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Saturday, June 02, 2012

What to Do When You Need a Miracle

by Rick Blumenberg /

When Jesus did a miracle his disciples were usually astonished. Even though they had spent much time with him they still were not accustomed to miracles. He tried to tell them that, as his followers, they should be able to count on miracles any time one was needed but it was not easy to accept.

According to Webster's New World Dictionary (1966) a miracle is "An event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific laws." So how do we go about finding such a miracle when we need it? That's the first step to receive a miracle—it  must be necessary to accomplish something God wants done. It can be a personal miracle. For instance, God wants his people to be fed and if you cannot possibly feed yourself God can supply your needs the same as he did for the Israelites in the wilderness. Or, it can be a corporate miracle—perhaps a church that has a need that cannot be met with God's normal sustaining help. However, there is no reason for God to supply a miracle for something we can do in our own strength (even if we don't think we can do it.)

The next requirement for a miracle is "asking faith". God can't say yes to prayers we don't pray and it takes faith just to ask. In a typical congregation many would find it difficult to pray for a miracle from God to supply a particular need In theory many Christians believe God is a God of miracles, but few of us realistically believe God will provide a miracle for me. It takes faith just to ask.

All too often we are like independent children who want to do it ourselves. We don't want help. And that can be good. We shouldn't sit around and wait for God to supply everything with no effort on our part. But when we have done our best to obey the Lord, have given time, talents and treasure for work we genuinely believe God wants done, and it is still impossible for us to do, then it is time to ask for (and expect) a miracle. I'm convinced it pleases God when we ask. For us to refuse God’s help when we have done our best and are unable to do more, doesn't please God any more than it would please you, as a parent, if you had a child who, after doing his best to finish a task, would rather be defeated than allow you to help.

When our younger daughter, Twyla, began her sophomore year in college it was the rage to have a "deck" in your dorm room. The rules were if you built it, it had to be removable and could not be fastened in any way to the walls of the dorm—no nails, bolts, etc. She designed the deck she wanted, saved the money for the materials, but couldn't build it alone, so she asked for my help. We had fun building it and at the end of the year she sold it to another student for the next year and got her money back for the materials.

I'm glad she asked! I would not have built the deck for her while she was out having fun, but when she was willing to work at it, I enjoyed helping her. Just thinking about it brings back good memories of the time we spent together on that task. I think God is also like that. Our heavenly Father wants to help and is happy when we ask.

God said to the Apostle Paul (and to us all) " power is made perfect in weakness." (II Corinthians 12:9(NIV))  Does that mean God's power is ever less than perfect?  In one sense, yes. God's perfect power is often limited, but not by any lack on his part. We limit God’s power when we don't ask for Divine help. It is also limited because we don't attempt great things God wants done that require his power. We are too easily satisfied with a mediocrity we can do with our own ordinary strength.

God's power is limited and cannot be perfect unless it is being used because that power must be let loose in the world to accomplish God's will! The reason many of us never see a miracle is because we never do anything God wants done that requires his miraculous help.

I'm Rick Blumenberg . . . and that's My View from Tanner Creek.


Chris said...

Great blog Rick. This is something I've thought a lot about while on the World Race. An area I desire to grow in is, as you put it, asking faith.

Anonymous said...

Rick, great comments. God has answered my prayers in astonishing and timely ways and that is a major part of what makes me the Christian that I am.
Dave Walberg

Rick Blumenberg said...

Thanks Chris and Dave. Both of your comments are appreciated.

Rick Blumenberg said...

Recently two people read this blog and the report drew my attention so I read it again. One area I didn't cover is that one of the greatest miracles God does, and I think His most common one, is the miracle of divine power in human endeavor. I think God's perfect plan for releasing his miraculous power into the world is to empower His people in their service. So any time we do anything good, we should ask God's blessing on our endeavors and His strength to accomplish them.