Atheists and Christians should not be too quick to brand each other as stupid. The atheists I know are respectful folk who recognise atheism is simply a belief that is not 100% definite, but a few others are a bit more up themselves. These smug mockers argue that God created the earth, flooded the earth, parted the sea, turned someone into a pillar of salt and then, in a sarcastic put down, tell us the best God can do today is run a bring and buy sale. Yawn! Let’s take this fundamentalist-atheist logic and use it to examine the whole basis of atheism, the belief in the all-powerful nothing, because if God’s power has diminished then by the same logic nothing’s power has diminished even further. If nothing came together with nothing and nowhere at all to create the earth, the universe and water… but does nothing today, then nothing has faded to doing nothing at all. Sorry, whose power did you say had diminished?
Sadly the perception that God’s power has diminished has got into some Christians and there are even churches that teach cessationism. This is the belief God’s supernatural power was replaced with some sort of glue, leather binding and a zip up cover. Similarly dispensationalism neatly writes off spiritual gifts, healing and the miraculous, but does permit the odd answer to prayer. These preachers say God was so powerful he could create the heavens and the earth by intelligent design, part the sea and see people walk on water, then, abruptly, tell us God’s power to act on earth suddenly ceases! To believe that God’s power has diminished is to ignore the future, when all will bow the knee. On that day every Christian and every Atheist will see who it is that has diminished power. God’s power has not faded, far from it, it is simply that his concentration is on salvation, for it is the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation!
When we read the bible page by page it is easy to forget that some of the accounts of God’s supernatural power were many years apart. That didn’t mean that in the intervening years his power had diminished. A chain saw’s power has not diminished when it is not chopping down trees, but it is not a good idea to keep it running while you are trying to flag down a bus! Even with God’s X-Men Paul, Peter and so on (I can’t say Cross-Men or they will sound like a right angry bunch) he wasn’t bursting open jail cells day by day. These non-action periods didn’t mean God’s power had been dispensed with, it just meant he was focused on other things. God doesn’t perform tricks to order, he moves supernaturally when there is good reason to. The bible says, be still and know that I am God, so when you don’t see him do anything dramatic in front of you it doesn’t mean the era of his power has passed for he is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, his era will never pass! Be still, be confident and be strong in the knowledge that he is God. What you see or don’t see won’t change that fact!
Just as there is no need to be discouraged by periods where you don’t see things happen in front of your eyes, neither do you need to fake it! Sometimes when we pray for people the power of God moves through them and they get supernaturally healed, delivered or are touched in some way. In extreme cases oil may appear on them, they make shake, be knocked unconscious or even thrown over chairs, but that doesn’t mean if you are prayed for and don’t feel anything nothing has happened and it certainly doesn’t mean you need to put on an act either. Just be still and be confident that he is God. Have a little faith!