Where are the Miracles?
Galatians 3:1-5 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the law, or by hearing with faith?
When I first came into the kingdom of God, I was absolutely perplexed by what I saw in the American church, compared with the church of the Bible. I must admit I was absolutely astonished and very confused when I started going to church in my small town. I went there expecting every single day to see God perform miracles of healing and supernatural signs and wonders. But I was perplexed when I saw that there really weren’t obvious signs and wonders. I know people who have been healed. I know people that God brought through illnesses and cancers, and certainly those are miracles. I am talking about the obvious miracles, the ones that you read about in the book of Acts. So I ask the question, Where are the miracles in the American church?
I believe the answer is found in our text. I believe exactly what Paul challenges the Galatian believers with is exactly the same challenge that JSM, SBN and Crossfire Youth Ministries is giving to American church, and the church at large. The American church is in pitiful shape. This may be true for other countries, but this is my focus. We live in a time frame where we are comfortable in a church that has no spiritual connotation. Instead of preaching, they have discussions. Instead of worship, they have concerts. Instead of prayer, they have coffee and devotions. Instead of studying the Bible, they study books. Instead of mission trips, they have tourist trips. There is no real moving and operation of the Holy Spirit, and the worst part of it is, they are perfectly okay with it. Youth ministries are no longer concerned with the spiritual condition of their young people as long as all the seats are filled in their buildings. And we wonder why there are no miracles.
It is because the church has left the Cross, which is the realm in which the Holy Spirit can operate. In our departure from the Cross, we have successfully left the foundation of the Word of God, and we are slowly but surely losing all spiritual truth found in the Bible. In Galatians 3:4, Paul asked the question, “Did you suffer so many things in vain?” The Greek word used for “suffer” in this verse really just means a neutral experience that is determined by a consequence. Nine times out of 10 you will hear this passage preached and taught as bad physical suffering. Which is not necessarily wrong, but to look at the context of the passage it seems possible that it has a different implication. It seems that Paul was saying, “Have you experienced being born again, the baptism with the Holy Spirit, witnessed miracles, and received revelations all in vain? Was it all for nothing? Was it all really fruitless? Are you going to be seed whose roots couldn’t make it?”
I feel we can hear the voice of God crying the same thing to the American church: “Was Azusa Street for nothing? Were the healing revivals in the 1950s for nothing? Was the great evangelistic thrust of the 1980s for nothing? Was it all vanity? Will it all render fruitlessness?”
We were crying for miracles and God gave us the Cross. It is not signs and miracles that we need, it is the sign of the prophet Jonah that the American church needs. We need to humbly ask God to forgive us for trusting in our own abilities and ask Him to help us see the power of the Cross. When we return to the Cross the miracles will flow in the church again!