Sometimes asking for a miracle isn’t the best solution.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Sometimes we find ourselves in such a difficult situation that we feel certain that a miracle is in order. We think we’re displaying faith as we pray expectantly, certain that God will answer with something spectacular. Sound familiar? Today I’d like to add a word of caution to this scenario by showing that asking for a miracle may actually reflect a lack of faith. On more than one occasion, Jesus walked away from those who insisted He perform a miracle for them. He knew they couldn’t believe in Him unless their faith was constantly bolstered by a spectacular display. He knew their hearts were hard and their faith was weak, and He wanted no part of them.
We may argue that we’re not like them, and that our faith is so strong that we know God will answer our prayers. If this is our mindset, we may discover that we are guilty of seeking the miracle more than the miracle worker. As we see it, the miracle will instantly fix the problem, remove our discomfort, and bring glory to God. What could be better than that? Well, here’s what could be better than that. How about seeking a closer relationship with the miracle worker? That may very well be the reason your difficult situation exists. God may have orchestrated the entire ordeal to draw you closer to Him. If we cooperate with Him, the difficulty may linger for a while, but if it deepens the relationship, won’t it be worth the pain? This is where we must decide which is more important, the miracle or the relationship. All of a sudden, our faith may not appear as strong as we imagined it was. Then, to make matters worse, we learn that there’s actually a word to describe our activity. It’s called idolatry. Ouch!
AS I SEE IT
What started out as a desire for a miracle has ended in a spiritual indictment. Jesus refused to provide miracles on demand because he knew the condition of the hearts that needed a steady stream of miracles. Contrast this attitude with that of Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego as they faced being tossed into the flaming furnace for obeying God instead of the king. The purity of their faith became unmistakably clear when they assured King Nebuchadnezzar, “If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold staue you set up (Dan. 317-18). They knew their God could deliver them if He chose to do so, and they trusted Him so completely that they didn’t ask to be spared.
Their example shows that sometimes the greatest act of faith is not to ask for a miracle. Keep this in mind the next time you’re tempted to seek one. Ask yourself why you want the miracle. What’s really important to you? Do you need miracles to sustain your faith? Do you want the “problem” solved more than you want a closer relationship with Christ? Will you trust Him so completely that if He says, “No,” to your miracle request, your faith will still be intact?
I hope this brief article gives you a new perspective on seeking miracles. It’s amazing what happens when we discover our hidden motives for the things we request. In retrospect, we can thank God that He doesn’t always grant our requests.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
What’s the definition of a will? (It’s a dead giveaway).