Many people will spend decades, even their entire lives devoted to a singular cause, thousands of hours of experience, studying, applying themselves to their trade, their desires, not realizing that all that they have accomplished will in time be forgotten, along with them.
Many of those we esteem, and the works that they have done, are generally for and of the world, and that is all that most ever think of. Many can tell you who the first president of any nation was, but who was the fifth, the name of Rembrandt is known by many, but who was his fourth apprentice. The achievements of certain men, above those of our fellow man are what we remember, but then, we all want to be remembered. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)
What was more important, the works of Michelangelo, or the man himself?
I bring this subject up in this letter to you today, for I fear that there are many who know much about the works of Christ, but little about Him personally, they know more about what He did than who He is. I believe it was what Paul was trying to help us to see when he said, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2) The person of Jesus Christ is the visual representation of the Lord God, it had to be such, for we live in a material world of the five senses, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.” (1 John 1:1)
This is no less or more than the actions of the Lord in the Old Testament, yet the visible representations were called miracles, all that happened in Egypt before the children were delivered from bondage. From Daniel in the lion’s den, to the fleece of Gideon, each was an action of the Lord. And this is why I speak of what I believe many Christians have fallen prey to, the Lord as an action taker in our lives, instead of a Shepherd that we are to follow.
Circumstances will do that to us, hunger drove them to die while the quail was still between their teeth, (Numb. 11:33) they followed the Lord, until He stopped feeding them. (John 6:26) As long as things are going well in our lives, we follow the Great Physician, when sickness comes though, we go to the doctor at the hospital down the street. These are just two analogies, but they describe the narrative, we love what the Lord can do for us, but do we love Him just because He is.
This is why there are so many examples in the Scriptures of the suffering, of the terror and fear, of death of the saints, to show us that He is always with us, even when we do not see His hand upon us. From Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego standing up against Nebuchadnezzar, to John the Baptist in jail, not asking the Lord to free him, just wanting to know if He was the One, they did not need to see Him, they did not need another miracle, they knew Him, the had known Him, and that was enough.
Those who pray continuously for healings, those who need signs, dreams and visions cannot comprehend these words, they need the continuous actions of the Lord. Daniel did not scream as they tossed him into the lion’s den, Elijah mocked the prophets of Baal, Stephen met the Lord in a way that I do not believe many ever have, while Jesus was not seated, but standing beside the Father. Those in the “hall of faith” in Hebrews chapter 11, “Of whom the world was not worthy.” (Heb. 11:38) He who died on that cross for us should not need to give anymore, we should not even think of or request anything at all from Him, yet even the Lord told us to ask. “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:14)
So then, what do you ask for? The pain to go away, the money to pay the bills, that the car would hold up just one more year? Or do you ask to know Him better, to have a deeply personal relationship with Him, one that will bring a peace beyond anything that you could imagine.
Do not take this in the wrong way, but miracles really are just a matter of fact with the Almighty, when He speaks, worlds are created, seas stop their roaring, blind men can see, the lame walk. I believe that John smiled when he saw the axe man approaching, his work was finished, he had completed the task at hand, and he had served well. He was going home. “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” (James 2:23) “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) If you need to see the power of God, look back to the cross, don’t look forward to more of a miracle than that, you won’t find one.