Miracles or Magic?

What follows is adapted from a blog post by Steven Furtick. It makes me nervous, at times, to talk about miracles. While I have no doubt that God can and does accomplish miracles daily, my concern is that we tend to want them for our purposes rather than God’s purposes and glory. Keep that in mind as you read what follows.
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When you consider miracles in the Bible, two themes consistently emerge when it comes to the person involved.

1) Many biblical miracles were the person’s own initiative, not God’s idea.

  • Like the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment.
  • Or Namaan who went to Elisha for healing for his leprosy.
  • Or the centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant.

2) Many biblical miracles involved the person’s initial actions, not just God’s supernatural intervention.

  • Like when God parted the Jordan River only after the Priests stepped out.
  • Or when the blind man had to wash himself in the pool of Siloam.
  • Or when Joshua and his army had to march around the walls of Jericho before it fell.

The bottom line is that when it comes to the miracles we want to see in and through our life, God wants our involvement. Most Christians don’t want miracles, we want magic. We want God to wave a magic wand at our problem or need.

We want God to send the money out of the sky.
God forbid we would cut up our credit cards and live within our means.

We want God to heal us of our physical ailments.
God forbid we change our eating habits or start exercising.

We want to see God do miraculous things through us.
God forbid we get off the couch and give God a platform off of which He can work.

I’m sorry, but God’s miracles don’t work like that. Of course they involve His unmistakable power and provision. Otherwise they wouldn’t be miracles. But they also require our initiative and involvement. Otherwise they would just be magic.

Maybe we could sum it up like this:
Without Godyou cannot.
Without youGod will not.

We need to ask ourselves two questions.
1)   What miracle do we need or want to see God accomplish?
2)   What involvement is God requiring from us?

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2 Comments

Filed under Glory of God, Miracles, Trusting God

2 responses to “Miracles or Magic?

  1. Great post. I would add: miracles bring glory to God and reveal who He is – as you say too often we try to centre them on our own selfish desires.

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