Posts Tagged miracles

Incapable

John 5: 19

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself.”

Is there any better news in the whole of the New Testament. Jesus, by his own admission, could do nothing of himself. Consider all the miracles of Jesus while on the earth. There were some pretty big ones chronicled in those pages. Yet, Jesus tells us he was incapable of any of it in himself. Isn’t that great?

You see, when Jesus came to earth, he emptied himself of his deity and became human. He was born a little baby just like you. He needed nursing and caring for like all children. I don’t imagine people receiving their healing just because they held the infant. Nope, there is something much bigger to Jesus, his miracles and his victory. He had a father. If you read the rest of this verse you will find that Jesus credits his power and success to attending to his Father’s example, “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” Whatever Jesus saw God do, he emulated and Eureka (!) he had great success when he did as the father.

Jesus was born under the Old Covenant. He lived and learned as an Old Testament Jew. He read the books and listened to the Rabbi’s. He saw his Father’s ways in those old books and Rabbinical teachings. Then when he was baptized by John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit of God came and rested upon him. Then he had the witness of the scriptures and the leading of the Spirit. Those two blessings led him in the way he was to go. He walked by the leading of the Spirit daily and the power of the Holy Spirit healed and delivered whosoever would believe.

That is why I consider this verse such good news. If Jesus could do nothing apart from his Father, then there is hope for you and me. Jesus had to rely on the same gifts which we must depend upon. We have been given the Holy Spirit without measure. We have all that he is within and with us at all times. Everything Jesus had, we have. The power that operated in his life such that miracles were common, rests upon us; lives within us. The obvious conclusion, then, is that everything Jesus did, we can do too. Jesus said it himself, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14: 12).

Jesus did not create miraculous results of himself. He understood how to follow the Father’s example and the Spirit’s leading. The Spirit is the power but Jesus learned to cooperate with the Spirit so that the Father’s will would be made manifest in the earth. Jesus was a human who learned how to partner with divinity for the benefit of humanity. There is nothing he did which you cannot do. I find that tremendous good news. I only have to be me. You only have to be you. You don’t have to be Jesus. Isn’t that a relief? We have to same capacity to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and allow him to manifest himself to the world. He can heal our families and save the damned. He is the light in a dark and decaying place. We are vessels of his greatest. Surely we can manage to be jars, jugs, bottles or bowls. We do not have to perform the miracles ourselves, just partner with the miracle maker. Maybe we can do that and if we can, then we can change the world.

Truth Prevails

John 10: 19 – 21

The Jews who heard these words were again divided. Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

If you guessed that the Jews were speaking about Jesus, you are right. Isn’t it interesting that people can be so divided over the message and the message bringer? All of these people heard the same thing yet some attributed his teachings and miracles to his being under the influence of the devil. Still others heard wisdom in these words.

It is no different today and if people accused Jesus of being demon possessed, what will they say about us. We can only hope to stir them up as intensely as did Jesus. I have recently met a woman who is living in the middle of this reality. She longs for the miraculous and has a deep sense in her spirit that there is more of Jesus to experience than we, the church, are currently experiencing. Further, she is actively seeking all Jesus has for her. However, she has run into opposition. The church she attends is not only satisfied with living a watered down Christianity where there is not power, they even go a step further to preach against it. I have a hard time comprehending such a position. You may have read my devotional titled, All my Birthday Presents (read it here: http://iveyministries.org/2015/10/all-my-birthday-presents/). The whole point of it is that I want everything Jesus died to give me. Not one of his good gifts should go unclaimed. Do you agree? And yet, some people, even Christians (or especially Christians) complain and criticize when someone operates in a realm where they have no experience. They elevate their experiences over the Word of God and the ministry of Jesus. That’s nuts!

This lady even has to endure negativity from her pastor and hears it from the pulpit. It bothers me considerably that this pastor is speaking negatively about that which he does not understand. He is hamstringing his congregation and stealing from this woman and others. However, there is grace for him as well. He needs a visit from Christ. Once you have encountered Christ, you really don’t care what some ignorant speaker has to say because you have actual and divine knowledge. I have seen the Holy Spirit with mine own eyes. You cannot convince me he does not exist nor that he is not present in the lives of saints on this earth today. I have been there and seen it.

So why do people like this pastor struggle so? They are spiritually dead or at least unapprised. Jesus said these people have a hardened heart. The thing that makes that such a sad statement is that usually it is we who harden our own hearts. We choose to close our minds and hearts to that which is different or which challenges our current beliefs and knowledge. The hungry Christian need not defend their belief system. We have a Lord so our part is simply to run to him with our confusion and even our doubt. “Teach me, Lord Jesus, what the truth is in this situation!” We also have other Biblical teachers who can bring light if our current associations are ill-informed.

