Miracles, as we know them, are actually the spiritual capacity to produce natural disorders and turn them into ordinary events for the benefit of human beings. A miracle is a miracle because it produces well-being to one or more human beings involved in its development, otherwise they cannot be classified as such.
Do not be surprised because we define them as natural disorders, because that is precisely what happens when a miracle is performed; there is a disorder of the system of natural laws that govern the physical material world.
Miracles are not always visible facts, so are all those facts that pass even unnoticed to human consciousness, but in the same way as extraordinary ones, transcend the natural order of matter and bring well-being to the people involved in their realization.
The concept is not only part of the New Testament; we also find it in the Old Testament. The Greek term is δυναμεις (dinamis), and is translated by miracle, wonder, virtue, power. The Hebrew term is מוֹפֵת (mopet), and is translated by sign, prodigy, symbol, example, and model.
In the introduction we speak of “spiritual capacity” because it is precisely the only source that can alter the natural laws of our physical material system. The spiritual is above the material.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:20
This definition leads us to understand the first foundation of the operation of miracles, that is, who are the ones who can opt for a miracle.
Unlike what religions have established, that we can all be exposed to a miracle at some point; even that we can ask for a miracle to be done, the Bible teaches that miracles are only available to those who have developed, budding or actively, a spiritual life directed toward God.
But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? Hebrews 1:13-14
One who does not direct his life to believing and trusting in God cannot opt for wondrous deeds. Prayer to the saints as a pillar of faith, is not doctrine supported by the Bible.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
In light of the foregoing and to confirm the established point, the only prayer that God hears from one who has no spiritual life is the prayer of repentance, otherwise, God does not hear any prayer or accede miracle on their behalf,
Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. John 9:31-33
The second foundation of the operation of miracles that we should understand is about the raison d’être of a miracle: miracles are activated to confirm the faith of the one or those to whom they are sent, not to resolve their personal crisis.
God is not a problem solver, God’s commitment to humanity and to those who seek Him is one of salvation. Problems are part of life, they are situations of daily life, even the apostle Paul pointed out that it is necessary that through many tribulations we enter the kingdom of God.
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
Miracles do not necessarily provoke faith, so trusting that someone can come to believe and to develop faith because of a miracle is an atheistic foundation, it goes against the Word. The disciples-apostles walked night and day for three and a half years with Jesus, they saw innumerable miracles, even resurrections, however, before His crucifixion, one of them, Thomas, expressed himself as incredulous as one who had never walked with Him.
Miracles follow faith and are intended to confirm it.
Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. John 6:26
Aware of these two foundations of the operation of miracles, and understanding above all that it is God who decides for his sovereignty, where, when and to whom he allows a miracle, we should understand what care we must have to be fit to enjoy a life of miracles.
The first thing we have to proclaim is, yes, that God continues to work miracles in our time, as many and as wondrous as the miracles He did in ancient times.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:6
Believing that miracles are a thing of the past, or that they were of exclusive use to a nation, obviously disqualifies us from being candidates to receive them.
To illustrate the care that we must have to enjoy a life of miracles, although there are many biblical stories that can serve us for the effects, we will use the case of the multiplication of the five barley loaves and two small fishes, in the account of the Gospel of John, because John presents it precisely as a “sign” of divine provision, the same that God established as a way of life since the people left Egypt.
IN EACH SITUATION, DEFINE WHO IS THE SOURCE OF OUR RESOURCES
When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? John 6:5
Two answers arose to Jesus’ question; the first answer:
Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. John 6:7
It is a valid answer, but it does not allow the operation of miracles.
The second answer:
There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? John 6:9
It is a response that opens up the possibility, albeit saturated with doubt.
The writer of the gospel presents the true answer:
And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. John 6:6
The first care we must take is to try to understand what God wants to do with every situation we face; it is not about focusing on the element that disturbs us, but about discovering the purpose that forged that situation. We must be aware that the most important thing is not what I need, but what God wants to do in the midst of my situation; miracles depend on that.
Where is my supply coming from? It is not a question of responding automatically, but of understanding what God wants to do with each one of them, that determines the treatment with which we must resolve them. It is useful here to bear in mind the words of the psalmist,
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
We must ask this question with each situation we face, because as we have already said, it is not the answer that matters, but trying to understand what God wants to do, or what He wants to teach us with them.
