Summary: People are longing for God to work in their lives or perform miracles in their situations. But the problem for many is that if He does speak they won't do anything. If He does challenges...they won't take the risk.
BETWEEN THE PROMISE AND THE MIRACLE
We've been speaking on the subject of miracles...and hopefully we've come to the place where we honestly and wholeheartedly believe that God is still a miracle working God. And I know that there are at least a few here who can testify on a personal basis that miracles are real.
God has given us the power and authority to do miraculous things...as we see in Mark 16, for instance, where we can take authority over the demonic...lay hands on the sick and see healing take place...and where supernatural divine protection is ours...
But we must also remember that this power and authority is not just a blank check given to us to use as we please. The Holy Spirit empowers us and works through us to demonstrate the truth of the gospel so that people will know and believe that Jesus is Savior...and Lord! REMEMBER...Proclamation and then Demonstration!
But even though the Scriptures are saturated with evidence of the anointing and power that is ours as Christians...we need to keep in mind that miracles...and I mean a genuine, supernatural intervention by God's power...they're not just a dime a dozen. In fact they are the exception rather than the rule.
And it's not because God's power has diminished...or that He no longer works as He did in the past...but because we have, for the most part, simply failed to take Him at His word....to be obedient and trusting and simply do as He has said. But what really complicates things is that we are often impatient...we want it when we want it...and we always want it now!
Throughout Scripture we see so many illustrations of miracles, healings, and situations being taken care of instantaneously. But we often fail to look into those situations from the perspective of the person receiving that miracle.
Bartimaeus was instantly healed...but what about all those years in the meantime? The woman with the issue of blood suffered 12 years and went through doctor after doctor. Hers was a long and difficult struggle until her healing finally took place. And when she was healed...was this the first time she saw or heard of Jesus and His message?
I could list probably hundreds of examples of people who have received a miracle, and healing is just one of many ways God works miracles as we'll soon see. But miracles seldom just pop up. They are not done just to liven things up or to entertain the troops. There is a plan and a purpose behind every supernatural act of God.
And somewhere along the line, faith and a promise from God were involved. And this is where we often miss the boat, because there may be a period of time where you must trust God to work things out in His time and His way. And that can be tough.
There are some here who have shared with me that they truly believe God is going to give them a miracle. There are some here in definite need of a healing in their body...one that would defy a medical diagnosis that gives little or no hope of total recovery. They know the promises of God...and want so much to keep faith and trust in those promises.
But what about the interval between the promise and the miracle. We want those "instant" healings or "instant" miracles like we read about in the Bible...but sometimes it doesn't happen as quick as we would like. This can be a very unsettling, difficult time of waiting and hoping...praying and believing...doubting and denying. What about life in the meantime?
This is something I feel is so important because there's been no greater struggle in my entire life than waiting for the promises of God...waiting for a miracle that I needed. For me it took several years and many tragic, devastating events before I actually experienced the promise of God.
Sometimes it was easy to hold on to my faith in that promise...but at times I almost gave up...right on the very brink of my miracle. And I've come to realize that waiting for God to come through with your miracle can be an agonizing struggle.
During a Monday night football game between the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, one of the announcers observed that Walter Payton, the Bear's running back, had accumulated over nine miles in career rushing yardage. The other announcer remarked, "Yeah, and that's with someone knocking him down every 4.6 yards!"
Now, I did some figuring. That would be like running from this church to my house and back...but getting knocked down 3,443 1/2 times. Now, obviously I've never been a professional football player...but I can relate to the idea of getting knocked down, slammed around and being a target of the opposition.