So often we find ourselves in situations where we are praying and believing for something great that would be a powerful testimony to nonbelievers. I remember praying for someone’s healing, knowing that if God healed them, they would believe in the Jesus that performed the healing.
Or did I?
After praying for this guy, and not seeing any results, I left discouraged. I got into a screaming bout with the LORD on the drive home.
“Why didn’t you just heal him!? I know you could have. You could have proven to that young man that you exist and changed his life forever!”
I was irate. It was late. I left my home, my wife, my comfort, to go pray for this kid, truly believing that he was going to receive his healing and God would be glorified. But God answered me, and the calm in His voice was unnerving. Here I am yelling, and God responds peacefully.
“I don’t need to prove myself to anyone.”
Needless to say, it was a humbling experience. I drove the rest of the way home in silence.
So why would God give up such an easy opportunity?
I don’t know. It’s what Paul calls the Mysteries of God. It’s what modern theologians refer to as the hiddenness of God. If we fully understood His ways (which Isaiah tells us are higher than our own ways) then He wouldn’t be God. He would be some kind of servant, and we would be some godlike scientist, mixing together the proper formula to get what we want from Him.
The biggest problem with all of this is that when the LORD does visit, even the most devout believers are skeptical. In our church a young boy recently received a miraculous healing. One leg was shorter than the other and in front of the eyes of every child in the room, his leg grew. When the story was recounted by our Children’s Director, one of the listeners, a bible believing, God-fearing man said, “There are ways to twist the body to make people see something that didn’t happen. I’ve seen people fake this before.”
I can promise that this 7 year old wasn’t a slight of hand, world renowned magician. I can also promise, since he is one of my closest friends, that Children’s Pastor Marty Garza hasn’t been practicing the ways of body manipulation for just such a time as this. But, nonetheless, people want to disprove the visitation of God.
The argument seems to be that if Jesus would just reveal Himself, at least those who see Him will believe. But, let’s remember that Biblically that doesn’t hold any weight. I could give a number of examples, but none are more telling than John the Baptist.
John (the baptist) ushered Jesus into ministry in the first chapter of John (the apostle). In verse 29, when he sees Jesus coming toward him, John cries out:
Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!
John acknowledges that the Son of God is in their midst. He even testifies saying, “I saw the Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and it remained on Him.” In verse 34 saying, “I have both seen and testified that this man is the Chosen One of God.”
A short while after this, John the Baptist finds himself in prison. He sends word to Jesus asking, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
Wait, didn’t you just recently say that you knew that this Man was the One whom God sent? God Himself told you, didn’t He? But now, circumstances are different. John finds himself in a tough place, prison.
When we find ourselves in a low place, we believe that it is God’s job to save us. It isn’t. He cares more about your heart and your character than anything else, including your physical body.
If John, having seen Jesus with his own eyes, and having heard God speak regarding Jesus’ identity with his own ears, had trouble believing then why should we be any different? Would we really recognize when Christ shows up in our lives? Or will we discount it as imaginary or our minds playing tricks?
You’ve seen the works of God when a woman gives birth to a child. When your eye, in all it’s complexity, meets that child for the first time, it should take away all doubt that the creator creates, and does so beautifully. You’ve seen His works in the beauty of the mountains and the terror of the seas. God is everywhere and so are His fingerprints.