything submits to his name.

Jesus clearly had authority over nature, calming the storm in Matthew 8:23-27 and Mark 4:35-41, and walking on the water in Matthew 14:22-33. But that was Jesus not us!

Oh yeah? Peter walked on the water, too. And c’mon, if big-mouth Peter could do it… Seriously.

Jesus himself said that we would do even greater things than he did (John 14:12). And the Bible says of itself that these things were written down as examples for us (1 Corinthians 10:11). Examples of what’s possible. Examples of what we should expect. Examples of what should be Normal Christian Life 101.

Action Step: I’ll be sensitive to when things in the natural world need changing, and realize I’m God’s agent of change in that situation. I’ll take authority by the blood of Jesus and command the change that needs to happen. I won’t let fear of it not working hold me back. That’s God’s problem.

How about you? Tell us your story in the comments. What have you seen happen? What prayers over the natural world have you seen God answer? And please share if this would bless someone else.

How to Experience the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

We are honored to have a special guest post by Rachel Larkin. Rachel lives in New Zealand with her husband and their three young adult sons. She is the author of Simple Prayer: The Guide for Ordinary People Seeking the Extraordinary. She writes about growing in faith and developing your potential on her website at She is also a practising Chartered Accountant, home schooler for fourteen years and craves chocolate constantly. 

I highly recommend Rachel’s free eBook, available here: The Untold Story: 7 Steps to Seeing God in the Midst of your Real Messy Life. I’m sure you’ll be blessed by it and enjoy it as much as we did. (BTW, these are not affiliate links. We get no commission or anything if you click them or buy from Rachel; it’s just an honest recommendation.)


God often takes what is ordinary in life and sprinkles it with extraordinary divine moments.

Look at Jesus’ first miracle while He was on this earth. He took ordinary water at a wedding of a family friend and changed it into the best wine that the guests have tasted. He showed up powerfully in the middle of everyday life!

Jesus was involved in many occasions of adding the extraordinary to the ordinary. The crowd was hungry as they had been following and listening to him all day. The call went out for supplies, and an ordinary boy gave up his ordinary fish sandwiches to Jesus. A prayer of thanks was said over the food. Something divine then took place. Multiplication happened. An ordinary lunch turned into an extraordinary feast for over five thousand people. This kind of miracle wasn’t a one-time event either.

I remember a time when we had a young family and very little spare money. I prayed that God would stretch the very little that we had. I ended up calling our car the Elijah car because of an unexplainable situation when the gauge was signaling empty. I went to the gas station to fill the car. But to my surprise the car filled quickly and the cost was only a quarter of what I would normally pay for a full tank! It struck me right there on the pavement of the gas station that something divine had taken place. There didn’t seem to be any other way of explaining what had just happened. God turned up in my ordinary life!

My life is filled with accounting work, home-schooling, keeping a home, writing, loving my husband and raising our children — all ordinary work. But when I pray over my ordinary work God starts to work in the background. I notice moments that have a dash of the divine in them.

  • A conversation with one of my young adult sons turns into something deeper and hearts are affected.
  • A ‘chance’ meeting with a stranger becomes a moment of extra encouragement for my soul.
  • A morning walk generates ideas that can only originate with God.
  • The simple act of driving to work is transformed into a sacred journey of communicating with my Heavenly Father.

Ordinary people with ordinary abilities, possessions and tasks can see the fingerprints of God touch their ordinariness and create divine moments.

Take Action

Change your mind about your ordinariness. Decide to believe that God can use whoever you are and whatever you have. Spend time in discussion with God. Use the ordinary moments of your day to communicate with the Father. Have a mindful attitude about the events and people that come across your path. Look for God in those places. Seek His glory, it’s there.

Have you discovered God in the ordinariness? Feel free to share in the comments below.

The Kingdom of God Is Not a Buffet

Ever order a medium rare filet mignon, and it comes out warm-red-center perfect, but with mushrooms on it? What made them think putting fungus on my perfect steak was a good idea?!? At least I can scrape off the mushrooms—Janet will eat them. But when I order Jesus’ resurrection power off the menu of my life, I can’t scrape off the suffering God uses to bring me that power.

The Kingdom of God is not a buffet. We can’t take an extra scoop of God’s power in our lives and just pass on the suffering. The power and the glory come through the suffering. If you’re like me, you’re going, “Really, God? What’s up with that?” But Paul said it best:

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11)

Do you see the mystery in these verses? In scripture “know” means “experience”. So experiencing the power of Jesus’ resurrection in our lives is tied to sharing in his suffering. Hmmm. Not my idea of a good time. The suffering part, that is.

But I want Jesus’ resurrection power in my life. In my family. Don’t you? I want to see miracles in my life. I want to see my family members healed when they’re sick. I want to just speak and have the natural world obey me. I want to have an impact on this world. A Kingdom impact. I want to live who he created me to be.

There’s just one catch. Experiencing Jesus’ resurrection power is tied to sharing in his suffering. And Paul uses a very interesting word to describe that sharing. Fellowship. It’s in the suffering, not in the miracles, where we experience fellowship with Jesus. That seems really counter-intuitive to me, but thank God—that’s where we need him the most.

Actually, we could pass on the suffering, or try to. And we will live very mediocre, powerless, “safe” lives, and a lot of people do. Or. Or. Or. We could, just maybe, dare to trust God. Chin up, bear up well under whatever suffering and pain he brings us through, and come out the other side living a wild, Kingdom-of-God adventure like we never even dreamed possible.

What do you think? I’ll take the wild ride. Will you? Does this resonate? Tell us your story in the comments or shoot us an email. We want to hear from you. And please share on social media if this blessed you or made you think. (Click the share buttons below.)