Bible Bytes

Signs, Wonders and Miracles. Oh My!

 

Helix nebula

Helix nebula (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you seen all the signs, wonders and miracles being accredited to God? Some are outrageous and others are simply beautiful. Some seem to draw us completely into the heart of God and others seem to wow us.

I noticed something as I studied the life of Christ here on earth; all His miracles were acts of provision, healing, direction/instruction or deliverance. I would go so far as to say that they were understated and showed a focus on God.

Let’s list a few signs, wonders and miracles from the Bible:

*Manna from Heaven – Provision
*Fishes and Loaves – Provision
*Lame walking – Healing
*Demons removed from people – Deliverances
*Woman with issue of blood – Healing
*Raising Lazarus and little girl from the dead – Healing
*Getting coin from fish to pay taxes – Provision
*The star that led the wise men to Christ – Direction

I can not think of one time in the Biblical record where Christ or any follower (Old or New Testament) performed a sign, wonder or miracle that did not fit one of these categories.I believe that this is because these miracles always happened to bring God glory. I would even dare to say that they were matter of fact responses to faith and obedience.

What about some of the signs and wonders we are seeing today? They certainly are getting attention. Who are they giving attention to? Is it glorifying God? Does it line up with the Biblical model of signs, wonders and miracles?

What I am seeing is a large group of believers following after the signs and wonders while expecting that God’s touch will follow. Instead, we should be seeking God and the signs, wonders and miracles will follow as a natural consequence. This seems like such a subtle difference until we see how is draws people’s focus away from God. Anytime we exalt anything over God we are inviting the enemy in.

I believe that signs wonders and miracles are for today. I believe that as citizens of Heaven we have the ability to manifest the power of Christ to do the will of the Father.  But we are also called to be as wise as serpents. (Matthew 10:16)

The scriptures also warn us:  The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12 ESV

We need to stay alert and keep our focus on God and not on the works of His hand as wonderful and awe-inspiring as they may be. We must also be sure to keep the Scripture as our guide. If the sign does not line up with the character of God, then we do need to question it and test it’s fruit.

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Exposing The Enemy

I believe that we are in a day where the Lord is exposing the enemy.

This can be a very difficult process for the believer. We have been taught again and again to love our brothers and sisters in the Lord and yet they seem to be the ones who are doing the most damage. It doesn’t have to be like this. Exposing the enemy and loving our brothers and sisters in the Lord are compatible. The scriptures say “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 ESV)   This means we are not to fight our brothers and sisters but we are to take up the spiritual battle. There are thoughts, ideas and concepts that distort the truth in the minds of God’s people. Before we get too full of ourselves, lets remember that we have these thoughts too. It does not mean that we are not a fellow Christian on the journey. It means we have wrong thinking that needs correcting. Let’s extend that same grace to others.

Words of Christ - 6/52

As the enemy of our souls is being exposed, I also believe that the Lord is paralyzing him. God is giving us the chance to choose Him. He is showing us the enemy and his works. He is giving up the Scriptures to back up the Truth so we can see a direct contrast between the darkness and the light. We now have a choice to make. Do we follow what seems to be well-meaning and loving brothers and sisters who are off the Word or do we follow the One Who wrote the Word?

You may notice that the enemy is still wondering around our churches and ministries. I believe this is because we have welcomed him in. God will take up the fight on our behalf but we first must make the body of Christ an inhospitable environment for the enemy. We must choose God and seek the truth of His Word over man-made comfortable “truths” that lead only to false freedom.

How do we do this? In the weeks to come I will be blogging on what the Bible has to say about judging. This will cover how we, in the Love of Christ, address false teachings and sin. God has taken me on an amazing journey that corrected my errors of not just falsely judging but also the ways in which I failed to judge Biblically. I hope you will join me as I share my heart on this.

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What's inside you?

I just love this video.  This is the hope all His children have. I pray it brings a smile to your face. Enjoy!

 

We need to know God's character

Have you ever been told that a close friend had said something and it was something you could never imagine your friend saying? Later on you find out that it was misquoted or taken out of context and all that you knew of your friend still held true.

The same holds true with God. Many times people take the Word of God and give it implications or meanings completely out of context. Worse yet, is when the Word isn’t even consulted and a “Biblical” opinion is given. Sometimes this is done with the best of intentions but in immaturity. I can understand that. We are all hopefully growing in our understanding and mistakes are pretty much inevitable. I can’t even keep count of how many times I’ve been off if not in one way then in another. The bigger problem is our lack of understanding of God’s character. It isn’t necessary to know every single detail about Him in order to know when something doesn’t line up with His Word. It does however, require intimacy with Him and time in His Word.

You may have a friend that you only speak with once or twice a year; may be only once every few years. Even though all that time has gone by, it is like you pick up right where you left off. Just thinking about it makes you smile knowing you have a forever friend. There is a bittersweetness to it too though. If only you could talk more often, how wonderful that would be. You wouldn’t feel the need to rush and catch up, you would be interwoven more intricately into each others lives. It is very similar with our relationship with God. He will pick up right where you left off, but wouldn’t it be so much sweeter if you connected daily?  Over the years I have developed (and am continuing to develop) more faithfulness to spending time in the Bible. Even if only for a few minutes, it is so important to set aside quality time devoted to Scripture and prayer.

