Monday, November 22, 2010

Where Your Heart Is ...

Over the last few weeks I have written a great deal on signs and wonders. Many in the Body of Christ believe that the days of such supernatural things have past and we live in a different age. I would not mind such people instructing me on the passages that say that such a thing would come to be because I cannot find any. What I do know is that we have become spiritually weak and as such lack the sensitivity to the Spirit we need. Many of us have stopped heeding the warning about what we allow to enter in through our ears and eyes and what we allow our hearts to be distracted by. How can we ever expect to be sensitive to the Spirit when we are constantly dulling ourselves with the entertaining sins of this world? Can we hear the gentle whisper of the Spirit with the sounds of guns, murder and sex blaring through our heads? Signs and wonders are as much for this age as as they were for the past, but we also need to keep in mind who they are for.

In Matthew 16 we find that a group of Pharisees and Sadducees had come to test Jesus; they wanted him to give them a sign. This was asked of Jesus on several occasions, especially after Jesus had run the merchants out of the temple, and even as he hung on the cross. They wanted Jesus to prove who he was, that his claims were legitimate. They were actually asking for a private showing because Jesus had never done anything in secret. Every healing, every miracle, every sign was on public display or had many witnesses. If the Pharisees and Sadducees really wanted proof all they had to do was open their eyes and look around. However, if all it would have taken was a sign to convince them, I am certain that Jesus would have given them one.

Yet, Jesus saw it from a different perspective. These men would not believe a sign because they did not believe the prophecies. These were well educated, well versed men who knew the Scriptures and prophecies better than the common person on the street. If their hearts were really open to a sign then they would have been open to the Scriptures. Jesus' reply to them was from this perspective:

“When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times." (Matthew 16:2-3

The signs and wonders were not for such as these, who knew the Scriptures and the prophecies and who had full advantage to believe from a place of faith. The signs and wonders were for those who were ignorant of the Scriptures and who had no understanding of the prophecies. It is these who needed to see the hand of God. It is the lost, the ignorant, the spiritually uneducated people who need the signs and wonders to believe God is real and powerful enough to save us from those things that separate us from him. Remember this:

“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

The greater path for us with such knowledge is that of faith but those of us of faith should also be instruments of signs and wonders for those who cannot get to that place without seeing and believing. Unfortunately too many of us are becoming like the Pharisees, where we have the knowledge but not the faith. We can quote chapter and verse but we crumble at any adversity and challenge.We have the knowledge but our faith is no stronger than a wet noodle, and much of it has to do with what we immerse ourselves in to weaken ourselves. We cannot become spiritually strong when we permit ourselves to be entertained by the sins of this world. Consider how Jesus saw these Pharisees and Sadducees:

"A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away. (Matthew 16:4)

He saw them as an adulterous people. What is adultery? When you give yourselves to someone you do not belong to. These men, who belonged to God, in their arrogance had given themselves over to the enemy. Are we much better with our appearance of godliness but no power thereof? Don't let me be your accuser as I accuse myself but instead give the Spirit the freedom to examine you and, for the sake of this dying world, listen to his honest reply. We are to be a bold and powerful people, allowing Jesus to glorify himself through us, especially through our weaknesses. Do not allow the distractions of this world to knock the feet from under you. Rise up and make the decision to live for Christ and Christ alone. 

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)

I want to live a bold and powerful life with Jesus, for this lost world. It starts with the decisions I make today to remain hyper sensitive to the Spirit in me. Let nothing of this world to cause his glory to fade in you.


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