How Will God Do It?: a Faith Lesson

“How will God do it?” That was his question. Perhaps it was everyone’s question.

The city’s survivors had become discouraged.

They needed a miracle but couldn’t imagine how it would happen.

II Kings chapter 7 tells the story.

“Hear the word of the LORD,” the man of God said. The message, directed at those with ears to hear, rang with power. But who had ears to mix the words with faith?

“Tomorrow about this time food is going to sell for pennies,” he basically told them.

But the lord on whose hand the king leaned would not believe his ears.

“Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?” he asked.

In other words, “How will God do it?”

He couldn’t see how God would do it, for the famine was too great. Even if He was to rain manna down from heaven, would it be enough?

The famine in Samaria had lasted a long time. The city was besieged. They had very little food. Only when cannibalism set in and the king heard of it did anyone seem to think of asking Elisha for help. He could have asked for his help when the siege hit. Instead, he waited until things were really bad. Then, instead of asking Elisha for help, he blamed him.

Why did he blame Elisha? Perhaps it’s because these were the same people who had attacked his land before, only this time there were more of them. It started when the king of Syria began sending small groups of troops into Israel in hopes of capturing the king. But God always told Elisha where they set up their camp. Elisha in turn warned the king, enabling him to avoid capture.  Once the Syrian king got wind of what was happening, he sent his men to capture Elisha. But this man of God who had ears to hear and eyes to see into the spirit realm struck them with blindness. When they opened their eyes, they found themselves in Samaria, the capital of Israel.

When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I smite them?”

But Elisha told him to feed them and let them go, which is what he did.

Afterwards, “the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.” (II Kings 6:23)

Sometimes after this, however, Ben-hadad  the king of Syria gathered his entire army and besieged Samaria. That’s what caused the famine.

Was the king of Israel angry that Elisha had let the first group of Syrians go? Probably.

“We could have gotten them, taught the a lesson, and sent the Syrian king a message!” I can imagine him saying.

But of course, he didn’t bother to ask Elisha’s opinion until the situation became desperate, and now all he wanted to do was kill him.

Not surprisingly, Elisha knew what he was thinking before he even said it, and he had an answer ready in the form of the above-mentioned prophetic word.

When the lord on whom the king leaned asked “How will God do it?”, Elisha replied, “You’ll see it with your own eyes but will not eat of it.”

Sure enough, God did a miracle. He supplied the food, all right. But the man who didn’t believe got trampled at the gate. He saw the miracle but never got to enjoy the fruit of it.

By asking, “How will God do it?” in a way that implied it was impossible, because it was something his natural mind couldn’t wrap itself around, he robbed himself of faith and missed his miracle.

You and I don’t have to miss our miracle, however, because Jesus Christ has come – not to condemn us but to give us grace. If we ask Him, He will help us overcome our unbelief.

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (I Corinthians 1:21)

https://miracle-times.com/miracle-power/gods-miracle-power/

 

 

Killjoys

Once upon a time there was a boy named Roy. He liked to read his Bible, especially stories about Jesus and the miracles he did. He read it like a child and believed every word. One day he was sitting under a tree, reading the passage in John where Jesus said, “He who believes in me will do the same things I do, and greater things.” Roy got all excited.

“Maybe God could use me to heal people too,” he said excitedly. “I could even open blind eyes, and raise the dead.” There seemed to be no limit to the miracles God could do through him if he believed.

Unknown to Roy, two men in black suits were standing by a fence nearby, listening to him talk and plotting. They sneaked up on him with a balloon and popped it in his face.

Roy was so startled, he dropped his Bible. “What’s going on?” he said.

“You’re taking the Bible too literally,” they replied. “God doesn’t do miracles anymore, so stop acting like a fanatic before we really make you jump.”

“How? With more balloons?” asked Roy, shocked beyond belief.

“No, but as God’s thought police, we’re here to correct you,” said the first man. “God frowns on having fun, you know. To follow Christ, you must take up your cross.”

“You mean, like, ‘Nose to the grindstone’?” asked Roy.

“Yes, you have to strain your brain to do God’s will,” said the second man. “Don’t expect to be suddenly empowered by some unknown tongue or prophecy from above. God dispensed with things like that a long time ago. Today He’s given us much more mysterious ways to His will, through mind-boggling inventions such as television, telephones and the Internet.”

“Raw human intellect is His current tool for reaching the masses,” added the first man. “He doesn’t need to use signs and wonders anymore.”

Roy hung his head. He felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under him. To think that God didn’t do miracles anymore made him so depressed, he stopped reading his Bible. Soon he found himself attending the balloon poppers’ church, which had many rules for pleasing God. You had to dress a certain way, talk a certain way, and if they happened to stop by your house you had to entertain them while they inspected every room. Any hint of dust or clutter earned you a sharp rebuke. Strict obedience to one’s “shepherd” was required. Any hint of rebellion was a sign that you weren’t saved. To “honor those who reign over you in the LORD” was the main law. To attend a different kind of church was to be branded a heretic, and to promote the free exercise of spiritual gifts earned you the title of “false prophet.”

That was why Roy was so afraid to leave the church. He feared that if he did, he’d go to hell, but he couldn’t stand to stay because the regulations were killing him. Then he remembered a book he’d read one time about praising God amid the worst of circumstances. Desperate to reconnect with God, he began to do just that. As he was searching for things to rejoice over, he happened to find his Bible. He opened it up and found himself staring at the passage in Matthew 7:15, which warns believers to beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, “but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

The next verse said, “You will know them by their fruits” (meaning the results of their teaching). Roy cross-referenced that verse with the passage in Galatians 5:19-22, which compares the works of the flesh to the works of the Spirit.

According to verse 22, the fruit of the Holy Spirit is “love, peace, and joy.”

Roy realized he hadn’t experienced much love, joy, or peace in a very long time. All he felt in his church was fear, but Jesus promised comfort to his followers through Holy Spirit whom He said would teach them “all things.” (John 14:26).

The fruit of his church’s teaching, which was that spiritual gifts were no longer relevant, had made Roy very sad, but he knew God didn’t want him to be sad.

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full,” Jesus told his disciples in John 15:11.

To the lukewarm church in Revelation 3:14-21, Jesus said in verse 20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

In other words, it was all about having a personal relationship with Him, not about obeying man. Roy also read the scripture in Hebrews 13:8, which says that Jesus Christ “is the same yesterday, and today and forever.”

If so, then He hadn’t changed His mind when it came to doing miracles, Roy decided.

His original disciples took Jesus at His Word and bore good fruit. The wonders they did in His name caused many people to be saved.

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (I Corinthians 2:5)

The moral of this story is that, when in doubt about any sort of teaching or statement, you should examine it in light of God’s word and look at the results (fruit) of it. For example, if you have been taught that God doesn’t do signs and wonders anymore, then ask yourself what has been the result of that teaching in your own life. For many of us, such teaching has been extremely discouraging, but when we discovered that God still does those things our faith was built up and our confidence in Him was restored.

Tongues Shall Cease, She Said

“Tongues shall cease,” she said. “True prophecy shall pass away.

If you need a miracle, then this is not your day.

But I have knowledge to impart, deception to increase.

I’ve human wisdom to exalt and potions to release.”

 

And so, through lies, through violence, and by means of poisoned pen,

The witch slew many prophets and she silenced righteous men.

Of others, she made eunuchs, shriveled trees that bore no fruits,

Stripped of spiritual authority, though clad in Sunday suits.

 

Throughout her reign, the people mourned, ears famished for good news.

While false prophets the airwaves conquered, singing bitter blues.

“The church has died. The time of wondrous signs has passed away.

You don’t believe in God? Well, join the club. That’s A-Okay.”

 

“For we have knowledge to impart, with miracles of science

Combined with a big dose of good old-fashioned self-reliance.

It’s Mother Nature’s best, a plethora of herbal cures,

A human health care system whose longevity endures.”

 

With subtle lies they hid the truth. But look who did arise!

