Thoughts on Miracles
I recently saw the following post by Christopher Alam (www.dynamisworldministries.com) on social media. Christopher has preached in 75 nations and has been a missionary evangelist since 1983. I have been privileged to attend two separate evangelistic crusades he conducted in Africa. I have seen first-hand the power of God working through his simple, Christ-exalting messages. They resulted in multitudes of salvations and in numerous instantaneous healings and miracles. After I share his message with you, I’m going to share three excerpts with you from my book, Miracles and the Supernatural Throughout Church History.
DO YOU WANT TO FLOW IN GENUINE MIRACLES FOM GOD?
Stay away from churches and “schools” where they emphasize miracles and the supernatural more than they emphasize the Word of God; where they talk about demonstrating the supernatural more than about studying and lifting up the Word of God. Instead of getting young people getting fired-up about miracles we should get them excited about knowing God through His Word. As they know Him and commune with Him, miracles will be a by-product of that blessed communion. Lean heavier on the Word than on miracles. Instead of trying to “activate people in miracles” help them be proficient in the Word of God. The latter is a Biblical concept, but the former is not!
Overly emphasizing the seeking of miracles over the Word of God itself, can at times cause people to drift into a kind of “Charismatic mysticism” and even towards counterfeit and familiar spirits. Believe me I have seen quite a bit of that going on, and well-meaning Christians being deceived by such things.
I see miracles in my ministry, but this happens not because I chase after miracles, but because I pursue Jesus and am a stickler for His Word, and God always confirms His Word with Signs following. The Word and the Spirit should always flow together, but the work of the Spirit should always stand upon a solid foundation of the Word of God; where the prime emphasis is upon the Word, and where the Spirit confirms what the Word teaches.
From Miracles and the Supernatural Throughout Church History:
F. F. Bosworth authored the classic book, Christ the Healer. His son said of his ministry:
The saving of souls was paramount, and every other consideration, including the healing of the body, was secondary. Early in Dad’s ministry, he discovered that the healing side of the Gospel had been given to the Church as its greatest evangelizing agency. This discovery guided him through more than fifty years of ministry.
Bosworth himself said that the inner working of God in a person’s soul was far more significant than the outward healing that he often witnessed:
While we rejoice in these miracles, we remember that they are only external manifestations of a thousand times greater and more precious miracle that has transpired within the sacred chamber of the inner soul. The inner cause is so much more precious than the outward effect. External results from prayer are like figures in a bank book that show that you have gold deposited in the bank. The gold is more valuable than the figures.
In another place in Miracles and the Supernatural:
As the season featuring a special emphasis on healing subsided in the late 1950s, [Gordon] Lindsay pointed the Body of Christ to continue its outward focus of taking the gospel to the world. Lindsay explained the evolution of the organization in these terms:
While the policy of The Voice of Healing will always be to emphasize evangelism, the scope of its ministry has broadened to include all the gift ministries of the Church. The Voice of Healing seeks to encourage cooperation and unity between all members of the Body of Christ. God’s people have a great task to accomplish before Jesus returns—the evangelization of the nations….
And a final section from the book:
To keep things in perspective, it is important to remember that Jesus never said, “Go into all the world and have revival.” Nor did He say, “Go into all the world and work miracles.” Our mandate as the church is to:
Go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15) and to “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:19-20).
Revival and miracles can certainly be part of that, but preaching the gospel and making disciples are the two prime directives that Jesus has given us.
I have seen some who seemed to be more excited about “signs, wonders, and miracles” than they were about Jesus Himself, or about seeing people getting saved and becoming disciples. There is certainly a desire for the supernatural that is healthy (Acts 4:29; 1 Corinthians 12:31), but there can also be an unhealthy obsession with “spiritual thrill seeking.” Jesus said that signs would follow believers (Mark 16:17), not that believers would follow signs.
Christians are to have a sense of mission, and that mission involves expressing God’s love and truth to those who don’t know Him. We should never love signs more than we love God or the people we are endeavoring to reach.