Just like the Jews called Jesus a demoniac, people today criticize and condemn others as blasphemous and demon influenced. First, check the Bible. If what is being criticized is there, then it is of God, not Satan. Second, get further information if you don’t understand. Certainly do not listen to naysayers. Don’t let them steal from you and condemn you to less than Jesus died to give you. If they disparage others, that is a good first clue they are not walking in the fullness of the Spirit. God is love. We do not all have to believe the same but the church is dying from the lack of Jesus’ power in our congregations. Jesus came to give us fullness of life and we are not only settling for much less than he intended, but sometimes we even cut off the flow of his Spirit by criticizing those who are experiencing miracles. Until we are all living in the abundance of life that Jesus intended, we need to keep pressing in to all he would reveal to us. Will some of it be startling? Sure, and even, at times, disturbing but he is the answer to every problem and question. Let’s live big. Let’s start walking on the water.

Least of All

Judges 6: 13

“O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about?”

An angel appeared to Gideon calling him a “valiant warrior.” Gideon was not buying into it though. You see  his response above.

This could easily be our response today. We keep hearing about the greatness of God and all of his miracles but where are they? Gideon accused God of having abandoned his people. Has our God abandoned us? Well, if He has not, then where is His power? Where are His miracles? Why doesn’t He deliver us from the oppression all around us?

Gideon was the least of the least. He was the youngest of the least influential family. You know, David was the youngest also. God isn’t looking for a person the world adorns as mighty or influential. He is looking for someone who will put their faith in Him. When you are least of the least, you recognize you need God if you are going to accomplish anything. Gideon had some audacity though. He challenged the angel as I doubt I would have the courage to do. The angel wanted to enlist Gideon to lead the people of God against their enemies. Gideon had a hard time believing that God would show up on the scene. Too long had he witnessed the mediocrity of his situation. Too long had the God of Israel been silent.

How similar was Gideon’s situation to that which we all face today. Are you like Gideon, wondering where the power of God is? If He loves us so much, why isn’t He showing His power? Where are the miracles? We need our God today. We need some kind of stirring up like the angelic visitation of Gideon. What will it take for us to see the moving of God on the earth in our time?

Are you small, insignificant and unimportant? Are you not so wise, not so learned, not known for your great influence? Are you least of the least? Then maybe you are the person God can visit with a message of deliverance. Maybe you are the person He can use to set us free.

Would that we all cry out to God for His manifestation in the earth. Yahweh, show your face. Send us a message, an angel, your spirit and give us the simplicity of faith to be used of you. Cause us to hear your voice and do your bidding. Send your power Lord. Send your strength. Hear our call and find us worthy by the blood, faith and love of your son. Heal our lands, O Lord. Hear the voice of your people.

Flip the Switch

Acts 1: 8

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.

Like yesterday, we are talking about being witnesses to the whole world. Our lives become the testimony of God’s greatness and His absolute devotion to His people.  How, though, do we let Jesus’ victory shine through our lives?  We have seen verses over the last couple of weeks that indicate that we must be agents of God’s power in the earth.  In today’s verse Jesus tells us, rather plainly, that God’s power comes to us through the Holy Spirit.  He is the power of God.  It is not a difficult proposition to believe because we have seen the truth of it since Genesis chapter one.  The challenge has been embracing our role in God’s moves in the earth.

Last week we saw Moses parting the Red Sea.  How did he do it? Miracles are performed through a partnership with God.  He provides the power but we are His hands, feet and mouth in the earth.  Here is some key language from the Bible which helps us to understand this partnership, “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, But the earth He has given to the sons of men” (Psalm 115: 16). God has given us authority in the earth. He will not violate our authority. Jesus told the disciples to feed the multitude.  He expected them to perform the miracle but we are powerless in ourselves.  Jesus knew how to perform miracles, he did it all of the time.  So, how do we perform miracles when we haven’t any power ourselves? I can show you how.

Do you have electricity in your house?  Where does the power come from to power your lights and appliances?  You don’t produce it, do you?  There is probably a power company nearby that has run lines from their power source to your house.  The effect is that you have electric power though you did nothing to produce it.  Okay, so go home tonight and do not flip on any switches.  You can sit in your living room and pray to God to turn on the light.  You can pray to the power company to turn on the lights.  My guess is that neither is going to accomplish much.  Alternatively, you can flip the switch on yourself and take advantage of the power that has already been delivered to your house.

That is exactly how it works with God.  He has given us the power but it is we who must flip the switch.  What good does it do to have electricity wired into our homes if we never plug into it or turn on the switches? We will end up sitting in the dark all night. In just the same way, God has given us His power. Our prayer should be, “Father, how do I flip on the switch in this situation?” That is what we do when we inquire of the Lord in every situation.  It’s not about getting Him to do something.  It is about receiving instruction from Him as to what we should do.  He has already given us everything we need to live the victorious life.  He has given us miracle working power.  We just need to plug into it and flip on the switch.

Loaves and Fishes

Matthew 14: 15

And when it was evening, the disciples came to Him, saying, “The place is desolate, and the time is already past; so send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.” And ordering the multitudes to recline on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes.

