Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What I Believe About Miracles, Healings and Spiritual Gifts

To begin with, I realize that if you read this whole article, you may come to the conclusion that I am a little off-base. You might decide that I am a fanatic, or one of those “Jesus Freaks,” or a “holy roller.” Let me begin by saying that as far as those are negative connotations, I reject them. But if those designations are used as descriptions of belief or practice, I embrace them.

I believe that Jesus is the same now as he was in the New Testament. I believe that if he performed miracles and healings in the first century, then he can do it now. That means that if I were to negate signs and wonders today, I would have to reject resurrections, feedings, healings and more from the Bible. I am not prepared to do that. Hebrews 13.8 makes it very clear: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” If he is the same, it stands to reason that his works are the same.

But Jesus, in his teaching, went farther than that. He taught us that miracles would increase. In John 14.12 Jesus says, “Greater works than these he will do.” Is it really possible that you and I should expect God to work in miraculous ways? If that is the case, why haven’t we experienced this before now?

Here are a few answers to our “lack of the miraculous” situation.
  • We do not experience miracles because our enlightened minds do not allow for the miraculous. We believe that everything can be explained. If there is something that cannot be explained, we often dismiss it as a fiction. Consequently, we do not believe that God can do miracles.
  • We do not experience miracles because we were taught that miracles ended at the close of the New Testament. If we are not looking for miracles we will probably not see miracles. Many teachers have proclaimed that the age of miracles has ended.
  • We do not experience miracles because our wealth and science have convinced us that we no longer need miracles. A new prescription can heal me and my income assures me of a meal. Why do I need a miracle?
  • We do not experience miracles because we are comfortable with our predictable lives. A miracle will get us uncomfortably close to God and his power. We may be too intimidated for that.
  • We do not experience miracles because we have a need for control in our lives. Turning to God for help forces us to give up our authority and to turn to someone else for help.

A couple of cautions: Be careful that you do not seek miracles, but the miracle worker. Too many people get so enamored with the miraculous that they lose sight of God, the one who grants the healing. Although God does do miracles, signs, wonders and healings, the purpose of his power and working is to draw people to Jesus. He is not interested in more theatrics.

And remember that a miracle or a healing does not mean that you are somehow spiritually superior or more loved than someone else. An encounter with God is a blessing, not a competition. Remain humble and seek Jesus all the time, no matter what.

1 comment:

Paula said...

Please count me in as a Jesus freak.
I agree, we have become too independent to believe miracles can happen now. If only we could come to that point of dependence - to where He could reign in everything; how different we would be..
And how different could those around us become as a result of our lives pointing to Him.