Weekly Devotional 6-5-23 Miracle or Not
Many times I have heard someone say it was a miracle or is a miracle and I am convinced that said exclamation was heartfelt, the exclaimer sincerely believed that a miracle had occurred. But what is a miracle? A miracle is an intervention of God which transcends the ordinary laws of nature showing forth His power going beyond anything and everything else. The salvation of the human soul is a great example of this. There is nothing in the world that can regenerate a human being to new spiritual life except God the Holy Spirit. It is only He who can turn on the light of spiritual understanding. Consider for instance this excerpt from Jesus’ discussion with Nicodemus:
“3:1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’3 Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again’ ‘4 How can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!’ 5 Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit’” (John 3:1-8).
Nicodemus was a Pharisee (a spiritual leader) of Judaism, a very religious man, yet he was spiritually dead, not able to see (under-stand) the kingdom of God or enter there in unless he was to be spiritually reborn from above. No human effort could have achieved his salvation, not his own effort, nor the effort of anyone else. And that is just the point, the miracle of salvation is a divine work of God unassociated with the work (effort) of the recipient.
What after all is the purpose of a miracle? It is to draw attention to the person of God. To authenticate and affirm His authority (power), and His glory. In old testament times God manifested His person to Israel by various miracles, His overcoming the supposed gods of Egypt (Exodus, Chapters 5-14); His parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21–22; His destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Exodus 19:15-25) and, etc. In new testament times God authenticated the ministries of Jesus and the apostles by miracles. Jesus performed miracles of healing (Mark 1:32–34; 3:7–10…John 4:46–53), Miraculously provided food (Mark 6:30–44), and ruled over nature (Matthew 14:32–33). The apostles by the power of the Holy Spirit healed many people (Acts 3:10; 5:12-16; and 8:4-8). All the apostolic miracles displayed God’s power and confirmed or demonstrated the message of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Now someone will ask, does God still do miracles today and I would answer yes, but with this qualification; the claim of a miracle must be substantiated by some authentication which is very hard to do, if not impossible. To say that God did this or did that leaves the claimer in an awkward situation. He must prove that what happened was actually a miracle rather than a natural provision, i.e., the administration of drugs, a diet, exercise, or a surgical procedure, etc.
Unseen miracles of God undoubtedly occur every day, but they are just that, unseen. I close with this excerpt from the book of Romans, chapter 8. “28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Unseen, God works to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. He called us out of the world into His kingdom, He justified and continues to justify us, and He has glorified us (past tense). He openly sacrificed the life of His Son so that He could accomplish those things by the unseen work of the Holy Spirit. All those works are miraculous, but that is not all. He continually combats those things that would attempt to separate us from Himself. The Devil (Satan) walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1st Peter 5:8) but God prevents him from succeeding.
So yes, God is a God of miracles and He is constantly at work performing them, but to point to a certain thing, i.e., a physical healing, and say that it was a miracle of God is dangerous because it can not be proven and the claimer loses credibility and maybe his or her witness.
We are to live by faith, not by sight.
Transforming Power, the Work of God on Behalf of Man