I once thought if God did a miracle everyone would fall on their knees and give their hearts to Him. But I find now that miracles can be a double-edged sword…
Apostle John called miracles by Jesus “signs,” and set forth examples so “these (signs) are written that you may believe (in Jesus as Son of God).” John emphasized (twice) that if all the miracles Jesus performed were written down the world could not contain all the books needed to record them (John 21:25).
So why didn’t everyone believe? Some were scared of religious leaders kicking them out of synagogue if they talked about Jesus. Incredibly, when Lazarus was raised from the dead the Pharisees said “we need to kill Jesus and Lazarus.” It is hard to imagine why murder would be your first thought after a resurrection, but the Pharisee’s social standing, power over the people and their churches, and the ability to keep the Jewish religion “acceptable” under Roman rule was hanging in the balance and could be lost if people believed in Jesus (John 11:47). The Pharisees had put so many rules and ceremonies on the people that God was not a God the average person could relate to or experience. When Jesus cast out demons, half the witnesses were deceived and would argue Jesus was a demon casting out other demons rather than believe their God was interacting for the benefit of His people (Matt. 12:24).
Jesus said it would be ok to believe in Him on the basis of miracles (John 14:11), but it would be better to believe His word on the matter-after all, a miracle will fade but He and His Word will last forever. So what is the “downside” to miracles? Well, Jesus held those who witnessed miracles to a higher standard, He said there would be worse judgment on those who did not repent after witnessing miracles (Matt. 11:10). He also said we could move in miracles and prophecy, but if we did not “know” Him then such works would be worthless for us come judgment day (Matt. 7:23). Therefore, our focus must be on building our relationship with the Lord and not just “doing the stuff.” When we have relationship with Him, the signs and wonders will follow us (Mark 16:17).
We are experiencing a move of God in San Diego, as we see Rock church, Beach Chapel and others experiencing the Holy Spirit; however, people are already divided about it. Self- interest, fear from leaders, and hesitation to draw closer to God cause some people to simply reject a move of the Spirit-this relieves them from having to make a decision to step out with God. Others will respond by drawing closer to God and asking how they can get involved with His will. The same split happened in Acts 19, despite Paul’s new “extraordinary” miracles. Which side of the sword will you fall on?
Les and Dawnette Meredith have attended Gathering Place Church for five years, serving on the prayer teams, volunteering in nursery, and leading Connect Groups. Les is also co-leader of the men’s Saturday morning prophetic prayer group, and teaches from time to time on various topics to equip believers to walk in supernatural ministry with Holy Spirit. They also preach the Gospel and minister in healing prayer at various churches around San Diego through their organization, Jesus Power Today. Their ministry focus is to bring people into closer relationship with Jesus Christ, equipping them to walk with the Holy Spirit to advance the Father’s Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. Resources for encouraging and equipping believers to walk out the Great Commission are available on their website: www.JesusPowerToday.com