One More Year of Choices…
By Barbara Dahlgren
No one would deny that God can perform miracles. Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, calmed the raging storm, and my favorite – turned water into wine. I’m thinking it was a nice Merlot or perhaps a Cab. However, people looking for God to reveal Himself through a miracle sometimes miss the fact that the Bible tells us not all miracles come from God. Look at these scriptures:
Deuteronomy 13:1-3 says that if people foretell dreams or signs and wonders that come to pass, then encourage you to follow other gods than the one true God, you should not listen to their words. Therefore, it must be true that others besides God can perform certain signs and wonders.
Mark 13:22-23 tells us to be on guard because others than God can perform miracles that can deceive us into thinking they represent Christ.
Matthew 7:22-23 tells us that many will come to God pointing out that they had performed miracles but God will say, “I never knew you. Get away you evildoers!”
2 Thessalonians 2:8-9 reminds us that Satan has the power to perform counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders.
Exodus 7:11 recounts how Moses and Aaron performed miracles such as having a staff turn into a snake, but Pharaoh summoned his sorcerers and they did the same thing.
Therefore, miracles are not always proof of where God is working. Plus, we cannot always trust what we actually see. Just watching a master illusionist such as David Copperfield in Vegas will prove that. Did he really make a tiger appear out of thin air, or did he make you believe he made a tiger appear out of thin air? It’s a tricky world.
When we watch faith healings on television, is the person really healed? I’m not so sure. Perhaps some, but in Jesus’ day when He gave a blind man back his sight or made the lame walk, it happened in a setting where a whole village actually knew the person. They could attest to the fact that yes, indeed, that person had been blind from birth or this person had never been able to walk. A whole town had seen them struggle day after day. That is just a little different than watching it on TV, attending a faith revival, or having someone you don’t even know interviewed on TV and claim healing. There was no doubt about what Jesus did. It wasn’t left up to speculation.
Consider this… Miracles rarely increase one’s belief in God. The Israelites experienced miracle after miracle and still they did not believe. Once people experience one miracle, they want another, and another, and another.
Do we look to God or to what we think God can do for us through a supernatural wonder? If that is our approach, we miss the biggest miracles of all – Christ living and dwelling in us, the peace that passes understanding, and fruits of His Spirit manifested in our changed lives.
So be careful what you wish for. If a miracle is what you wish for, you might get it. But just remember this – not all miracles come from God.
Suggestions for practicing this choice…
- Pray for discernment. Discernment is the ability to recognize and perceive. Christians without discernment are very gullible and swallow everything they see and everything people tell them hook, line, and sinker, whether it’s true or not.
- We live in a confusing, chaotic world. We need God’s discernment to be able to navigate it wisely and not be led away by every wind of doctrine that comes along. Build a solid biblical foundation by prayerfully reading your Bible daily and asking God to help you assimilate what you read, so you will have a theological basis for the decisions you make.
- Ask God to help you to be able to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and deception. Even though Paul had taught the Corinthian church the truth, he still feared they could be lead astray. So he cautioned them to stick to the simplicity of the teachings of Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)
- The Thessalonians were admonished to examine things carefully and hold fast what is good, abstaining from evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:20-22) This is good advice for all of us.
- Remember that emotions and feelings can be deceiving. You may feel that something is true, but that doesn’t make it true. Ask God to teach you His ways so you can walk in His truth. (Psalm 86:11)