Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Let's Talk About Miracles!

Miracles never cease to amaze me. I expect them, but their consistent arrival is always delightful to experience. ~Mark Victor Hansen

I knew for a few weeks that a praise and worship service was to be held on September 30th, which meant there would be no visiting pastor giving a sermon so I would be preparing the entire service. The thought that came to me when I first found out was that the service should be about miracles. As the week of planning approach though, I decided for myself (and not consulting my Lord), that doing a service on miracles was just what I wanted and I had doubts it would go well so I began thinking of doing it on some other topic. However, the question came up the previous Sunday and out from my mouth I heard, "It will be on miracles." Even I was surprised I had said it, so then I got to thinking maybe, just maybe, my Lord wanted it to be on miracles and He had been leading me to do it all along. I am more than willing to concede that all brilliant ideas are really not my own, so I was okay with it being God's idea, but then...as my husband loves to say:

--And that's when the fight broke out!

I ashamed to say that fight was between my Lord and me. Yes, I have been known to wrestle with Him about some things now and then, I am ashamed to say. You see, my church--that would be the people--is not only conservative in nature but on the reserved side as well. We are friendly and accepting of anyone who comes in the door but not really outgoing to get people into that door. We invite and are welcoming, but we do not pursue and draw in well. I guess for the most part, we are not risk takers and that definitely includes me. I began to fear that a service on miracles would be...well, it could be risky! Not the "stone her" or "throw her out" risky, but "you need to tone it down, girl" or "we appreciate your enthusiasm, but we would like the praise and worship more like it used to be."

The people of my church are loving, committed, steadfast believers, who I believe really desire to follow God wherever He leads. Most churches have 20% (or less) who are the doers...we are that 20%. Everyone else has left. So, now that we are down to the core, what would God have us do?

What, indeed.

Apparently, my Lord would have a woman with a weak voice, who has never been considered a leader before, leading the praise and worship portion of the Sunday services and periodically the entire service when we cannot schedule a pastor to deliver a sermon. Sometimes, I am amazed at how God picks the weak to show His strength...and I certainly needed His strength to do this. I think I have surprised people, because given a mic and an audience, I am not the quiet (tongue-biting, actually) person they have known and given that I am leading in the worship of my Lord--well, I can barely contain my spirit within the confines of my body. There is still a little girl in me that wanted and promised--yeah, I actually did promise and it seems God has a really good memory about such things--to sing for my Lord forever.

Singing one well-rehearsed solo song once in awhile is one thing, singing in a group with well-rehearsed songs is another thing, but choosing several different songs and leading a congregation in singing every week is quite different...but then my Lord knew that and He said I could do it, even though I still need convincing from Him nearly every week.

I asked everyone to share any miracles they have experienced or witnessed. A few shared some very good things. My husband surprised me too. I personally had a difficult time choosing which miracles I would share that day. Yes, I have seen many and been the recipient of quite a few also. I chose to tell of my uncle's deliverance from smoking pipes, even the smell of tobacco was gone from his clothes and their home from that moment on. My aunt was told she would be blind by the time she was thirty and she was healed that same night, but the evidence of the healing of her eyes was gradual over several days.

You have to understand that my aunt and uncle (and myself with them) were Baptists and Baptists are cessationists, believing that the gifts of the Holy Spirit ended with the apostles or when the Bible was canonized. Being a teenager, I was not into theology, but I knew that things we talked about at home were not things others discussed at church. In my aunt's home, we lived believing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so I have seen, heard, and received many miracles in my life. I expect God to do miraculous things...He's God!

Over the years, I have come to realize that most Christians I know believe God can do such things, but doesn't or just doesn't really do miraculous things for them. Few ask for signs of confirmation. Few ask for intercessory prayers. Few ask for other believers to pray for confirmation of a message they believe came from the Lord. I do all these and have been asked by others as well. Fewer ask for healing while believing that healing is God's will. Are some not healed? Yes, that is true and that makes praying for healing risky, but I believe far more people would be healed if we who call ourselves Christians trusted God first instead of placing our first faith in modern medicine and then seeking God when it fails us.

We need to exercise our faith and that requires risk. When we exercise our faith, we also need to recognize God's miracles. To illustrate this point, my husband, daughter, and I performed this skit...



During the service, I read a bit from The Essential Guide to Healing: Equipping All Christians to Pray for the Sick, a book I reviewed a few months ago. It has had so much impact on me. I read it wanting to understanding healings, but what I learned is a healing ministry is not about understanding but about doing as God wills and believing. Apparently I chose well for the service--again, that must be God's doing, not mine. My church not only received God's message well through songs, readings, and testimonies, they experienced something special with our Lord. I could see it. That in itself was a miracle to me and that I lead them to that--WOW! God is just so powerful in my weakness!

~ My Lord, thank You. Praise You for what You have done, are doing, and will do. Open our hearts and minds to not only be willing to receive, recognize, and acknowledge Your works, but to learn to give and do such works through Your Spirit. ~

2 comments:

  1. I don't believe this! Wait till you read my email! lol And that was BEFORE I visited here. Love you! ♥

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    Replies
    1. Okay, I read it. Are you trying to one-up me? ;) Actually, I am very excited. I am wondering what God is going to do--and wondering even more about what He is going to have me doing...in my weakness. However, if is it bringing us into a closer, more obedient relationship with Him, then it is a good thing...and there will be miracles!

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.