Summary: God wants to perform miracles, signs and wonders in the midst of His people. I believe that He has saved the best for these last days, but we will only receive them if we pay the price of preparation.
Saving the Best for Last
By Pastor Jim May
John 2:1-10, "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now."
We believe in miracles and it is my desire to the gifts of healing and miracles taking place in the lives of our people and our church. But if we are going to see the miracles then there must be a time of preparation before the miracle can some.
Paul and Silas, locked away in a dark, damp prison cell, with guards standing outside their door and chains locked to their feet and hands, desired a miracle. But that miracle never came until they learned to cry out to God and sing praises in the darkest hour of the night. Can you get that picture? Paul and Silas had just been beaten severely for their testimony in the Lord. Then they were cast into prison and locked in chains.
Now that’s no way to treat a preacher – right? They should have brought them a chicken dinner, or a happy meal, but no, they might have had a little bread and water. These men were outlaws who were causing insurrection in the streets. Troublemakers! That’s what they were – so they were passed through a kangaroo court and locked away, then they jailors threw away the key.
Paul and Silas were having a bad day on the mission field. Perhaps Silas looked over at Paul and said, “So, you are content in whatever state you are in, Huh? Well, how do you feel about that right now?”
They were hurting, hungry, tired and beaten, but they couldn’t rest. Most likely they were chained to a wall standing up so sleep would have been hard. The night was long, and I’m sure that at times it seemed like a hopeless situation. But then Paul looks over at Silas and says, “Sing!”
Sing, are you losing it Paul? You want me to sing. I don’t feel like singing. My feet hurt; my head hurts; my back hurts; my arms hurt; in fact Paul, there’s no place in my body that doesn’t hurt. And now you say, “Sing”.
Paul looks back over at Silas and says, “Don’t worry, you’ll get used to the beatings and jails after a while. It’s only hard the first 5 or 6 times and then you learn to trust God, so let’s sing and praise the Lord.
I wonder what the last thing was that went through the guards minds as Paul and Silas began to sing?
Acts 16:25-27, "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled."
They must have had some strong voices to bring down the jail. I’ve heard of breaking glass but never crumbling a house. God sent and earthquake. He was moved by the praises of his children from the jail cell and he moved Heaven and earth literally to set them free.
The miracle came because Paul and Silas prepared their hearts through praising the Lord. They heard the Holy Ghost say, “Sing” and they sang!
And what about Daniel down in that Lion’s den? I could think of a lot better places to rent a room than in the lion’s den, although I think that you might stand a better chance of survival through the long night in a lion’s den than in some apartment complexes I know.