Signs and wonders

Hello there.
A very perplexing thing has occurred. I am caught straight betwixt truth and my own emotions. The latter seems to be weighing more than I would have predicted.

As my custom is. I step out to preach the gospel of my Dear Lord Jesus Christ, how that he died and was buried and how he rose and was seen of men. Today I set out to do just that. But today was different. My sister in Christ who I pair with is sick and I called. “Hello sister, it’s time. I’m on my way. Where do we meet?” for now we have no place to do bible study so we gather to pray and go out to preach. My Dear sister says she’s sick and just leaving the hospital. Of course I knew she was quite ill during the week. She bade me off with God’s blessings and asked for me to give report later which I’m yet to. So we end the call. Prior to me making the call. I’m praying in the Spirit. Desirous of the miraculous as I step out. Desirous of it raw as it was like the days of Jesus, as I pray I make use of my imagination and images of the crippled walking, one-legged people growing limbs back, blind seeing, wheelchaired people walking, dead people whom cotton wool is stuffed in their noses jerking up to life). I wrote certain portions of the scriptures down about the Love of God as I was led to focus on that. So I flowed, saying in my heart “In the miraculous, the love of God is displayed, chaos is set to order”. John 3:16-17, 1John 3:1, 1John 4:9-10, John 15:13, John 10:10. I held on to Brother Paul’s words of 1 Corinthians 15, saying if Christ be not raised we are of all men most miserable. Knowing I believed(I accept), I say I’m not miserable. I prayed for 30, 45 minutes approximately then I made the call.

By 2pm, I decide to set off. I walk, praying under my breath in the Spirit. I had never done such thing as I prayed also for boldness. I pass the first junction of a certain street. I don’t know, I had this urge to go into the street, I say “Lord please be clear, help me, you know me better, let your directions be sharp and unmissable to my ears and my eyes and my nose and my understanding”, that I said. I keep on moving, just ahead I see a man pushing this lady on a wheel chair begging for alms, observing there might be language barrier in communication I still forge ahead. Just as we got close, they make a turn into the next street approaching some people for alms. I miss them. I keep on moving. Just before I reached the next street junction, I see a blind woman with her daughters begging for alms, she being held by one and the other just trailing from behind. I approach them, tell the woman if she wishes to see. “Yes!”. I lay my hands on her eyes and head, “mama, receive your sight in the name of Jesus Christ” I said. I took my hands off, looked at her, said “mama see”, her eyes were still shut like how the holy spirit says he’s sealed in us. I say “mama, I’m going to do this again, Lord confirm your words that you spoke, tear off the scales off her eyes”, nothing visible happened. I say to her “mama when I say such things, I want you to receive, by believing”. Just as I was about to do it again the daughter holding her leads her to set on. I said to wait, she said she was tired that she had to go. I followed them, “mama you want moni or you wan dey look” in a local dialect. “I wan dey look”, just as her daughter leads her on, they urge me to go that they’re coming back. Of course it’s like giving me false hope of expectancy. I retreat, bidding them farewell. I head back for home saying to the Lord, why has this happened, no this can’t happen, a miracle happened, why didn’t it get visible(speaking by faith), Lord you said these signs shall follow them that believe, I’ve been embarrassed Lord. I was sad, a gentle wind blew past me with a thought, “she’s received her healing”. I couldn’t come to terms with this thought, was it God speaking or “just” my own thoughts. I say “I can’t be defeated, I can heal the sick, did I miss the leading of God when I felt I should have gone to the street earlier?”. I go home, wanting to pray, to comfort myself, to read the bible much more about healing and the miraculous, where did I miss it?. I read somewhere that God doesn’t enable people do this because of their desires to be famous or wealthy. It’s became as though, that was why I didn’t see a visible result then. I say and know deep down, Lord I’m not desirous for this to be famous or wealthy. Why? It’d be something beautiful for such to happen. Moreover Lord, you never said anything about the intentions, you only said “these signs shall follow them that believe, in my name they shall…”. Lord give me a miracle or I die, I begin to speak like the woman in Genesis when she asked for a child.

