Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 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.” And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water. Judges 6:36-38 NIV
On a mission trip to Honduras, the pastor invited our team to an evangelistic outreach showing the Campus Crusade film entitled Jesus. He went to a large open field and setup the screen so people could see from either side. It was dark and people kept coming to watch. In the middle of the film two miracles of Jesus occur back to back. At this point our host stops the projector and says to the crowd in Spanish. “Jesus is alive and still heals today! These people from the US are here to pray for you. You can go to them now and they will lay hands upon you and pray for your healing.”
That was the first time I heard what he expected from us. Immediately we separated and people starting pressing in toward each of us. I do not speak Spanish, so I was unable to ask what their need was. So, I prayed for God to do what He desired. It was incredibly humbling knowing that these people were trusting God for their healing as we laid hands and prayed for them.
One older gentleman looked really sad. I felt impressed to pray for his joy to return. I laid my hands on his stomach and prayed for the infilling and overflowing of the Holy Spirit in his life. I was earnestly praying for God to touch him. Suddenly, he smiled and gave thanks to God. I also thanked God for answering my prayer.
The next day at church the man attended the service. At testimony time, he came to the front. Sadly, my pride was growing within me. I nudged the person beside me and let them know I had prayed for his joy last night. As expected the man remembered me and pointed to me that I had prayed for him.
Then he said, “that man prayed for me, but what he did not know was I had a very troubled stomach. He placed his hands on my stomach and I received healing at that moment.” The congregation clapped and rejoiced with the man, but not me, at least not immediately.
I threw up a quick dialogue with God, “That is not what I prayed for! You healed him when I had zero thoughts of his need. I am thankful You can use me even when I am not praying exactly right. Thank you for healing this man and using my availability above my perceived ability.”
That was a long intro story to Part 3 of Signs and Wonders dealing with hindrances to seeing God move in miraculous ways. Bill Johnson said that testimonies beget testimonies. When you hear God can use an ordinary person to see miraculous signs, you begin to believe God can use you also. Let’s jump into some very basic ideas as Christianity is first and foremost simply following the leading of the Holy Spirit after salvation. Part 1 Part 2
- Make sure you are child of God
- 11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. 13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. Acts 19:11-16
- Jesus has given authority to His children to preach the gospel and pray for the sick. Make sure you know Jesus, He knows you, and what authority He has given you to pray in His name.
- Faith and expectation play a role in the manifestation of miracles. Low faith, low miracles.
- And they took offense at him.But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” 58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Matthew 13:57-58
- In the opening story the man came to me with faith that he could be healed. My touching his stomach increased his faith and God moved.
- Another comment from Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in California which has remained with me and given a strong appreciation for his integrity.
- “We never say a person who is not healed was not healed for their lack of faith. We ask God what else can we do to align ourselves to see your healing for this person?”
- He honored the person and accepted the responsibility of the prayers for the one who we are praying for.
- When people approach a minister with expectation for God to be present to heal and to save, things happen.
- Pray for your church for God to awaken a spirit of expectation for Him to show up in your services. When He does, let Him be the one to lead.
- Testimonies encourage expectations. Don’t exaggerate any story. Salvation and healing stories are quite contagious to arouse hope. This is the reason people flocked to Jesus and many went to healing crusades.
- Fear of failure if they don’t get healed
- But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
- Jesus was clear that boldness to be a witness of His resurrection power and presence resides in the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit brings the courage to step out in faith regardless of the results
- Make sure you are full and sensitive to the Spirit’s promptings and power
- Failing to ask for healing in prayer
- You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:2-3
- Hoping for someone to be healed and praying aloud for their healing in front of the person are two different things.
- Miracles are spoken before they are seen. I know it feels foolish to say aloud to “rise up and walk” when they are paralyzed. But faith engages in the asking. Peter and John said, “silver and gold we don’t have, but what we do have we give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ, rise and walk. Then Peter took him by the hand and helped him up
- Some are gifted, but all can see God move
- 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
- It is true that some will be gifted to see miracles and healing more than others.
- I have found that if you have a longing for a gift, God will find a way for you to exercise that gift. Be faithful with the little, and He will entrust you with much.
- Disappointment – you believed, truly believed, for God to heal someone and it did not happen. It’s hard to ask again.
- The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting Mark 9:26-29
- Disappointment is real. The ultimate healing of our bodies in heaven is true, but the loss of our friend or family member is still hard.
- Bargaining with God for healing is not an exercise of faith. Faith is always a response to an invitation by the Spirit to see heaven’s rule and kingdom to earth.
I asked my friend John Mokiwa from Tanzania about the lack of signs and wonders here in America. “You have many wonderful doctors and medicines available to you. In my town and villages we primarily have God to help us. So He does!”
May God raise your level of expectations to see God moving in your sphere of influence. There are so many hurting and broken people who need salvation. Jesus felt compassion when he saw the crowd as sheep without a shepherd. Let us walk into the harvest and be available for God to use us however He desires.
Blessings Love y’all
Although this devotion was very long today, being at the beach I had time to read it. Thank you for increasing my faith this morning. I have seen God move in third world countries, and it does jump out and grab you spiritually. God is still in the miracle business!