June 7, 2009
Text: Joshua 3:5-17
Title: Seven Steps to Receiving God’s Miracles
Today I want to begin a series on receiving God’s miracles. Today and then for the next seven sermons we will touch on the seven steps to receive a miracle in your life.
Do you believe in miracles? I hope so, be cause it is our faith in a supernatural God that causes Christians to believe that unexplainable events outside the natural realm do occur from time to time. Mirriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines “miracle” as, “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs”.
Back in 2000 Newsweek took a poll in 2000 concerning the topic of miracles and here are some of the results.
· 84% believe God performs miracles.
· 79% believe the miracles in the Bible actually took place.
· 63% know someone who claims to have experienced a miracle.
· 48% say they have experienced or witnessed one.
· 90% of Christians believe in miracles.
· 46% of non-Christians do.
· 98% of Evangelical Protestants believe in them.
· 87% agree miracles can happen to religious faiths different than their own.
· 67% of Americans have prayed for a miracle.
· 77% believe miracles can cure people given no chance by medical doctors.
Now this should be an encouragement to all of you to share your faith because you know that not every one of those who believe in miracles is born again. But, if they believe there is a God who works miracles then they must be open to the greatest supernatural work of all – salvation.
The problem we see in America then is not with God working miracles, but with the question, “Can we expect God to work miracles on our behalf when we pray?” And the answer is a resounding “YES!” Even though some Christians don’t believe that God works miracles on our behalf, the bible is very clear on what God desires to do for those who trust Him.
I want to look at a passage from the book of Joshua today and look at the steps that lead to a great miracle on behalf of the nation of Israel.
Lord, open my eyes to see, and my ears to hear, what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Seven steps to receiving God’s miracles.
1. CONSECRATE YOURSELF. (5) Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” The word “consecrate” means “to be made clean or holy”. It is presumptuous of us to think that just because we have been saved by God’s grace through our faith in Jesus that we can live our lives in any fashion we desire and expect God to respond to our prayers. Deuteronomy 23:14, 14For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you. We’re not talking about being legalistic. You can tie your hair up in a bun, wear long sleeved shirts or long dresses, not go to movies and be in church every time the doors are opened, but that doesn’t mean your heart is right before the Lord. Consecration comes from a personal relationship with the Risen Savior. Consecration comes from separating yourself from the lies of the world and from crucifying the flesh. You see, the generation before this generation of Israelites who were about to go into the land of promise, even though they had left Egypt, they never really separated themselves from Egypt. They were not consecrated or set apart. That’s why they all died in the desert. Did you ever wonder what God must have thought as His presence was in the middle of the camp day and night, in sight of all of Israel, and all He heard from them was grumbling and complaining about the food and the conditions? They want quail – I’ll give them quail… And as they stood and danced around the fire that had somehow miraculously produced a golden calf and they worshipped the calf while calling on the name of the Lord? Even though they had been removed from the sin of Egypt, they never consecrated themselves to God. Once we are saved consecrating yourself means crucifying the flesh. You don’t get saved and keep on doing the same things you always did. Ephesians 2:10, 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. What do you think would have happened if Israel had not consecrated themselves? Would God have done amazing things among them? You want to see a miracle in your life? Then let the fruit of a life consecrated to God flow out of you.