Recently, someone asked me if the reason we don’t see many miracles today is because people are less holy. Now that is actually not a bad premise, but to truly understand it, we need to understand what “holy” means.
Kadesh, the word in Hebrew most often translated as “holy” literally means set apart. If you were to get hold of the Bible known as The Scriptures, (published in South Africa, 1989) you would not find holy mentioned, but the set apart spirit, etc.
The question then arises, set apart from what and to what. Something that we get hints from in the Bible, is that Yahweh (or God or the Lord) is totally other. He is completely distinct from us. He creates from nothing, and is king of the universe. He is totally outside of our conception except in his revelation to us.
Set apart from what? We as Christians are to be set apart from the world. I suspect this is very hard for Christians today. The world breaks in on us on t the internet, on TV, on radio, when we least expect it. Driving we see obscenities on car windows, suggestive pants not only on grown women but even on little kids. Christians even have little opportunity of taking Sundays off for church services any more. Parents have demonstrated that the world is more important by spending more time and money on education, and on sports than they do on the religious education of their offspring.
Now if we truly are set apart from the world, the flesh and the devil as we promise in baptism, then it should not be us. We are told clearly, when we accept Christ, it is now the risen Lord who lives in us, and it is the risen Lord who will perform miracles, not us.
Why then do we not see more miracles? There are several reasons.
1) We don’t look for them. Many miracles take place in churches all over the world today, we are just unaware of them. People are freed from drugs, pornography, sex addiction, sickness, we are just unaware of it.
2) We don’t believe that miracles are for today. Certain denominations teach that healing was just for the New Testament. I disagree with that one.
3) In my own life, most miracles that I experienced were as a young Christian. God gave me those miracles to confirm my faith and to get me going in the right direction. The problem is that churches are not producing many new Christians, and many so called new “Christians” are not Christians at all, they are firm members of the world.
4) We don’t listen. Once in the 70′s in Colorado there was a women ascending the mountain in her station wagon. She distinctly heard a voice tell her to pull over. The third time she heard the voice, she did pull over. Just as she pulled over, a semi come hurtling down the mountain, his breaks burned out an out of control. Shaken, the women and children thanked God for saving them and proceeded upward. On the way up, they encountered a wreck from the speeding semi, and the woman asked God, “Why didn’t you tell them?” to which God answered, “I did, but they were not used to listening to me.” Now if we are reading the Bible and applying it to our lives, we are used to listening to God and God will have an easier time getting through to us if necessary. But if that Bible is just collecting dust, or if you read it and don’t apply it to your life, you are not learning to listen to God.
5) We don’t know God’s word or his promises. Messiah gave many promises regarding healings and miracles. To know those promises, we need to have a steady diet of the word of God. Messiah promises us that we will do greater things than he did. He promises that we (if we have faith) can cast mountains into the sea. Yes those promises are even for us today.
Now from my life. When I was about 39, and working in Honduras as a missionary (covering some four churches by horseback and or car), my left foot starting going numb. Before I knew it the numbness had spread up to my hip, and started in my right foot as well. I had to use walking sticks to get around because not being able to feel what was under my feet, I lost my sense of balance. I went to a neurologist, who told me the symptoms were very much like multiple sclerosis, but I would have to have an MRI to be sure. There being no MRIs in Honduras at the time, people in the Diocese of Washington made arrangements for me to go to the National Institutes of Health, just outside of DC in Maryland. By this time numbness was in the little fingers of both hands and under my eye sockets. According to the MRI, I did not have MS, but a duro arterio venal malformation (basically an artery in the dura (the outside layer of the spinal cord) connected directly into a vein without going though capillaries, which basically inflated the vein, which pinched my spinal nerves. The solution to this was surgery. This was about November, and surgery was scheduled for me for around Christmas. I must admit, I was somewhat worried. They were either going to have to open my skull or spinal column, neither of which sounded very good. There were a lot of people praying for me though.
So, I come back to Washington, D.C. from Honduras, all ready, and …no surgeon. He was in Paris at a convention and would not be back for a while (two weeks I think). Instead of going back to Honduras, they just kept me there until he got back. Being somewhat restricted, and having no transportation, I stayed there, and basically reverted to the monastic life, the seven fold monastic office, with its round of Psalms, readings, and lives of saints. I did notice the last few days the numbness was going away. The doctor showed back up and they do another MRI to locate the problem exactly and…they couldn’t find it. That week or two that I spend there, the Lord used to heal me. The doctor of course didn’t call it a miracle, he explained it with a blood clot, but everyone who had been praying for me recognised it for what it was, a true miracle from God.
Now we note something in almost every healing that Jesus performed. Before healing, in almost every case we are told that he had compassion on them. Compassion literally means to feel with. Do we truly have compassion on those around us. Do we feel their pain, their fear, their problems? When we do, God will work that healing miracle through us as well. Now indeed there are other reasons why people don’t receive healing, but I suspect lack of compassion is the greatest.
If you would like to see healings, then come to know the Messiah. Follow him as Lord and Saviour. Obey his word, feel compassion and have no doubt.
Come join us Sunday and learn God’s word.