This week I have been drawn to the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. One of the passages I came across in my Bible reading was the story in Acts 20 of Paul raising Eutychus from the dead. This is the somewhat comical pericope where Paul is speaking until midnight and Eutychus falls alseep listening to him. He was seated on a third story window and tumbled out backwards to his death. Luke specifically writes that he was “taken up dead.” Paul goes down, cradles Eutychus in his arms, and assures the others that “his life is still in him.”
This miracle was not wrought by Paul. He has no inner ability to miraculously resurrect another human from death. Instead, God uses an extended and boring speech by Paul as an opportunity to display His awesome power. What a powerful and capable God we serve! Whatever He wishes to do, He is able to do.
If we fast forward to today, we do still hear tales of miracles happening. In third world countries I catch reports of miraculous happenings pouring in regularly. In America, the number seems to be staggeringly less. We only hear about them from Pentecostals and they are largely disregarded by the majority of other Christian groups.
My goal here is not to criticize “intellectual” Christians or to criticize the more “experiential” Christians. However, I would like to say, that I think we should see more miracles in the churches of Southern California. I do not think we should get together just to perform miracles, but I do think we should pray for and expect them. Miracles were a part of the Christian life in the Bible. Jesus would go and heal large groups of sick people (see Mark 6:53-56). He was out and about healing regularly. In Acts, it is the same way. Miracles are part of the Christian culture.
Now, I understand that miracles do not create faith (Luke 16:30-31). I also know that we cannot “make miracles happen”. But we are children of the God who can! And miracles do serve an important role. In Matthew 9:6 Jesus explains that He is healing so that they will know He has the authority to forgive sins. We need miracles so that Jesus’ authority to forgive sins will be displayed!
In my view, it is a “you do not have because you do not ask” scenario. I am reminded constantly of how I do not ask God for things. I wonder why my church isn’t growing, why I can’t find a job, why my family members aren’t saved, etc. It’s good that I think about those things, but I typically never ask God to do anything about it! Now, I am wondering why we don’t see many miracles in our churches today. Well, I guess I’ll start asking…
May our capable God reveal to you His supernatural power so that all people will know He has the authority to forgive sins!