Look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” Judges 6:37 NIV
A couple of weeks ago, I started to address the issue that doubt has in the Gideon story. He had physically encountered and Angel of the Lord, he had received a clear word of victory and he had proven that he was willing and obedient by tearing down the altar. Still on the edge of battle he hesitated, doubted.
Last blog we dealt with doubt as it relates to your salvation experience, today I want to address doubt of miracles and signs. To be sure, there will be false prophets who are able to display signs and wonders to deceive people. Jesus said it was a wicked and perverse generation that looks for a sign. He also said, if you have trouble believing my message, believe it because of the works that I do. He sent a message to John the Baptist, that they lame walk, the blind see and the deaf hear. The signs validated that Jesus has authority over sickness and through His resurrection, even death.
So why do people who have physically witnessed a miracle, still doubt?
Let me offer this from my own personal experience of doubting miraculous signs.
Early in ministry I was part of a church that encountered Rodney Howard Brown’s “laughing” revival at Carpenter’s Home Church. For those who remember this time, you either fall into the “wolves in sheep’s clothing” mindset, or the release of the “joy of the Lord.” I am not defending or criticizing the experience, I am just giving a point of reference to my story.
Our church hosted 3 and 4 hour Sunday night services in which many people were healed and set free from the bondages of sin. On Monday nights we would gather for prayer that lasted a couple of hours. On one night, many people were experiencing the laughing and the drunkenness of joy in God. I had people to the right and people to the left of me that were happy and praising God. I remained almost emotionless.
Deep inside I was having a conversation with God. Why was this happening? Why were some people experiencing this joy, while others did not? What fruit became evident in the people who were experiencing this joy? Did they love Jesus more? Yes. Did they become more bold in telling others about Jesus? Yes. Was this truly from God? I still doubted.
After 2 hours the meeting was over. But I could not talk. The words and thoughts were formed in my mind, I could open my mouth, but no words came out. I was mute. I immediately thought of Zechariah who had encountered the Angel in the temple. The Angel told him that he would become mute, because he doubted the Angel’s words that he and his wife Elizabeth would have a child in their old and barren age. Clearly, God was rebuking me for doubting.
For 2 additional hours I could not talk. I had to write a note to Pam, my wife, what I was experiencing. Finally, I could speak again. I gave thanks to Jesus and realized that God can do whatever He pleases even if it does not fit into my theological grid. To this day, I still honor God’s ability to do as He pleases.
Why is it hard to believe signs and wonders that you can see and experience?
- Afraid of deception. Signs and miracles have been used to deceive people. The fruit must lead people to a devotion and intimacy with God and not an allegiance to follow a man. The disciples always asked people to place their faith in God and not them.
- Hardness of heart. Some have thoughts in their heart that are built up to reject any miraculous event. In Jesus’ parable about the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus told the rich man in Hades, that even if a man returned from the dead, they would still not believe.
- Lack of childlike trust. When a child has experienced trust issues in their early childhood, these problems persist throughout their lives. This was my story. My parents divorced when I was young and I developed a cautious survival mentality as it relates to trusting others. I am better, but still guarded from hurt or mistrust. God, my spiritual father, has and is still teaching me how to trust His promises and other people.
- Fear. Fear is like a web of thoughts that will not allow truth to be received without something sticking to it. The “what if’s” keep a person stuck from engaging in the freedom for which Christ has set us free. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind.
This testimony is not about asking you to believe in the “laughing revival”, rather I wanted you to consider “how free is God to move in and through your life in the arena of signs and wonders?” Jesus and the disciples teaching were validated through the demonstration of authority and power.
May you be free of doubt regarding your view of signs and wonders. May Jesus lead you to help the captives be set free, give sight to the blind and proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. There are a whole host of people that need to experience a new life found in Jesus. Let’s be about our Father, God’s business.
Blessings love y’all