Speak a word of comfort to me. I’m still going to lay my hands again and again. But I need a word of season. Say the right words by the Holy spirit. I don’t think I can face my local church with such a report, I preached the gospel is all I can say. I am sad the Lord knows but I still know God’s power is real and active, quick and powerful.

Your brother.
John.

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Welcome. I don’t think there are quick answers to your dilemma but just to know that God is our personal Father and deals with us individually. He is not a vending machine that we can plug our prayer coins (“the right words”) into and expect the desired merchandise to be dispensed. There was a conversation about prayer here quite recently – let me refer you to it:

I simply just don’t believe it exists anymore. As a cessationist I don’t believe anyone who claims it through both experiences and because of theology. So I would say don’t feel bad because outside of a surgery or something no one is magically healing the blind. It has nothing to do with sin in your life or the other persons life. It’s just simply not going to happen. What we can do is pray for them to find a doctor if it’s treatable somehow or pray that they are able to cope with it in a healthy way and try to learn about house designs for the blind, things like scented gardens and so on.

Since we have objective evidence of God’s present-day interventions with preternatural, miraculous timing and placing (even to the molecular level) without breaking natural law, I can not commit to cessationism.

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Many don’t. However I’m 100% convinced of that position and nothing anyone can say short of hard evidence without any possibility of manipulation can change that and then they will still have to further convince me if magic exists that it’s not coming from Satan. I’m fine with others thinking differently. It’s a non issue for me. But nonetheless I don’t believe them.

“On demand” or “If I just had enough faith” it [not God] would work ‘techniques’ will not get it done, but if God is willing – he is still sovereign over the material universe. (You might be a little more open to the idea if you had first-hand experiences of his interventions.)

Miraculous healing is a tricky one. Does it happen? Yes, I have several experiences of it both directly and second hand (ie not in my presence or by my own Spirit-assisted touch), On the other hand, when My sister and I prayed over my father, after a stroke, the healing was not physical but mental. He lived for over twenty more years slowly debilitating but was at peace with everything (at least outwardly the whole time.)
We cannot demand anything of God, and sometimes His answer is not the one we want or desire. Success or failure is not necessarily a judgment of faith, We are told to persist in prayer and that sometimes that is enough, but there are many factors involved. Sometimes it is dependent on the mental and physical needs of the patient as much as the faith of the intercessor. If you are a member of a fellowship then it may help to get them involved. Whatever the result, be careful of drawing conclusions. I have known people lose faith over a perceived rejection of prayer.
Richard

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This speaks to your question:

“Blessings”

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Dear @JohnTheDivine,

Thank you for your testimony. I do not know if it will be a comfort, but the Bible says that even Jesus was unable to do many miracles in His hometown “because of their lack of faith,”.

Matthew 13:57-58 (NIV2011)
57 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.

I think that this reminds us that whar God does is not up to us, but up to God. Since we are not God, we do not know what is best in the long run We need to do the best we can, but trust God to make the final decision.

Paul asked that he might be healed of “the thorn in the flesh,” but God said, “No.” “God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.”

When we put our faith in God, we trust God will keep God’s promises but it is not up to us to tell God what to do. We do our best to do God’s will, but leave the rest to God.

“All things work for good for those who love God.”

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For me cessationism is the same as saying that Christianity has ceased to be real and valid. It is the same as Nietzsche saying that God is dead. And if I came to that conclusion I would discard the Bible and Christianity immediately. It is the same to me as saying that all this Bible and Christianity stuff is just fantasy. If God and Christianity is real then it must be the same today as it always was. And I simply see no reason in the Biblical accounts to believe it was any more Walt Disney and magical than it is right now.

God made the laws of nature for a reason. They exist to support life. Life is not some magical stuff added to inanimate substances in order to make them get up and walk and talk. Life is built on an order of law and automation. Take that away and the universe becomes nothing more than a dream and we and our lives are nothing but a fantasy themselves. Thus God does not set the laws of nature He created aside for our convenience.

