This update is from a recent meeting of ASK Daegu. Each member contributed something to the message that follows. We pray that our group encourages you in the same way that it encouraged all of us.
Read Joshua 3 here.
Faith in Jesus that requires physical miracles as a condition of belief is neither scriptural nor sustainable. If we overlook the miracle of a life truly transformed by the word of God, and fix our eyes on whether or not a person’s physical obstacles are either cured or not, we overlook the Gospel of Jesus, and we limit faith in Jesus to the physical world where regardless of a miraculous healing, sin continues to reign and condemn.
However, faith in Jesus that does not take the miraculous promises of the Gospel seriously is just as unscriptural and unsustainable. Faith in Jesus without experience of a miraculous transformation has not submitted to the authority of Jesus as Lord. To believe in Jesus is to acknowledge the miraculous. Belief in Jesus alongside unbelief in miracles is impossible.
While our faith should not be built entirely on miracles, miracles do build our faith. Blind faith has never seen. And to see in the Gospel of Jesus is to acknowledge something beyond belief and reasonable explanation yet undoubtedly real. Faith that has witnessed these things inevitably develops, in a reality where the impossible has in fact become possible through Jesus Christ.
As Christians, how much to we believe that the miraculous is still present in our world? Do we believe that the supernatural is locked within the pages of the Bible? Do we believe that the supernatural life of the disciples is not one for us to inherit, but exists merely to inspire us? From such positions of uncertainty and doubt it is no surprise that the Christian Church is often viewed as worldly and weak. If we doubt the miraculous, we prevent ourselves from asking for the miraculous, andprevent the miraculous from entering this world.
Miracles are not to entertain us but to achieve certain objectives: to increase our faith in Jesus, our awareness of God’s holiness, awareness of our own sin, and ultimately to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth. While it can be tempting to hear a message about miracles in the present age and immediately pray for a physical miracle, the miraculous cannot exist without the recognition of sin. The petition for miracles without the confession and consecration of a heart reveals a dangerous misunderstanding of miracles. The most important miracle was Jesus, and Jesus came to address and pay the debt of our sin. Therefore, to ask for a miracle without acknowledging the authority and sacrifice of Jesus is a dangerous misunderstanding of miracles.
Miracles do and will occur. However, a heart that prays for miracles but does not desire the forgiveness of Jesus, does not praise Jesus for his sacrifice, is a heart that does not seek the will of a Holy God, but is still imprisoned by the temptations of a sinful world.
Christians should pray for the miraculous with confident belief in the impossible becoming possible. However, we must guard our hearts against the temptation to separate Jesus’ death from His miracles, creating a chasm between his will and our own which could ultimately separate us from His presence entirely.