For the beneficiaries of this extraordinary view are neither wealthy homeowners, nor tourists, but a paddock of sheep—upon whom the view is both lavished and lost.
Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom’ (Luke 12:32).
Like the sheep of San Remo, however, we can only dimly perceive God’s Kingdom due to our earthbound state. God’s remedy for our condition can be found in ‘portal moments,’ those instances of unmistakeable, supernatural, divine intervention.
Portal moments can occur in the small passing moments of God-awareness, such as my pause of enjoyment at San Remo. But they can also occur in the larger breakthroughs of life.
We have portal moments when:
- God speaks to us personally
- Prayer is answered
- God’s intervention or guidance is the only explanation for something that has taken place
- We or someone else around us is saved, healed, or set free
Such portal moments are God announcing, ‘The Kingdom is here!’
When Jesus sent out His disciples, He instructed them, ‘Heal the sick who are there and tell them, “The kingdom of God is near you.”’ (Luke 10:9).
It was not only the message that gained the attention of people; it was the healing, miracles and the display of God’s authority over the demonic realm. The message and the supernatural demonstration of God’s power are supposed to go together. It is God’s way—and yet I have settled for much less than that.
Should we ask for portal moments?
The prophet cried, ‘Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down!’ (Isaiah 64:1).
The early church cried out, ‘Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus!” (Acts 4:30)
Apparently crying out to God for portal moments is His idea.
That’s what prayer is about: asking the Father for an act of divine intervention. However, I often neglect to do this. Sometimes this is because I am disillusioned about prayers that (from my earthly perspective) seem to have gone unanswered. But by far the most frequent reason that I don’t ask or look for portal moments is that it is simply easier to go along with the ordinary than to be a supernatural Christian.
Sometimes, I don’t expect portal moments because deep down, I don’t believe I deserve them.
Jacob had a portal moment at one of the lowest times of his life. He had failed, grasping for the promised blessing of God through lies and deceit. Now, it seemed he had lost everything, and his own brother was plotting to kill him. He was on his way into exile (you can read this story in the Bible, in Genesis 27-28).
Stopping for the night and using a rock for a pillow, he dreamed of a stairway reaching between heaven and earth to the place where he was. Angels descended and ascended and God stood at the top, and spoke to him reaffirming His promises of blessing.
When he awoke, he said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.’ (Gen 28:16).
Like Jacob, or the sheep at San Remo, I do not always discern God’s presence and Kingdom, and the darkest of times I expect His intervention the least. I stop reaching for answers to prayer.
And then a Divine act of mercy provides me with a miracle, a provision, a healing, a message or a light of hope at the end of my tunnel. Like Jacob, I am reminded that God is still with me, just as He has promised.
I am currently being challenged both to ask for and to expect portal moments. Not only for my own benefit, and not even solely for those around me who need to know that ‘The Kingdom of God is near.’
I am also stirring up my expectation for portal moments because my hunger for God will not allow me to settle for anything less. For portal moments are either born out of the intimacy of prayer, or are encounters that lead me back to intimacy with Him. They are life’s confrontations with the Living God.
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog