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Waiting for miracles
- Jacob Ninan
Anyone who knows God rightly knows that He can do any miracle He wants. Those who find it difficult to believe that God could make a dry path for Israel through the Red Sea or stop the rotation of the earth to give time to Joshua to destroy his enemies don't know God properly. However, just because He can do anything, it doesn't mean He will always do the miracles we want. He can heal sickness without medicines, but usually He expects us to use medical help when it is available. When He is going to do a miracle, usually He will give us faith by telling us (Ro.10:17). It would be foolish of us to imagine that just because God has healed others through miracles He will do it for us too, because He doesn't always do things in the same way. He who allowed James to get killed with the sword sent an angel to rescue Peter from prison.
We may be expecting God to deliver us miraculously from temptations! We couldn't save ourselves from the penalty of sin, and we trusted in the sacrifice Jesus made for us and received forgiveness as a free gift from God. But then we may be expecting that He will freely give us victory over temptation in the same way. We find ourselves powerless against the giants of lusts in our flesh and conclude that only God can save us from them. That is true. But if we look inside we may see that what we are actually waiting for is for the temptation to cease troubling us in the areas where we have been slaves in the past. In other words, when we pray for victory we want God to do a miracle in us and make us immune to temptation.
We think like this especially because we do see or hear of, e.g., alcoholics or drug addicts coming to faith in the Lord and suddenly becoming free from their slavery. It's a miracle. But what we need to note is that not all experience such miracles. While God is able to do such miracles and He also does them once in a while, that is not the usual way. They are exceptions. In the normal way of life, we have to learn from God's word truths that can set us free, pray earnestly for God's help and then battle against these fleshly desires (Ro.8:13).
It appears that even though God helps us with grace, He wants us to gain the victory (Ti.2:11,12). Even though He works inside our heart and mind to give us new direction and strength, He wants us to take up our cross daily, deny ourselves and follow Jesus (Lk.9:23). Actually He wants us to become more than conquerors, not only gaining victory for ourselves, but also helping others to gain victory (Ro.8:37). What better way to do this than through giving us an education through battles?
Whenever we have sinned, we have added more corruption to our lives (Ga.6:7,8). Our way of thinking, our emotions and our behaviour patterns have all got corrupted. Now when we want a change in our life we would need to overwrite this corruption with the divine nature. This why we have to consciously deny ourselves and do God's will by His strength.