It’s no coincidence that these 40 Days of Apostleship overlap with the coronavirus pandemic. As the virus sweeps the world, fear threatens to engulf it as well. There has never been a better time to believe like Jesus—to develop the kind of faith he had—so you can perform the kind of miracles he did.
Lucky for us, this week brings us to the third of Jesus’ core beliefs. Jesus not only believed in his partnership with God, and that his prayers had power, Jesus believed in his superpower. No, I’m not talking about spidery web-making, speed, strength, shape shifting, time travel, elasticity, invisibility, freezing, or flight. As amazing as these superpowers are, Jesus’ superpower blasts past every one of these.
Jesus Believed in His Superpower
It’s easy to think that Jesus’ main superpower was miracle-making. After all he walked on water, calmed wind and waves, and rose from the dead. But I think those miracles were the result of his superpower, not the superpower itself.
Instead, I believe Jesus’ superpower was his ability to choose a miracle-making mindset. When faced with the worst of conditions—temptation by Satan, crucifixion by Pilate, disavowal by family—Jesus opted for faith. He wasn’t swayed by group-think or done in by peer pressure. Nor was he intimidated by personalities or daunted by principalities. Time and again, he chose God’s future over fear. Using this superpower means he stayed calm in the midst of conflict, present under pressure, and mindful amid the madness. All of this allowed him to tune in to God’s prompting.
Jesus isn’t the only one to possess this superpower. God has given it to you as well (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 2:8, 2Timothy 1:7). Like Jesus, you, too, have the capacity in every moment to choose your mindset. Don’t get me wrong. You’re probably not going to walk on water the first time out. Using this superpower effectively requires a great deal of practice. Think Jedi Masters. It took Luke and Rey a long time to work well with the Force. The scriptures remind us that even Jesus himself had to grow up into the wisdom and stature of the Lord (Luke 2:52).
Choosing your thought-life begins not in your head, but in your heart. To take this soulful step, tune in to your heart through quiet meditation, mindful breathing, reflection on scripture, or time in nature. It is from this grounded place that you can begin to notice the pattern of your thoughts. Ask yourself: Do my thoughts build my faith? Or do they tear me down?
Embrace the Belief that You Have This Superpower
The middle of this pandemic is a great time to believe like Jesus, and to embrace your superpowers. I don’t know if you have noticed, but some media coverage pulls for panic. That’s troubling; fear could disable more people than the virus itself.
But apostles don’t panic. Instead, like Jesus they know they have partnership with God. They know their prayers have power. They know they possess a superpower. Buoyed by these divine beliefs, apostles are able to hold a high vibration and invite others to it.
Yes, COVID-19 is very contagious. Yes, some people are dying. Yes, communities and nations must take responsible measures to halt it. Yes, people have great need. In the face of these new realities, you have two choices: Will you catastrophize? Or will you deliberately resist being hijacked by fear?
For thirty-six hours last week I found myself waffling between these two choices. I wrestled between hanging on to my vision for the year and capsizing my boat in the pandemic of panic. Overcome by cascading reports of bad news, I temporarily forgot apostles are spiritual badasses in the making, and I gave in.
Then I prayed. I remembered that God called me to this ministry in the early days of the 2007-2008 crash, and has been by my side ever since. I realized that I didn’t have to cede my faith or surrender my spiritual authority to any wind or waves back then, and I certainly don’t now. I remembered I could choose my mindset.
In the last few weeks, you have been waking up to a different world. Living with the spread of an infectious disease means endless handwashing, social distancing, travel restrictions, self-quarantines, cancelled events, disrupted schedules, extra-long spring break, unforeseen layoffs, and an unsteady market.
But it also means creative self-sacrifice, social solidarity, and finding the fun in dysfunctional. This is a new world of potlucks via Zoom, congregational worship via Facebook live, and creative care for the self-quarantined. The Italians have even been singing from their balconies, as dancing healthcare workers in Iran have kept up patients’ spirits.
How can you contribute to the miracle-making mindset the world needs? May I suggest the Prayer of St. Francis Prayer as a starting point. Then you do you as you take apostolic actions.
And remember, if you long to be a shape shifter or a time traveler that the miracle-making mindset is the biggest, baddest superpower there is. Because when you decide to choose your thoughts, to uplift your consciousness and to uplevel your faith, everything becomes possible.
Hey, even the guy with the $17,700 worth of hand sanitizer donated his stash! If that’s not a miracle, I don’t know what is.