A lot of people don’t believe in God because they consider God as magic, and bible stories as fairy tales. Unbelievers think that believing in God is an idealistic thinking, and disbelieving God makes them rational and intellectual. They think they have the capacity to explain everything that God has done and doing. For them, everything can be explained by science and their reasoning. They also believe that believing in God is an ancient thinking and is not applicable anymore in the current modern times.
As an adult (and living in a modern, high-technology generation), it is natural to stop believing in magic. For us, magic is nothing but a trick. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, magic means:
1 a: the use of means (as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces.
b: magic rites or incantations
2 a: an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source
b: something that seems to cast a spell
3 : the art of producing illusions by sleight of hand
With these definitions, magic is done by controlling the minds of the witnesses by spells and charms. Wikipedia says magic is done with “incantation, ceremony, ritual, the casting of spells or various other techniques”.
Magic and miracle is the same in the sense that both displays supernatural event. What differentiates them from each other is the source of power. In my opinion, nothing magical that ever comes from God and no miracles that doesn’t come from God. Instead of charms and spells, miracle uses faith. Magic is for enchantment and sometimes, even destruction. Miracle is more deeper. It is done with a purpose. Miracle changes lives.
Sadly, people, including Christians, are searching for magic from God instead of miracles. There are several factors that proves we are guilty of this attitude:
We treat God as a genie, instead of a Provider
It is not bad to ask from God. It is actually His desire; for us to be dependent on Him. But it is also not bad to give praise and thank Him for His grace. Another thing about asking from God is that, we get disappointed and sometimes lose faith whenever God don’t give or answer our prayer. As a Provider, He provides not only our needs, but also what’s best for us.
To see is to believe
As human, it is natural for us to ‘see to believe’. But for Christians, we must believe our Father when He said ‘to believe is to see’ (John 11:40). This is the main reason why people don’t believe the existence of God. They don’t see a ‘God’ visually or they don’t see any direct physical or material evidences of the existence of God. This is also the reason of small faith of several Christians. We tend to doubt the love of God, and sometimes even His existence, whenever God don’t answer our prayers.
We also have the perception that if God makes Himself appear physically, or make His voice be heard, or we see miracles like those in the bible, lots of people will believe. We believe how blessed are the early Christians to witness miracles such as the parting of the sea, Elijah’s ball of fire, Shadrach and pals’ escape from toasting, and how they are blessed being with our Lord Jesus and witness His miracles. We believe that if we will only experience the same as they did, we will also have strong faith and be great workers of God. We look for the bush of fire instead of reading the bible. That’s why we are easily mislead because the devil also has the power to perform magic to duplicate God’s miracle (Exodus 7:11, 2 Corinthians 11:14).
While witnessing God’s miracle is a dream for every Christians, it doesn’t guarantee anyone’s faith. When God is directly talking to His people and displaying His power, lots of people didn’t believed. When Jesus incarnated, witnessed the kingdom of His Father, and performed miracles, lots of people didn’t believe. They, His own race, even killed Him. Judas Iscariot, being with Jesus in His ministry, and witnessed His miracles, had betrayed the Lord. Adam and Eve are directly speaking with God and hears His voice, doubted His love and sinned. The same with Cain, despite of hearing God’s voice and assured of His existence, he still committed murder, through his own brother. Don’t ever think that we are better than these people who doesn’t believed in God.
We must remember that with these miracles, early Christians are also killed by their detractors. Are you willing to trade the freedom that we are enjoying today for these miracles? Will you be strong enough to endure these kinds of oppression?
To whom is the miracle for?
Miracle is for those who have faith. As I have mentioned earlier, compares to magic that works with charms and spells and manipulating minds, miracle only requires faith. As you will notice, God’s miracles in the bible are done through His faithful men and servants. They are Moses, Elijah, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and in the New Testament; the blind man, the sick woman, the Centurion, and His Son Jesus and His apostles. Our Lord Jesus says that if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you are able to move mountains and nothing will be impossible. (Matthew 17:20)
God chooses to perform miracles through our faith. He uses His faithful servants to execute His will. It is just sad that we don’t still understand how miracle works. We look for this miracle but unwilling to be an instrument. We refuse to be used by God in His ministry, and yet, we still expect His miracle in our church and in our lives. We just want manna to fall from heaven, instead of being a boy who provided his food to be used by Jesus in His ministry (Matthew 14:13-21).
However, must also remember that the absence of miracle or divine intervention doesn’t mean anything about God’s existence and His love. There are great men of God in the bible that didn’t performed and witnessed His miracles such as King David. King David is even called “a man after God’s own heart”! (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22) Yet, he didn’t performed any grandiose miracle. What he did is that he lead Israel toward God and this is enough to please Him.
Believing that miracles would make people believe and have faith makes us no different on that rich man on hell (Luke 16:10-31). If God says that preachers, prophets or the bible is enough to call His people, we must believe Him.
Despite of His omnipotence, God chooses to perform His miracle through His people. He wants us to cooperate and be part of His works. We must be willing to be a channel to experience His miracle. Although God is certainly able to perform miracles on His own, but I believe that miracle is also God’s way to reward people who deserve it.
List of faith that produced miracles in the bible:
Moses’ miracles – The book of Exodus
Elijah and the widow of Zarephath – 1 Kings 17:8-16
Elijah’s challenge to Baal – 1 Kings 18:21-40
Elijah prayed for rain – 1 Kings 18:41-45
Elijah fed by ravens – 1 Kings 17, 18
Elijah’s meal at the dessert – 1Kings 19:4-8
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego saved from fiery furnace – Daniel 3:8-30
Daniel saved in the lion’s den – Daniel 6:16-23
Jonah saved from the fish’s belly – Jonah 2:1-10
Miracles of Jesus sparked by faith
Two blind men cured – Matthew 9:27-31
Peter caught multitude of fishes – Luke 5:4-11
Noble man’s son healed – John 4:46-54
The feeding of the five thousand – Matthew 15:32
The healing of the Centurion’s servant – Matthew 8:5-13
The healing of the leper – Matthew 8:1-4
The healing of woman with the issue of blood – Luke 8:43-48
The healing of a palsy – Luke5:18-26
Peter walked on water – Matthew 14:22-33
Apostle Paul’s conversion – Acts 9:1-9
I recommend you to read the book Miracles by C.S. Lewis which he magically explains miracle.
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