It seems to me that these days, Christians are seeking the wonders of God’s hand and not His face. They are more concerned about doing miracles in Christ’s name than anything else. But they have it backwards. It says in Mark 16:17 that these signs will follow those who believe. It doesn’t say that these signs will be sought after or chased after; it says that they will follow those who believe.
I feel God saying that when we seek to do miracles in His name, we need to question our motivation. Are we really looking to do miracles to bring honor to God or to have people say “Look at what God is doing through them!” or “Look at what they are doing for God!”
Now I’m not saying that every Christian who wants to do miracles in Christ’s name is consciously trying to make a name for themselves. In fact, I’m willing to bet 60% of them are subconsciously desiring to have people notice them. Though sadly, 39% of them are consciously desiring to make a name for themselves. I may be being generous with those figures. And 1% of them are being genuine, but misguided in their efforts.
You see, it’s not about how many miracles we do in His name, it’s about whether or not Jesus knows us. In Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus says that in that day, many will say “Did we not prophecy in Your name?” “Did we not cast out demons in Your name?” “Did we not do miracles in Your name? and I will say to them “I never knew you! Depart from me!”
Jesus taught us in Luke 10:20, that we are not rejoice that demons are subject to us, but we should rejoice that our name is written in Heaven. This applies to everything else as well. We should not rejoice at being able to do miracles in His name (although, it really is Christ at work in us that is doing the miracles. Philippians 2:13). We should rejoice that not only are our names are written in Heaven; but that we get to have a relationship with the Lord of the universe.
The greatest miracle Jesus has done in our lives; and the only miracle we’ll ever truly need, was to die for our sins so that we could be made alive to God again. We were dead in our sins, but now are alive again! What other miracle could we ever possibly need?
It is our relationship with Christ that needs to be out main concern; our main focus. It is the one thing that matters more than anything else! It is the pearl of great price that must be protected at all cost! We must never let anything come between that!
We see in Matthew 7:22-23, that is possible to get so caught up in doing things for God, that we lose our relationship with Him. We can instead fall in love with ministry, doing miracles, casting out demons, etc. Doing these things can easily become our God if we’re not careful.
In Luke 10:41-42, we read how Martha was so caught up in doing, she had no time to sit and listen to Jesus. But Mary chose the good part, what was needed. And Jesus commended Mary, but rebuked Martha; telling her that Mary chose what is needed and that it wouldn’t be taken from her.
In Matthew 6:33, Jesus tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God, and all the rest will be added to us. What Jesus is saying that as we seek to develop our relationship with Him; all the rest the signs will be added to us; or rather, that they will follow us. They are a side effect, if you will; the result of our relationship with Him.
They are not something to be sought after doing; they are not something we should chase after doing.
When we get to the place that we don’t care if God does a single thing for us or through us more than He has already done, is exactly the place that He came begin to work through us. When all that we want is Jesus, and nothing else; is when we will see Him use us beyond our wildest dreams!
In Acts 5:15, we read that when Peter’s shadow fell on people, they were healed. And why did that happen? It was because Peter had a close relationship with Jesus. He wasn’t trying to heal anyone; he was just trying to get from one place to another. The sign just followed him because of his faith in and relationship with Christ.
So many Christians are caught up in laying hands on people and healing them, that they miss the point. Jesus taught us that the flesh profits nothing (John 6:63).
Now I’m not saying that God isn’t concerned with our fleshly bodies or caring for our needs; nor that we shouldn’t take care of our bodies. It says in 1 Timothy 4:8 that some bodily exercise is of value; of little value. After all, in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, it says that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and that we should glorify God in our spirits and with our bodies.
But we shouldn’t put too much emphasis on the flesh; because the flesh is passing away. Jesus never said that He was going to redeem our fleshly bodies. He told us that he was going to give us new bodies in the resurrection to come (1 Corinthians 15:52-54).
While I’m not saying that we shouldn’t ask God to heal us when we are sick or dealing with a chronic disease; nor am I saying that you shouldn’t make you requests to God. What I am saying is we need to get to the place where we can say what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego said in Daniel 3:17-19; If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
What God is saying is: when we make out requests known to Him, we should approach Him with a humble attitude; with the mind set of “If You are willing, You can make me whole. But it You choose not to, blessed be Your name!” Or as Job said in Job 13:15, “Though You slay me, yet will I praise You.”
