“And let no one deceive himself: if someone thinks he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he could become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God.” 1 Corinthians 3:18-19 One New Man Bible
Let’s start with a memory. A religion class in my private high school. An argument with a fellow student about whether or not miracles (physical healing, rising from the dead) still happen. My passion for the subject exceeded any insecurities I held at the time, which says a lot.
This other student argued adamantly that miracles ended with the time of the Bible while I just as adamantly argued that of course they still happened today. However, at that point in my life, I had not seen or heard of any physical miracles, but I just knew. I knew it in my heart because I didn’t want to believe in a God who didn’t still move in mighty ways.
Finally, our teacher cut in and stated, if I remember correctly, that while God certainly still is powerful enough to do miracles today, He just doesn’t anymore. He offered no explanation why, no biblical support. Nothing.
I remember I almost cried. Maybe because I felt like I had just made a fool of myself or maybe because my heart broke for the lies being believed about our God. Like I said, I felt passionately.
I’ve never forgotten that. Immediately following that incident, I kept replaying the other student asking for proof. If miracles still happened, he reasoned, then where were they? Why hadn’t he heard of any? Because clearly, nothing went on in this world without him hearing about it.
But I was frustrated that I didn’t know any modern stories of Jesus healing people, so I said to God, “I know You still do miracles. I know You still heal people instantly and raise people from the dead. But I need to know about it.”
A few years passed, and I forgot about my challenge to the Lord, but eventually my mom and I started attending a new church, one that allows the power of the Holy Spirit and moves in His presence. Now it’s four years later, and I’ve heard of a profusion of healing miracles and even been in the same room as some.
(And to be clear, there are many types of miracles. Financial miracles, miracles of protection, emotional healing miracles. But the other student and I were specifically talking about physical miracles, the kind that fills the Gospels.)
Just a few weeks ago, my church hosted Graham and Irene Baker, missionaries who changed the country of Papua New Guinea since they arrived there about fifty years ago. While they told only a few of their myriad of stories, one in particular stuck in my mind.
There was a young man who wanted to start a church in another village so he asked Graham and Irene how. They told him to go find someone sick or blind or deaf or lame and heal them, and the next Sunday he’d have church
And the young man just did it. And it actually worked. Just like that. He found someone for the Lord to heal and somewhere between thirty and forty people gathered the next Sunday. Amazing.
Here’s the thing I’ve noticed about many stories like this one. They often seem to happen in poorer countries. African countries, India, Honduras, or even China, where many of the people are poor even if their government isn’t. But I personally haven’t heard many stories like these from America.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they don’t happen here. And films like DeadRaiser and Holy Ghost excellently bring that awareness and anointing to this country. However, I still feel like there’s a block here that sometimes makes these types of stories harder to find. And I have a theory why.
Here we’ve got our technology. Our medical advancements. Our scientific studies. Our cars and homes and every other cliché material good that people refer to when talking about the American dream.
And those things aren’t bad. Certainly God blesses us and teaches us and uses these things to help and heal us. But when we begin to put our trust in our own resources and understanding, I question if it’s really worth it. When we live in a developed country, just what exactly are we developed in, and what are we losing because of these developments? Because something tells me those Papua New Guineans understand something that I, an American, am just beginning to grasp.
I don’t ever want to grow in worldly education if it’s going to take me away from spiritual growth. While studies, medicines, advancements and the like are great, if it came down to picking just one, I’d rather have the Holy Spirit. I’d rather have Jesus. But we replace God with facts and research instead of allowing those things to show us another aspect of His multifaceted identity.
Why was that man able to just go out and heal someone? Start a church like it was no big deal? Was it because he was desperate? Because he didn’t have any other answers to mask the truth that at the center of it all is Jesus? He, as Sean Feucht once described it, was so blinded by Jesus that He didn’t know any better. He just believed. He just obeyed.
I don’t want to be tricked by the mirage that my resources, my Google searches, my medicines are more reliable than Jesus. Whether or not He uses those things, He is my cornerstone for whatever healing or breakthrough I’m asking and believing for. It doesn’t even have to be physical. Financial breakthrough, relational breakthrough, emotional healing – He’s a specialist in all of the above.
I want to just believe. I want to not know any better. Because when that happens, I no longer live in the world’s mindset. I become kingdom minded, able to rise above whatever circumstances surround me.
See, the lie that seems to permeate our culture is that faith is either a weakness or for the uneducated. But faith doesn’t mean you’re stupid. It doesn’t mean you’re naïve or that you ignore scientific evidence.
It simply means you rely on your spiritual eyes more than your earthly ones because you realize your spiritual eyes see more truth than your earthly ones ever could. Faith means hope, the joyful, confident expectation of good.
Just this past Sunday, my pastor said faith is our agreement with what God is saying and doing. And based off of the young man healing someone to start a church, I’d say that God is saying and doing some extraordinary miracles.
Now if I can just get in touch with that former classmate…