Choose Not to Seek Signs and Wonders
One More Year of Choices…
By Barbara Dahlgren
In today’s technologically driven age, we are constantly exposed to ever increasing, mind boggling activities. We are plugged in, turned on, or hooked up all day long. Texting, emails, iPods, iPads, cell phones, snap chats, video games, T.V., and surfing the Net consume hours daily. We become addicted to constant brain stimulation.
How does this affect the Christian community or those searching for Christ? Well, no longer are they satisfied with the ordinary. They must have dramatic faith healings and spectacular miracles or else they think God does not exist or is not doing a good job. Unfortunately, they have the cart before the horse. People want to experience a miracle to believe in God, when actually they need to believe first.
In Christ’s hometown of Galilee, Christ didn’t do many miracles because of their lack of faith. (Matthew 13:58) Was this because Christ’s miracles were dependent on their faith? Not at all! But what would have been the point? They wouldn’t have believed anyway, because contrary to popular opinion, miracles do not increase belief. The Israelites proved that. God performed miracle after miracle for them, including parting the Red Sea and they still didn’t believe He could take care of them in the Promised Land.
Sometimes God does provide a visual when He knows it will actually boost our faith. Such was the case with Thomas who said he wouldn’t believe Christ had risen from the dead unless he saw Him, but Jesus was quick to tell him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24-29)
The need for Christ to authenticate His message through miracles has long passed and would be wasted on our visual effects society. Besides, God should not have to prove Himself to us. His message speaks for itself. Sadly, some professing Christians are still seeking signs and wonders long after their conversion. This is not so much that they doubt Christ’s existence as they are looking for a “thrill” that comes from the miracle. It gives a “high,” a byproduct from an over-stimulated society. But when we are always looking for the next big thing or supernatural happening in our lives to feel God’s presence, we forget that He has been with us all along. We miss the daily walk.
Sure there are times we have those horrible “lows” in life where we cry out to God for miraculous deliverance and experience the “high” that comes when we are delivered. But when there is no major difficulty going on, do we see the miracles of God in the drudgery of everyday life? Do we see God in our day-to-day grind – getting up when the 6 o’clock alarm rings, taking a shower, brushing our teeth, carpooling the kids, driving to work in the same old car to the same old job and coming home to the same old family, then cooking something to eat, doing the dishes, helping with homework, falling into bed dog-tired? Can we cheerfully get up and do it all again the next day and stay totally centered on God?
Healthy Christians are able to go through life without God having to supernaturally zap them with an addictive spiritual methamphetamine to get them through the day. As we grow in God’s grace, we realize the miracle of God revealing Himself to us all the time. It might be in the laughter of a child, the smile of a coworker, clouds in the sky, sunlight on a window pane, or the guy who lets us merge in traffic.
Consider this… If we are truly looking for a miracle, we need look no further than where we are. For where we are, God will be. He’ll never leave us nor forsake us no matter what. He can be our peace and calm in an over-stimulated world. If we don’t see that as a miracle, there is no need to look anywhere else, because we’ll never find it.
Suggestions for practicing this choice…
- Our society is addicted to technology. To see if you are addicted, try a technology fast for a day. How long can you last without any screens?
- Try to wait at least an hour in the morning before turning any technology on. Try sitting in silence to pray or meditate before you start the day.
- Do not pull your smart phone out when you are having dinner with others. Each call, text, ping, or whistle is not an emergency and can wait until you are not with others to be dealt with.
- Become more aware of the world around you. A sunset, flower, mountain, or rainbow are all miracles of creation.
- Be aware of God’s presence in your life 24/7, walking with you and giving you the strength to make it one more day. Try plugging into God for a change. That’s when you begin to see what a miracle your life is.