I love the miracles of the Bible. Someone asked me recently why miracles do not still happen. I simply said, “They do.” Do you believe in miracles? Isn’t that part of the Christian walk-to believe in miracles? If we don’t, do we not shatter the image of God we say we have believed in? C. S. Lewis defined a miracle as something unique that breaks a pattern so expected and established we hardly consider the possibility that it could be broken. I love this definition. It moves beyond what the eye can see. And what does the Bible say, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).
This past Sunday, we witnessed a miracle. An ex-bodyguard to a Colombian drug lord turned holiness preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We pray for miracles like this. We pray that the Lord would move on the hearts of people and change them. We pray a lot. But in his story, Felix Varga explained how his wife, Lydia, not only prayed for over seven years for him to turn his life over to the Lord, but she lived out a Gospel by which all miracles are born.
So often, we pray and pray for miracles, but we don’t do a lot. We pray for someone to be changed, but we are not bold in our love and we are not bold in our proclamation of the Gospel to that person. For seven and half years, Lydia prayed. Her prayers brought power. We could say that it brought the power of Jesus Christ into her husband who was living La Vida Loca for sure. But could it be that the power of Jesus Christ, through her prayers, gave her the strength she needed to keep living a life of love and holiness in the face of demeaning and debased behavior by her husband? This is what I believe. The prayers, more than anything, gave her the ability to forgive him on the spot when she caught him kissing her best friend. It was strength to get up from the porch where she had slept all night because Felix had locked her out of the house, and kiss him saying, “Cristo te ama” (Jesus loves you!”).
When we pray, do we pray for a supernatural intervention in the hearts of others? Sure we do and there is nothing wrong with this, but miracles of the heart come out of someone living La Vida Santidad (The Holy Life). It requires a great deal of strength and power to live out the will of Jesus Christ in our life. Resisting the temptations of vice is the easy part. Loving unconditionally in every moment is the challenging part, but the closer we come, the closer our miracles. We must pray for God’s moving of hearts that need to be moved, but we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. We are the body of Christ. We are His hands and feet. We are the courier and carrier of the presence of God into someone’s life. We must love, pray, serve, give, and preach as precursors to miracles.
Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I am not at all dismissing the Lord’s power to do miracles with a simple word from His mouth. But when it comes to miracles of the heart, He will not force a heart to change. Hearts are changed by the influence of the Holy Spirit who works through us.
Need a miracle? Good. Pray. Love. Serve. Give. Preach. Live the life of holiness and people everywhere you are will be influenced by the Holy Spirit. He is alive and active through you. Though not everyone will respond to the Lord, many will. Miracles will abound. You will be a vessel and the power of God will surge through you.
2 Corinthians 4
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)
Heavenly Father, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t need you in my life. And You are always with me. Sometimes, Lord, I so desire to see you move in a miraculous way. Help me to remember that I am the vessel of your miraculous moments. Help me to remember that I am nothing, but You desire to use me to break down pain, anger, and jealousy in the hearts of people. Remind me that I am nothing, but within me is the hope of God, the promise for tomorrow, and the change someone needs. Let my prayers give me strength to live as a vessel for Your power to those all around me. -Amen