LET US START FROM WHAT WE HAVE, NOT FROM WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE, AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTION of WHAT WE SHOULD DO
There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? John 6:9
The cause that leads to the downfall of many leaders, that indebts many other entrepreneurs, and that depresses so many men and women of faith, is wanting to start the work, the business, or the activity of faith, with resources that they do not have, wanting to imitate what others do, without measuring the consequences of what it means to work with resources that they do not have.
Miracles are not a patch to ignorance, nor a cover-up to irresponsibility. God does not promote provisional solutions nor does He participate in the improvisation of naïve minds that assume that God is obliged to supply them even above their deficiencies.
Miracle does not mean “to do” over what one does not have, but “to do” over what one has along with the instruction to do it; both merged.
And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. John 6:10
Another good example is the case of the widow of Zarephath of Sidon to whom the prophet Elijah was sent by God. The widow had only the last provision for her and her son, but she gave it to feed the prophet. We all know the outcome of the story, there was no lack of provision for them throughout that season of crisis.
And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 9Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. … Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: … 13And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. … 16And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah. I Kings 17:8-16
ACKNOWLEDGING GOD IN EVERYTHING. WE MOVE FORWARD AND OVERCOME ALL OBSTACLES BECAUSE HE IS HELPING US TO MOVE FORWARD
And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. John 6:11
It is not a matter of coining the expression, “all thanks to my Lord”, or similar; it is a matter of being aware that the solution of conflicts is not by our own capacity, but because He has taken us out of the midst of them. The same applies to riches; we are not rich, or prosperous, because our knowledge and skills enabled us to do so, but because He endowed us with the capacity to be so.
And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. 18But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 8:17-18
Acknowledging God in everything is the foundation of the supernatural operation of the Holy Spirit; and the only way to establish the shadow of His Lordship over us.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6
REVIEW WHAT HAPPENED. ENABLE A QUALITY CONTROL PROTOCOL
When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. John 6:12
Although the account testifies that those who were fed that day were more than five thousand people, none of them was aware of what was happening right before their own eyes; it was only when the disciples gathered what was left over, and they saw the twelve baskets that were left over to those who had eaten, that they realized the miracle that Jesus had done.
Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. 14Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. John 6:13-14
As we reread the account of the multiplication of the five barley loaves and the two fishes we see that the true miracle did not consist in the multiplication per se, but in the consciousness they acquired of what Jesus had done.
Miracles have a purpose, as we established from the beginning, not to solve the difficulty or the problem that is disturbing us; but, first, to establish through it a truth that will make us grow; second, to establish the mercy that our region needs; and third, that the earth be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of God.
There are times, many times that we have been exposed to miracles and we have not been able to value them as such.
And the reason is because we do not review what has happened to us, we have not developed the wisdom necessary to see the presence of the Holy Spirit in the facts recently past, which, we must admit, is part of the arrogance with which human beings walk today.
Quality control means going back to the course of the day to evaluate the good and the bad, and from the bad to learn not to repeat the mistakes made. It is the wisdom of the work of Creation embodied in the book of Genesis, if we review the first chapters of the book we will see how the phrase is repeated in the reading: And God saw that it was good.
Evaluating daily what we do will lead us to refine our spiritual discernment and we will be able to see God working in everything.
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Ephesians 4:26
There will be miracles that we will not see, but we will appreciate God’s work in the place. If the reader reviews the rest of the reading from chapter six of John’s gospel, he will notice that another miracle emerges from this story, the miracle of Jesus walking on the waters. If you look at the reading you will notice that the whole crowd noticed this miracle,
The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one where into his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; 23(Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks.) 24When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. John 6:22-24
Miracles have not diminished, what has changed is our appreciation of them. Not that we have never received one, what has happened is that it came not as we wanted it to come.
May we return to the principle of miracles, and may we understand that it is the ordinary form of life designed by God for those who have loved Him. May we walk in it as long as we live on the face of the earth.
- AT PRESS EDITION
I thought we said the most important thing, but there is still one more principle we need to establish.
The author of miracles is God; therefore, a miracle will never go against what He Himself has established, nor will it contradict any of His principles.
This means that God cannot work a miracle on behalf of someone who in his definition as a person has established as a life principle to support abortion and/or promote assisted death (euthanasia). Life is the greatest miracle that human beings have from God; to ask for a miracle when we have risen against the greatest of them, is a denial of their operation, and disqualifies the person from being a candidate for them.
All biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.
Pastor Pedro Montoya