I’m not talking brain surgery here. I also suggest beginning by praying a (quick) prayer for understanding as you read. Just read a chapter from one of the Gospels, Psalms or Proverbs. Read through the book of Acts or Romans in a month. There are even audio Bibles available for free online and it can be read to you! Take notes and write down things that stand out to you or questions you have. Then have a heart to heart with God. Just talk to Him. No “Thy, Thee, Thou or -isth” words needed.  :o)  Remember that He loves you and you can tell Him anything. It isn’t as if He didn’t know it already anyway, but in sharing your heart and thoughts you are expressing your trust. I think that makes Him smile.

Over time, you will start to see character traits come together and while not the whole picture, you will have enough of a picture to start recognizing His truth from the lies. A friend once shared with me how when the FBI is trained to spot counterfeit money, they never look at the fake stuff. They spend their time examining and learning all about the real thing. Then when the fake is in their possession, they know it. It doesn’t have the smell, feel or perhaps even the flavor of the real thing. Even if only one small part is not in line with the real thing, something so small and just very slightly off, they will know something isn’t right.

 

Why are we dancing?

Last night I fell asleep to the news that  Bin Laden was killed.  Unlike many people, I had a difficult time rejoicing. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am grateful for and proud of the men and women in the military who have fought hard to bring an end to the evil Bin Laden handed himself over to. I am grateful for the deliverance the Lord has given His people from this vessel used to bring so much pain, death, destruction and evil. I rejoice in the victory the Lord has given. I am grateful that the Lord has begun to vindicate and bring some sense of closure to all those lives lost and those still hurting from the horrible events of 9/11. I can not begin to imagine the relief they may be experiencing right now. Our soldiers should rejoice in the victory they have been given. We should be supporting and blessing them and their families for all the sacrifices they continue to make on our behalf. Gratitude, respect and honor should be given them. That is not the issue I aim to address here.

When terrorists kill, they and those who support the cause they stand for take to the streets with dancing and rejoicing over the death and destruction they have handed out in the name of their god. I can’t help but see a similarity between their behavior and the people who are dancing in the streets of our country. As a Christian, I go to the Bible for the standard and to check my heart to see if it lines up with God’s.

Pro 24:17-18  Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,  lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.

When David and his armies rejoiced, they did not rejoice over death and destruction. They rejoiced because the Lord gave them victory over their enemies and because the Lord let them enjoy the rewards and plunder of those victories. They did not rejoice by participating within the same condition of heart context that revels in vengeance. They did not repay evil for evil. It is one thing to rejoice because the Lord has delivered you from a vessel of evil. It is another to rejoice because a soul has been handed over to hell.

We should all be broken when a soul is lost and will never spend eternity with our Father. Celebrating death and the entrance of a soul into hell means our heart is entertaining evil. Justice is the process by which someone or something is made righteous. Eventually, if the person does not choose the righteousness of Christ, he/she is removed from God’s presence. Doesn’t that break your heart? I don’t think God rejoices when one is lost. But I know He rejoices when one comes to Him.

Another way to look at this is that Bin Laden was a man. He was one overtaken with evil, but still nothing more than a man under the influence of evil. That evil unfortunately did not die with him. The scriptures say:

Eph 6:12  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

As evil as he was, the evil still exists. Our true enemy, the source of all evil,  has not YET been bound. Our sins, as small as we may think them to be, had caused us to be separated from God and given us a need for the Savior. Bin Laden was no different. His sins, although many, would have been forgiven if he had accepted Christ as his Savior. Or do we think that Christ’s blood is good enough to cover our “little white lies” but not enough to cover all sin?

1Ti 2:1-6  First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

He wants all of us and was ransomed for all of us….if only we accept. This is where my heart is broken. Such a beautiful Redeemer we have with a gift so freely given yet we hold onto bitterness and hatred so we can pick and choose who we feel should be allowed into “our little club”. Letting go of hatred is not about relieving the other person of God’s justice. It is about relieving ourselves of the ugly ungodly things within us. God’s justice is perfect and He does not need me for His council. I’m more than ok with that.

What I am asking in all of this is for God’s people to give themselves a heart exam. Are we rejoicing in The Lord’s deliverance from a vessel of evil or are we just happy that a man has gone to hell?

Praying for our country, our soldiers and families, our leaders and the world. Let’s not pull down our guard because one of the many vessels of evil has been destroyed. There is so much evil still alive and active in this world. Fortunately for us, “Greater is He that is in You than he that is in the world.” That is a promise I will cling to!

1Jn 4:4  Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

 

*All scriptures used are from the ESV.

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Vicki
This is my cyber home. I invite you to walk with me on my healthy mind, healthy body, and healthy spirit journey.
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