There are any number of observations to be made from this text but you will have recognized it from when Jesus fed the five thousand. The first point to pull out of this passage is the recognition of who Jesus expected to feed the multitude. He told the disciples, “You feed them.” Then recognizing that their faith and understanding limited them he took on the task of feeding the five thousand, which, by the way, scholars tell us was more like twenty-thousand because the five only represented the number of men as it did not include women and children. Anyway, the point is that Jesus fully expected the disciples to feed the multitude. This goes right along with what Yahweh spoke to Moses. “You lift up your hand and do what is needful,” is the message the Father and Jesus communicate to us. You are seeing this, right? The workers of miracles are you and me.

However, we do see a difference between this story and Friday’s recounting of Moses and the Red Sea. When directed by God, Moses stepped up and performed. The disciples did not respond with the same trust and courage, so Jesus had to do it for them. Notice, though, Jesus’ actions. He did not hold the bread up to heaven and pray, “Oh heavenly Father, multiply this bread so that we may feed this great multitude.” In fact, he did not pray at all. Isn’t that just a bit mind blowing? He blessed the food and he multiplied it.

Now, if you ask Jesus right now if he multiplied the food and fed the twenty-thousand in his own strength and power he will answer with a resounding, “No.” He performed the miracle but he did it in the Father’s strength and power.

This is not an isolated instance. It was Jesus who changed the water to wine. He didn’t stop to pray. He didn’t ask God to produce wine from water. He just told the servants to fill the wash pots and then dip some out and take it to the head steward. Read through the gospels and you will see that He didn’t pray for healing; he healed. He rebuked the waves (Matthew 8: 26) and seemed perturbed that the disciples didn’t handle the problem themselves. To the leaper he said, “I am willing,” and he healed him (Matthew 8: 3). Again, He didn’t pray asking God to heal the leper.

Jesus didn’t stand around waiting for God to do something. He did it himself and we are supposed to do the works he did and even greater works according to him (John 14: 12). If we will meditate on Jesus’ life in this context, I believe we can experience a great breakthrough. The healing power of God is in your hands. The miracle working power of God is in your hands. What will you do with it?

The Red Sea


Exodus 14: 15 – 16

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. And as for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it.”

I want to share something important today, something we don’t talk about often. Who was it that divided the red sea? When confronted with the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptians chasing behind them, the Israelites cried out to God. Take a close look at God’s response to Moses. Yahweh told him, “You reach out your hand.” This is a critical point. Most of us think that God parted the sea but it isn’t true. Moses divided the sea per the Lord’s instruction.

Jesus said, “Nothing will be impossible to you” (Matthew 17: 20). What he did not say is that nothing shall be impossible to God. While that is true, it is interesting that Jesus did not tell his disciples to pray because everything is possible with God. He told them their failure was due to their own lack of faith, because if they had even a modicum of faith nothing would be impossible to them. Another time he said, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19: 26). The key word in this quote is “with.” God was with Moses as He is with us but it was Moses who had to step out and part the sea. God wants to do amazing things “with” us too.

I truly believe this is a major principle in Kingdom dynamics and one we have mostly overlooked. There are revelations embedded in here that if we were to flesh them out would change the body of Christ overnight. We believe we are awaiting God but the truth is that He is waiting for us. I have written before about Christian bravado and I believe this is where it comes into play. Sometimes we have to act in boldness. We have to take a chance and take God very simply at His word. It takes a person of courage and faith to boldly believe God and act on it. Wouldn’t we rather God show up of His own accord and work miracles in our lives? Apparently, that is not how it works.

The real wake-up call for me is that Moses lived in the Old Testament Age. The Holy Spirit, who is the power of God, had not yet been poured out. So, in truth, we have more than Moses had. We have the life of Jesus, both the historical record and his life within us, and we have the Holy Spirit. All that Moses did, we ought to be able to likewise do. We must inquire of the Lord and allow Him to lead us in these miracle producing acts. Nothing is impossible to us because we have God. It is just a matter of are we “with” Him. Seek the Lord; seek His counsel. I believe He will give you good advice and lead you into a victorious daily existence.

Greater Works

John 14: 12

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this verse. I love the idea that we can do the same things Jesus did. All the miracles, all the victory he walked in continually is available to us. Not only can we live the life of Christ but also we discover that we should. I hate that I am falling so short. Sometimes when I read this chapter of John, I want to skip over this verse.

We all know that Jesus is our example; that we are supposed to walk in the earth as he did. When it comes to his miracles, though, we usually, in humble tones, say, “Oh, but that is Jesus.” We make him the exception when it comes to the power of God in operation even though we readily admit that our lives are supposed to mirror his and that he himself has said that we should do even greater works than he.

Jesus did not live on earth as God. “Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans,” (Philippians 2: 7). Jesus’ humanity is very significant. He could not have taken humanity’s sin to the cross without being human himself. Of course, the other side of the coin is that the miracles which occurred all around him were not a result of his deity. Then he says that we should do the same and even better. That seems to be a tall order but he also told us that his leaving allowed him to send the Holy Spirit. So, Jesus exited the earth taking our sin with him and arriving in his father’s house, he sent the Spirit to us who is the power of God. Now we have the Holy Spirit with his attendant spiritual gifts so we have all we need to live a victorious life. We have miracle working power living right within us. We have all we need in order to do the works of Jesus and even greater.

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