Elijah challenged Baal and did the right thing in God’s eyes.

A contest would be held. Each side would make a sacrifice.

The God who rained down fire would rule, no need to think twice.

 

The idol worshipers prepared their bull and cried all day,

But got no answer for the many words they tried to pray.

They cut and slashed themselves, yet still their god refused to hear.

Somehow their self-inflicted pain fell far short of his ear.

 

Their frantic frenzy must have been a wonder to behold.

In contrast, God’s true prophet stayed as calm as he was bold.

He made it even “harder” for a miracle to take place,

By pouring water on his bull. Oh, what a bucket race!

 

Then at the designated time, Elijah made his prayer,

Requesting God to hear and turn the people from despair,

That like a branch they might be grafted back into the vine.

When suddenly the fire fell, it was a flame divine.

 

God still does miracles today, at the right time and place.

All He asks is that we pray and seek His gracious face.

The promise is “Abide in Christ and much fruit you will bear.

Believe His Word and say ‘No’ to the spirit of despair.”

 

To do God’s will and speak His words is always the best choice,

So, don’t let Jezebel or Ahab put to death your voice.

Instead of hearing them, let Jesus cleanse you with His Word.

Be willing to take risks, remembering the truths you’ve heard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cessationism and the Charismatic Church

Do you long for revival, to have God’s fire burn in you?

Do you want to do more than sit in a church pew?

It has been my experience that ministry opportunities are often few, especially in churches which don’t allow for spiritual gifts such as tongues, prophecy, or miracles.

I believe that the doctrine of cessationism, which says that so-called “charismatic” or “Pentecostal” gifts aren’t for today, causes more things to cease than tongues. It causes hope to cease and the power of God’s Word to lose its relevance. When there’s no expectation that God will step into the meeting place and do something really awesome, then people start to leave. They start to get bored.

“I didn’t come to church for this lukewarm bath!” I can hear them say.

But oh, we must be careful of the wolves in sheep’s clothing, for what Bible-believing Christian isn’t familiar with Jesus’ warning that not everyone who calls him Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven?

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in they name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 8:22-23)

I Corinthians 8:3 tells us that “if any man love God, the same is known of him.”

In other words, it’s not the use of spiritual gifts such as casting out devils or prophecy that Jesus is against. It’s that they never loved him. They never really got to know him. If they prophesied truth, it was not in love. They might have cast out devils, but welcomed bigger devils into their homes. Judas is a prime example of a disciple who went out with all the rest to heal the sick and cast out devils (see Luke chapter 9, verse 2). He was involved in wonderful works, yet he had no true love for Jesus and in the end betrayed him.

Though there may be many who operate in false gifts or prophesy out of their own minds, that doesn’t mean that spiritual gifts have ceased. Take Ahab for example, the fleshly king who had four hundred false prophets prophesy success for him in God’s name (see I Kings chapter 22). There was one man, Micaiah, who had a true gift of prophecy for Ahab, however. He spoke a truthful word and Ahab had him thrown in jail.

If Jehoshaphat,  the godly king of Judah, had ignored Ahab and heeded that word,  he wouldn’t have gone to battle with Ahab and nearly gotten himself killed. True spiritual gifts – in this case, prophecy – can save lives, yet some people insist on preaching against such things. The number of anti-charismatic sites on the web is  astounding.

Spiritual counterfeits cause people to be disillusioned with spiritual gifts, but think on this: Satan is below God, not above him. He can’t counterfeit anything of God that isn’t real. When he couldn’t stop Jesus from casting out devils, he had men accuse Jesus of doing the devil’s work. Now he uses the doctrine of cessationism to accuse Jesus’ followers of the same thing.

After all, if gifts such as tongues and prophecy have ceased from operating in the church, then God can’t be behind them, can he?

I’m not saying we should accept every tongue or prophecy that comes our way, but we need to use discernment because for every four hundred false prophets there’s liable to be at least one true one. The same goes for tongues, as well as for every other spiritual gift. We shouldn’t let Satan scare us away from spiritual gifts that are still for today.