One of the basic tenets of being a born again follower of Jesus is to have desire and expectancy for the preaching of the Gospel through signs, wonders and miracles (Mark 16: 17-18). Jesus made no qualms about it. If we are to preach the Gospel, we are also to bank on miracles confirming what we are preaching. Jesus also never made it a matter for debate nor did He shelf miracles for the “more qualified or deserving” disciples. In the words of the late John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard Church movement, “In the Kingdom everyone gets to play”. Meaning that every believer has access to the authoritative name of Jesus that releases miracles into the earth. We, the Church, have a bad habit of making signs and wonders a nice add on to the gospels. Sort of a cherry on top, after a really good revival service preached by who we revere as a very anointed preacher. Something not accessible by everyday believers, but instead an ultra deep and exclusive teaching only available to the upper echelon of the most devoted followers of Jesus. While devotion to Jesus is paramount, this is not how Jesus presented miracles to His disciples. He simply made them available to anyone who said, “yes” to Him and preached His gospel.
A poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates revealed that 90% of American Christians believe God performs miracles. That’s a staggering number, Hallelujah! That leads me to the question, “If so many believe, why don’t we see more miracles in our normal church services”? I think the answer is while we believe God still performs miracles, we are a lot less likely to believe that He will use us to do it. We disqualify ourselves from being an instrument of His Supernatural Kingdom. Whether from shame, disappointment or just plain fear of man, we seem to do a really good job of talking ourselves out of what Jesus expects us to do. Again, I don’t think many of us have a problem with the theology of miracles, it's the part where He is counting on us to be a part of performing them, that seems to trip us up.
One of the questions I get asked by people who are struggling with the idea of God using them to miraculously heal is, “Pastor John, if God wanted to use me to heal the sick then why do people stay sick when I pray for them?” It’s a valid question. The honest answer… I have no idea, just being honest… Here’s what I have learned over the years though, if Jesus commands it, my best course of action will always be to obey the command. So, if He said to preach the gospel with signs and miracles then I have no choice but to expect signs and miracles. If people get healed, delivered, and set free experiencing His Supernatural Kingdom as a result of my expectation, then Praise God! If they don’t, then Praise God that I was able to be obedient to Him, despite the results. I’m learning that joy is found in simply being obedient to His Word at all cost. Over the last 13 years or so, I have seen some really incredible miracles, while also having the honor of weeping with people when the miracle doesn't happen the way we want. On occasion, it's 100% worth looking foolish every once in a while, to see blind eyes open, the lame walk, the sick healed and many more instances where God broke through with a miracle. Again, I am happy to look foolish for the rest of my life to take Jesus’ commands literally and risk my reputation to see miracles break out through me from the preaching of His name.
Let me ask you a question? What if today God wanted to use you to heal the sick, cast out demons and preach His glorious gospel through signs, wonders and miracles? How would that change the way you interact with people on a daily basis? It’s a trick question because if you are a believer He does want to use you to do those things. The next question is, when are you going to start living like it?