One of the pluses of traveling is you have time to think and ruminate over things. As I am returning from the Philippines, I have been thinking about the miraculous things God did. To those who were hungry He imparted an understanding and ability to operate in apostolic authority. In two services, there were those who received healings. Longstanding health issues were instantly eliminated; back, leg, should and heart problems to name a few. Yet there were those who did not receive a miracle.
This is what I am ruminating about. Why? Does God favor one person more than the other? I do not think so. I am reminded of some things I believe the Lord revealed to me 2-3 years ago when He began to show me how to operate in apostolic authority. There are actually quite a few reasons why people do not receive a miracle. In the next couple of Apostolic Notes, I will discuss some of them.
Why we do not receive our miracles
When we discuss the miraculous, obviously the first issue we should address is the faith issue. I could spend time discussing what faith actually is, but for this article I will use it in a common understanding of believing and trusting that God will keep his word.
Lack of faith is probably the most obvious reason people do not receive miracles. There are three areas where faith can be lacking:
1. The individuals do not have faith themselves.
There was a man who brought his possessed son to Jesus disciples and they could not deliver him. The man replied to Jesus comments regarding faith with “I do believe, but help me not to doubt.” (Mk 9:24 NLT emphasis added).
On another occasion, two blind men appealed to Jesus for healing and he asked them: “Do you believe that I can make you see?” (Mat 9:28 NLT emphasis added).
Having faith that God is able and willing is the first requirement to receiving the miraculous.
2. Those ministering do not have faith
Once again, the story of the man with the possessed boy; the disciples could not cast him out. (Mk 9:18)
Another instance that implies a lack of faith is the sons of Sceva. They attempted to cast out a demon by “Jesus whom Paul preacheth” in Acts 19:13. To me, in this instance, they did not have faith; they were exorcists trying to use the name of Jesus as some spell or incantation.
3. Sometimes the environment is not conducive for faith.
In Luke 4:24-27, Jesus rebukes the peoples lack of faith by comparing them to the history of Israel. He gives examples where there were numerous needs, yet only a handful received a miracle
In Mark 8:23, Jesus leads a blind man out of Bethsaida to heal him. The text is not clear why, yet I wonder could it be because of a lack of faith in the city?
There are many things that can affect the faith of a group of people or culture. Such things include: large unemployment in an area, a catastrophic natural disaster or a repressive social caste system.
Sometimes the church is too familiar with the word of God regarding the miraculous. It is a lot like revival – have heard it preached so many times, in some places it is hard to motivate the people to respond.
Many times when I minister, I go thru the following to test the faith level of people. I will ask congregation three questions and look for a show of hand as a response. These questions are:
“How many of you believe God is a healer?” – most if not all raise their hands.
“How many of you want God to use you to heal someone?” – a majority, but not as many raise their hands.
“How many of you are laying hands on people and praying for them?” - only a handful or one or two now raise their hands.
The point of this exercise is that it reveals the overall level of faith of the assembly. They say they believe He is a healer, yet their actions reveal otherwise.
The lack of faith is probably the number one reason we do not see the miraculous. In future blogs I will present more reasons.