Pastor Andrew Owen
Do you need a breakthrough?
Miracles are not intended to produce faith, or intended as a sign to get people to believe, but their presence in our lives is a sure sign that we do believe. We read, these signs shall follow them that believe1.
Faith has only ever had one source-the word of God2, but when faith is present miracles follow. I have a good friend who isn’t a Christian yet. He’s in business and a few months ago had a very serious cash flow problem. He needed to sell a multi million pound property oversees and had tried to do so for over 3 years. I said to him, ‘lets pray, and if it sells this week you will know it’s God and you will have witnessed a miracle’. He agreed. That week the property sold, and his response? It’s probably coincidence.
God wants us to experience miracles because He intended for us to live by His resources and not ours. All too often we settle for less when we could have had more. When you limit God you limit yourself.
The Bible tells of many different kinds of miracles. Healing; divine protection; miracles over nature; miraculous provision; supernatural financial increase (Jacob’s flocks); supernatural growth (3000 saved in one day); deliverance from demons; and not forgetting the miracle of a radically changed life (Zacchaeus) – to name but a few. And so it shows that miracles can happen anywhere you find believing people, they are just as likely in the marketplace as in the church.
We started our ministry with 6 people in one small group and now 25 years later have grown to almost a thousand churches on 5 continents. Miracles are very much a part of the journey. In fact, all of this could only have happened by the power of God. We have obtained buildings supernaturally. Once the BBC made a documentary on the miraculous solving of a crime on my home. We have seen more healings than we can count, and supernatural provision many times over. The list goes on. We need miracles -we want miracles.
Unlike popular myth, miracles are rarely spontaneous; they don’t just randomly happen. When looking closely the Bible shows that there is a pattern or a due process. In fact when the New Testament lists miracles as a gift of the Holy Spirit, it calls it the working of a miracle3, or effecting (KJV) of a miracle. So just how do you work a miracle? I see at least 4 steps that move us into the miraculous life.
Firstly you must have a desperate need, and its even better if it isn’t your own need. Once Jesus had His lunch provided by a little boy who came with 5 loaves and 2 fish, but 5000 others didn’t. So He told Andrew to feed them.4 Jesus healed people because they were sick, not simply to draw a crowd, in fact many times He told the healed not to tell anyone. He was motivated by love -He was moved with compassion. Loving others births the miraculous. So find that need and meet it find the hurt and heal it.
Secondly, be bold. Remember what God has done before He can do again. The wealth of past experience is made available as today’s possibilities. Consequently find some audacity before God, He is your source, He called you not you Him. God loves it when we dare to believe Him. When the angel turned up at Gideon’s house and said The Lord is with you o valiant warrior5, Gideon didn’t thank him for the compliment, but responded by asking, if God is with me where then are all His miracles?6 When under severe persecution the early church prayed for boldness7, and we then read –And the Lord worked with them, and many miracles followed. We see boldness as an expression of confidence before people, but biblically speaking, boldness is first confidence before God, after which we have no problem being bold before people. We read, come boldly to the throne of grace so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.8
Thirdly, be crystal clear on your grounds for a miracle. You can’t claim you qualify by living a pious fault free life, (because there isn’t such a thing), and don’t try to broker a deal with God by making some kind of promise, If you do this I will do that. Miracles don’t happen because we have upped our spiritual game with lots of prayer and fasting (although we might want to pray and fast). There is only one solid ground for the miraculous in our lives, and that’s grace and the finished work of Christ.
Remember Jacob-the scoundrel that fleeced his brother and deceived his blind frail father? He experienced a powerful miracle of supernatural increase9. We read that after placing striped and mottled sticks at the watering troughs, God genetically modified the flocks, and so enriched Jacob substantially. Just as Jacob and Laban’s flocks looked at the striped sticks to process the miracle, we look to the striped Son of God and His cross for our miracles. As we gaze on Him-we realise, that by His stripes we are healed. Because of that cross our sins are forgiven (all of them). And because of this cross we are spiritually genetically modified forever. We are made to be righteous, this amazing exceptional quality of being right before God. Since it’s His righteousness I’m given-it’s fault free. I’m as righteous as Jesus. So we can truly accept what John says, as He is in this world so are we10. Knowing this means I recognise that God loves me as I am not as I ought to be. Once I take ‘works’ out of working the miracle, grace unlocks its fullest potential. This is my only ground for the miraculous in my life and the real grounds for boldness before God.
Finally, miracles always start with a word from God. We have the Word full of promises. Some say there is a promise for every situation; some say there is a promise for every day of the year. Some say there are over 3,000 promises, I don’t know, I haven’t counted them, and apparently neither did Paul for he said, For as many as may be the promises of God they are all yes in Christ Jesus11. You were born for that which is bigger than you, but not bigger than the word. Everything you need is there. A miracle is the word in action. William Carey said that there was always three phases in anything God asked him to do, impossible; difficult; done. The power behind you is greater than the task ahead of you. God being God didn’t need to make one promise. But God being God now has to keep them. If a thing can be done experience or skill will do it. If a thing cannot be done, only faith in God will do it. Expect more, don’t limit God and enjoy the journey.
- Mark 16:17
- Romans 10:17
- 1 Corinthians 12:10
- Matthew 14:13
- Judges 6:12
- Judges 6:13
- Acts 4:29
- Hebrews 4:16
- Genesis 31
- 1 John 4:17
- 2 Corinthians 1:20
Sign up here to get eNews sent straight to your inbox.