Now I’m not saying that sickness or chronic illness is of the Lord; not am I saying that it is a punishment from the Lord. What I am saying is that His grace is sufficient for us. And that whether or not He heals our bodies or not, God is able to sustain us through and trial and circumstance. That it doesn’t matter if God heals our bodies or not; what matters is that one way or another, God will bring Himself glory through our lives.
It is when we can completely trust in God’s judgement, power, and grace, that we can feel He peace in every circumstance. Then we can be like Paul who wrote “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
You see, Paul realized a great truth when he wrote that. That it didn’t matter what was going on his his life on in his body, what mattered is that Christ was glorified. That God would strengthen him in every circumstance and give him the power needed to what God called him to do.
When we get to the place where the only thing that we realize that we have already received the greatest miracle of all; the only miracle we ever needed, our salvation, and we don’t need any other miracles to be happy or free, that we will begin to see God do mighty miracle in our lives and through our lives.
When we are willing to give up what we want; or thing we want, it is then we gain everything. Or as Jesus put it in Matthew 16:25, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
We need to trust that God knows what’s best for us. That if He says no to what we ask Him for, it is because it is going to hurt us or come between our relationships with Him. God wants what’s very best for us and want to protect our relationship with Him.
As Jesus taught us in Mark 9:47, that it is better to enter Heaven with an infirmity than to be whole and enter Hell. What God is saying is that it is better to enter Heaven with a chronic illness or in sickness, than to be perfectly healthy and end up in Hell.
God is saying that we need to focus less on the outward, the flesh and focus on the inner man, the spirit. As Jesus taught us in Matthew 23:26, we must clean up, or rather let God clean up, the inner man and then the outer man will be clean also.
What He means is that if we will let Him heal our souls and our spirits, that’s what really matters. That’s the main reason Jesus came was to heal the inner man and bring our spirits back to life.
I have seen many times in my life that 9 times out of 10, once a person’s soul and spirit are healed by the Holy Spirit, the flesh follows suit. What I mean is that problem most of time, is a result of a greater issue in the inner man.
But whether or not the fleshly body is healed or not, it doesn’t matter. In the end of the day, out earthly bodies are going to return to the dust from which they came. What matters in the end of the day is our relationship with Christ.
Let me bring it down to my life as an example. I personally don’t want anything to come between me and Christ. If being healed of my Tourette’s would cause me to fall away from Christ, I would rather enter Heaven with Tourette’s then be healed of it and enter Hell.
I trust God’s judgement and am learning to trust it more and more every day. I know that He always has what’s best in mind for me.
I have already received the greatest miracle I will ever receive. I was dead, but now I’m alive. I was an enemy of God, but now He is my best friend. I was dead in my sin, but now I’m alive to God. What else do I need?
Anything else Jesus does for me, is just icing on the cake. But I don’t care if Jesus does anything else or not. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I need God’s help and provision every day. I’m just saying that my relationship is all I want, need or care about in the end. Nothing must ever come before or in between it.
When we all get to the place where we cherish our relationship with Christ above all else and ask God to help us protect it, even from the things we think we want or need, then we’ll begin to see God do miraculous things in our lives beyond our wildest dreams!
But it comes down to whether or not we truly trust God to know what best for us or not. On whether we trust His judgment or not. Whether we truly trust God at all.
As it says in Proverbs 3:5-6, trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not onto our understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
In the end, we have to remember that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55:8). Who has known the mind of the Lord that we may instruct Him? (Romans 11:34).
I know that this goes against the teaching going around about how important it is to have everyone you lay hands on to be healed. But this is man’s interpretation of things. We have to remember we serve God, He doesn’t serve us or bow to our agenda. God does what He wants when He wants.
There is no magic formula to make God do what you want, when you want. That’s witchcraft, plain and simple.
God looks at the motivation of the heart. If you motivation is to make people marvel at what you’ve done in the name of Christ or to have people glorify you, God will see right through that.
But if your one and only desire is to get closer to God and build your relationship with Him, and you seek Him with all your heart, He will show you and do great and mighty things in your life that you did not know. (Jeremiah 33:3)
So, what’s the motivation of your heart? What is the most important thing in your life? Is it your relationship with God or is it to make a name for yourself?
It’s time for a heart check…