That said, God can do a lot. The laws of nature are not a closed system. Scientists can predict much but not everything. Under the surface of the laws of nature is not a perfect order but a regime of total chaos in which God is free to impose His will. But there are limits because the laws of nature are built from probability distributions. So while those laws needed for life do not bar God from taking part in our lives, it does draw a line between being an active participant and living our lives for us. It means God can help but not always in the way that we would like. If we want command and guarantees then I suggest looking to science because God is not here for that. Many Christians like to teach total dependency but that simply cannot be right. No good parent would want such a relationship with their children. A good parent wants their children to become more – to grow, to learn, and do for themselves, as more capable, and more powerful. Yes, I believe what God offers is empowerment not dependency.

So healing with prayer is a request for a miracle – for an exception to the rule. If it is a request to change the rules then the answer will be NO. If you want guarantees then perhaps you should devote yourself to medical research – for that will give the means to deal with the rules yourself – it will in effect change the rules as far as what we understand and can accomplish.

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You do not believe in miracles then. That rather ruins all the Gospels for one thing. Also, I have personal experience of actual modern miracles that would seem to break your precious laws. Sorry, and all that.
Having said that, if a miracle would be deemed proof of God (confirmation of Faith), it will not happen. For any miracle to occur there must be neither doubt, nor glory, nor even circumstance.

Richard

I do not believe in a magical definition of miracles as a violation of the laws of nature, if that is what you mean.

But frankly it is a matter of simple irrefutable logic.

If miracles changed the rules then they would change the laws of nature which science discovers, which would mean they DON’T violate the laws of nature, which according to that irrational definition of miracles would mean they are not miracles.

Thus we have the results of the scientific tests that atheists like to make of the effectiveness of prayer. No surprise that the result is always that they have no effect. But all that means is that, like I said, they don’t change rules. It doesn’t change the fact that God does answer prayers.

Yeah… I have seen magic shows too.

We shouldn’t test God. Even Paul was not healed of his “thorn in the flesh.”

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Who mentioned magic? The examples are part of everyday life and contradict several so called human “laws” of physics and biology. No parlour tricks. No “audiences” no gimmicks.Some were not even specifically asked or looked for. Like I said. No glory. And definitely no perceived proof of God (beyond existing faith)

I am sorry but you cannot just dismiss this. I am not alone.

Richard

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Shalom John

The point was that “seeming to contradict the laws of nature” does not equal a contradiction to the laws of nature – because we see such a seeming in any magic show. Every attempt to find actual contradictions to the laws of nature show that there are none… of course! Because like I said that is what defines the laws of nature in the first place.

Dismissing what??? I am not dismissing anything. On the contrary. I am affirming both. Miracles do exist and do happen. Likewise the laws of nature do exist. How is this possible? Miracles do not break the laws of nature. Simplicity itself. God is consistent and has integrity. He does not make laws just so He can break them to show off. Instead He designed the universe to support life AND His own participation in events. BOTH!

Miracles of quantity, like the feeding of the five thousand, break the laws of nature. I have witnessed at least 2 modern versions. Now you can either “explain” them somehow, or dismiss them as not miracles, or at least the quantity measuring is somehow flawed. But, if they happened in the circumstances I witnessed, they broke your precious laws. No argument. And I can assure you they happened.
(I do not wish to discuss the various explanations proposed for the feeding of the five thousand. The modern-day examples cannot be so easily explained away)

Richard

I think they can be explained in accord with the laws of nature and still NOT dismiss them as not miracles. They simply did not break the laws of nature created by God. No argument. I have no doubt that what you described happened. Miracles do happen. I likewise have not a single doubt that no laws of nature were broken.

You cannot state this as you have no idea of what I am referring to, Unless you want to call me a liar, laws were broken. God is Lord of His creation. Laws were made to be broken by Him.

And, perhaps healing does not break any Laws either?

Look, there is no point in this. It is much a matter of faith as it is scientific assertion. My faith allows for it. Yours does not.

Don’t worry, God will never put you in a position that will contradict either your faith in Him, or your faith in Science.

Richard

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And… perhaps as a physicist, my understanding of the laws of nature is different than yours.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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