Missing the Miraculous

There is a saying for the person who sees everything from a spiritual perspective, or quotes a Bible verse in each conversation, “They are so spiritually minded that they are no earthly good.” I agree with that, but also see the exact opposite in some, “they are so earthly minded, they’re of no spiritual worth.” Some see everything as good or evil, and are tagged as, “fanatic.” Some do not find anything good or evil, right or wrong, day or night…it is what you think it is, time and space are illusions, everything is meaningless. Those poor folks I feel sorry for, so full of man’s wisdom and opinions that they are missing the purpose of their living.

In John 5, there is a story of a lame man, lying by the pool of Bethsaida, where the lame, blind, and any who were invalid laid, waiting for the stirring of the water. During certain seasons, an angel from God would come and stir the water, and whoever of the disabled enter the waters first, were healed. The lame man had been in that condition for 38 years, and could not get into the pool first, because no one was there to help him get in. Jesus asked him, “do you want to get well?” Then said to him, “pick up your mat and walk.” He did so. This was on the Sabbath. When the Jews saw the man carrying his mat, they told him, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat. Who told you to do this?” The lame man did not know Jesus’ name, later saw Jesus in the temple, and blew the whistle on Him.

The Jews missed the miracle. They were so law minded, they were no spiritually good. How often are we the same? If the miraculous happens before our very eyes, in Jesus’ name, resulting from prayer, but doesn’t agree with our doctrinal beliefs, we reject God’s participation in the miracle. “God does not operate like that today, miracles died out with the apostles!” some exclaim. The “spiritual,” however, does not see anything but the miracle, and from that moment on, look only for the miraculous, and spend their waking hours in a fanatical trance, so to speak, with their minds in the clouds, and want to witness God’s power only.

Of course, there are those who will say, the lame man wasn’t really lame. If they saw an amputee’s missing arm suddenly appear by prayer in the name of Jesus, they would think, this is merely a magic trick, and look around for the hidden cameras. There are still others who see, believe, rejoice, and continue their journey as a follower of Christ. They were not amazed at a miracle, they knew nothing is impossible with God, so they expected it, but don’t stop doing as Christ taught them to do because of it. I read of many miraculous things happening in third-world countries, with regularity. Why there, not in righteous America? Believers there are not cluttered with things and events that they put ahead of God, He is first, they focus on his presence and will, sharing Christ in the face of persecution.

These people in developing nations also gather in expectation of something new from God when they meet. Their expectations are on God, not on a man standing in the pulpit, who we expect will work up God’s manifest presence in our church services. They aren’t preacher followers…they know it’s all about Jesus. Above and beyond that, their faith is child-like, if the Bible says it, it is so. No doctrine of man can overrule the written Word, or the Living Christ. It is here, in child-like faith, that spiritual mindedness doesn’t take the believer off on a tangent for 5 years, looking for the extraordinary to prove God’s reality. We sensationalize, advertise, and charge admission. They hear, come, and receive…and rejoice!

We must stop missing what God wants to do in our lives by looking to the sensationalists, the doubting media, or the fence-riding believer that curse like a sailor, drink like a fish, but become suddenly spiritual when religion is discussed. Let us submit in obedience, walk in love toward all, and let God out of the box we keep Him in, so we can see, and not miss, the miraculous. God bless and keep you all, Keith

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