- Your high school basketball team wins the state championship with a 3-point shot at the buzzer. Your reaction: “It’s a miracle!”
- You’re driving through an intersection. A pickup truck hits your car with your 7-year old riding at the point of impact. She gets out of the car without a scratch. You say, “It’s a miracle she wasn’t hurt.”
- Joann had knee surgery. During the operation, she suffered a stroke. Four days later, you visit her. She can hardly talk, her mouth is contorted, and her left side is paralyzed. You put olive oil on your finger and make the shape of a cross on Joann’s forehead and pray God will heal her completely. The next morning she wakes up with no signs of a stroke whatsoever. The doctor examines her and says, “We have no medical explanation. It’s a miracle!”
These stories are true and accurate. Which do you think is a true miracle? The first definition of a miracle, according to Webster’s Dictionary: “An event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific laws and is hence thought to be due to supernatural causes, especially to an act of God.” The second definition of a miracle: “A remarkable event or thing.” Which of the three stories would you describe as the first definition of a “miracle” and which would you connect to the second definition?
How do you understand the activities of evil people? Are they all psychologically or mentally challenged? Are some driven by evil spirits? Do you think that Christians, today, are ever involved in ministries of deliverance? Do you ever pray the Lord’s Prayer? What does it mean when you pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”? Is that a plea that God would keep you from committing a sin or a request that God deliver you from the presence from an evil force? Or is it both?
Most Christians know Jesus healed people. The Apostles were used by God to heal people. Believers understand Jesus cast out demons and the Apostles delivered people from evil spirits. Some Christians believe the Bible, but also believe that “weird stuff” stopped at the end of the first or second century.
In my work, I have trained many pastors and consulted hundreds of churches. This is what I often hear: “The God of the Bible is the God of today. Anything that occurred in the Bible can and does occur today.” Is that what you believe?
In the New Testament, the church grew rapidly, “Every day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved,” (Acts 2: 47). “Many miracles and wonders were being done through the apostles and everyone was filled with awe,” (Acts 2:43).
This is what I have observed: where God is causing the Christian movement to grow rapidly, there is involvement in the miraculous (as an act of God, beyond scientific laws). This is not the cause of revival. But it appears to be a characteristic of a move of God. What do you think? We welcome your comments below.
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.