During the history of Christianity there have been times when God Almighty – the God of the Bible has moved in an unprecedented manner.
The recorded miracles in the Old and New Testaments – testify to those times.
And of course when He moves in miraculous power not everybody gets it.
Not everybody sees it, realises it, – in short they don’t believe it.
I touch on this in my page blog: ‘For Christians only…?’ (first part).
Where I refer to the number of times Jesus asked how it was that they just weren’t getting it: ‘how is it you don’t understand?’
So to cry out and proposition Jesus: ‘If you perform a miracle that I could see – I would believe in you’ isn’t going to work, because – when He does perform a miracle – many still don’t see it, realise it, in short or believe it.
Especially those who proposition Him in unbelief.
In fact where one to come back from the dead many will still not believe:
*Luke 16/31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’
So the faith that brings us to Christ starts when we hear the words of scripture, whether Moses or the prophets or of course, we being in a different era than those to whom this* was first said, for us it’s the faith that comes on hearing the Words of the New Testament.
That brings us to a genuine spiritual experience, after which we receive the gift of spiritual discernment or awareness.
When we balance the lack of miracles, i.e. those that actually-do-not-take-place, with the fact that – when they do take place, we don’t see them, where does that leave us?
When the human mind refuses to be duped by miracle working ‘evangelists’ (there are genuine ones and also wolves in sheep’s clothing) – who claim miracles, especially when you send in your donation of ‘x’ amount of dollars (or whatever currency). Where does that leave us when it comes to REAL miracles?
The skepticism regarding charlatans can rob us of openness to the real thing.
What about real miracles?
John 9. Tells the story of the man blind from birth – who was healed by Jesus. As we say, healed by the clay made from the divine spittle.
When the man who couldn’t see – was now plainly seeing, the religious leaders, and no doubt other folk, couldn’t get it.
Even when told by the man himself – (who had the genuine miraculous supply of sight) – regarding who did the miracle, they still couldn’t accept it.
He knew who had healed him – he was there when it happened! – he testified to who did the healing.
‘Naw can’t accept that’, was the gist of the response.
The unbelieving skeptic closes his mind to any possibility of such miracles.
He closes his mind to any kind of writing or theology, or Bible teaching on the subject, indeed any subject that suggests he could actually encounter the Living God for himself is dismissed because he has it all figured out.
Because he thinks he understands that such things do not occur. And he is not going to involve himself in even considering that they might happen, or that they might happen at certain times in history.
(By the way – There but for the Grace of God go I)
He does not understand that he is born with a nature that rejects the things of God.
The bible covers this with the words:
I Corinthians 2/14 – But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
They are spiritually discerned.
If you don’t have spiritual discernment in the first place how can you know spiritual things?
To receive, obtain and have spiritual discernment, one needs to accept it as a gift from God on His terms.
Repentance (an old fashioned word – right?) that calls us to humble ourselves and ask God to come into our life as we turn away from our natural (or selfish) state of being, followed by faith (dependency from then on) in Christ – is the ‘condition(s)’ for receiving a new life, a spiritual life where our spirit comes alive and we receive spiritual discernment from Jesus Christ, as a gift in response to our personal repentance and faith.
His presence in our lives from then on of course supplies the spiritual discernment.
All of this is a gift – but only if received – by receiving Christ Jesus.
When Christians find it hard to believe in miracles the natural (sinful) man is to the forefront. It’s easy to be skeptical.
Remember doubting Thomas? His natural man was winning the day:
John 20/24– “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
On one recorded occasion Jesus ‘did no (or not many) mighty (miracle) work(s) there…’ in a certain place – and we are told the reason – because of the unbelief of the people. (Matthew 13/58)
So not doing a miracle is possible, if God so chooses.
But then we have time after time after time – when He did the opposite – He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, cast out demons, raised the dead.
So if it isn’t happening, – (this moving in unprecedented manner I mean) -and you wonder why? Heh! – take a look at a God-forsaking, Christ rejecting, unbelieving world for the answer.
The problem with unbelief is that at certain times in history it is rampant, we could liken it to an incurable virus that contaminates the nation. Such a ‘virus’ was present when Noah built the ark (men’s thoughts only evil continually – that’s unbelief).
And then those of us who do believe, seem to fall short in seeing the miracles we perhaps are looking for. Again where does this leave the Christian community?
This brings us back to an earlier statement – there is no doubt that God moves in a given season in an unprecedented manner in comparison to how he has moved perhaps in a different period of time.
We will not know all the answers as to why. But of course it is bound up in the divine wisdom and sovereignty of God.
The faith God requires of His people, is the faith that causes them to walk in – and according to – what they have already received through faith. And to remain open for more.
Beyond this, because of our proneness to let faith slip, we need help to grow in Grace and faith, if we are to please God and see another day of His Revival.
But there is no doubt that for whatever reason best left to the sovereign divine wisdom of God – He does pour out His Spirit in exceptional measure at given seasons and the results are miracles of differing kinds.
But during an epidemic of unbelief – producing zero spiritually – where nothing but unbelieving rejection of His love is the vapour that is arising – what hypocrisy in the light of this, to accuse God of not performing a miracle.
Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.