Think of the New Testament as a Graphic User Interface: a human‑friendly means to interface with an overwhelmingly complex piece of operating software. The spiritual world is made up of a myriad of beings and wills. Facing it with an “open mind” leaves one exposed to a vast swamp populated by an infinite quantity of deceptive influences intermixed with Godly spirits. We’ll never live long enough to comprehend the raw reality of the world beyond the veil. A GUI which places a control panel comprised of familiar terminology gives us a fighting chance to find our place in that world.
Some Christian supernatural experiences appear in other religions, cultures and eras. “Speaking in Tongues” is an example. Glossolalia has occurred prior to Christianity in other parts of the world. This is also the case with healing and deliverance from poverty.
The difference with the Christian experience is that these miracles and supernatural phenomena are thematic: it leads the individual to a comprehension of God’s nature: love, giving, a hope for the future in the form of Eternal Life. A supernatural redemption from our sin‑nature which once stood as a barrier between ourselves and God.
Outside of the Biblical paradigm, supernatural experiences tend toward a “one step forward, three steps back” pattern. There are miracles in other belief systems, but they are accompanied by much confusion: they do not distinguish the demonic influences from the Godly ones.
There are those who welcome any supernatural experience. Being human, we’re fascinated by metaphysical activity when we see a real‑life manifestation of it. We can easily lose our discretion in such moments and just enjoy the show. Unfortunately this approach invites demonic activity.
A miracle is then followed by negative experiences. We’re also left with a greater confusion of the nature of the spiritual world and life in general.
Using the Bible to assess of the nature of God — and identifying and resisting the devil — gives us a secure base of operations from which to navigate this limitless world which lay beyond our temporal plane of existence. Grasping that our initial fallen state is the cause of life’s persecutions — and that the sacrifice of Jesus delivers us from these blights — this gives us a template by which we can order our approach to the supernatural. It has an elegance of design that I haven’t found in any other “interface.”