We cannot help but feeling powerless when we talk about miracles. It is a mysterious realm outside our control. We have no authority to command the exceptional. We are, in a sense, “prisoners” of the laws of nature and the ordinary scheme of things. We cannot “break out” and fix things in an extraordinary and uncommon way. A miracle always makes one wonder. Whether you experience an extraordinary event or hear about it, it will make you think a bit. A miracle demands careful consideration.
In the dictionary a miracles is described as a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency. The definition goes on to say:
…a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences or an amazing product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something.
Without a doubt it is a bunch of feel-good words thrown together in one paragraph: welcome surprise, highly improbable, extraordinary, amazing, outstanding… and added to that: the work of a divine agency.
According to the above definition a miracle is always positive and welcome. There is not even a hint of negativity in the description of a miracle. It is an extraordinary event welcomed with joy and relief.
Even the fiercest atheist and agnostic have to admit that one historical figure is unquestionably associated with miracles, whether you believe the miracles or not, namely Jesus. How many times in debates the miracles of Jesus are mockingly attacked. Notwithstanding, the miracles of Jesus, as they are recorded in the Bible, serve as an inexorable and proven source of hope and strength in the most dire and disastrous circumstances.
Miracles are often described in the words of the person or persons who received a miraculous intervention or those very close eyewitnesses who were part of the story. A miracle is often observable by bystanders, but many, many times a miracle takes place in us or for us that we are the only witness to. A drastic turn of events in a bad situation or a deep change in a person is clear to the closest associates.
There are life issues that describe our lives and there are life issues that define our lives. Bad circumstances or illness or loss can describe your life, but it will only define your life if you allow it to. As an adult one has somewhat more control over the things that define your life. Even within a crisis, which describes your circumstances, the principles that define your life, will be your life-logo.
This brings us to a vital spiritual principle. Our inner being is the indicator of our person. We are made in the image of God – three in one – spirit, soul and body. Our spirit connects with the Spirit of God when we make the all-powerful decision to commit ourselves to God – the process of rebirth. Out soul is the expression of our personality in will, mind and emotion. The degree, to which our soul is controlled by our Holy Spirit-controlled spirit, is the degree to which we grow spiritually. To submit our soul to the Holy Spirit is a decision that will have the most significant impact on our life ever.
This brings us to another key spiritual principle – the heavenly chain of authority. A child of God lives poles apart from the non-believer. Believers prioritize radically different. Our decisions are submitted to the Holy Spirit to draw from the source of Godly wisdom. We decide with our mind and execute with our body.
God’s child = Holy Spirit > spirit > soul > body.
God is the source of life.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)!
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] To Him be glory forever! Amen (so be it). (Romans 11:33,36, AMPC)
The non-believer lives the other way around. The body dictates needs and desires that determine decisions. Those decisions trigger the feelings and even more needs. It is a life controlled by bodily desires and a leanness of spirit.
Non-believer = body > soul > spirit.
The brokenness of the world, the lack of morality and the sharp focus on bodily desires that are mistakenly elevated to the highest source of happiness has dreadful results in relationships. So much heartache and tragedy can be connected to sin that leads to adultery, betrayal, fear, anger, unkindness and a list of other miserable consequences.
Last time in Pebbles we discussed Isaiah 61. Hear the awe-inspiring words of the prophet:
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, (61:1,NIV)
The miracle inside! Pebble pal, hear the miracle words of healing.
Do you need Jesus-bandages? Do you have a broken heart that bleeds anew every now and then? Hear it once again:
He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted (AMPC)
How does it happen? What is a Jesus-bandage?
The answer is in Isaiah 61:3:
To grant consolation and joy to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
The keywords in these phrases are “grant” and “give”.
Strong’s defines these words as follows:
…to put, place, set, appoint, make, ordain, establish, found, appoint, constitute, determine, fix,
…transform into, constitute, fashion, work, bring to pass.
It is the miracle on the inside. It is a transformation-mystery, a powerful work of the Holy Spirit, executed according to a heavenly command when we decide to allow God to heal us and place our broken heart in the hands of our loving Dad.
Next time we will talk about the process. The key scripture is Romans 12:2. Meditate on it in the mean time.