by Tad Lindley
What do you think is the greatest miracle in the Bible? When we contemplate the mighty things that we read about in the Bible, many things come into our mind. There is Noah who gave up at least 100 years of his life to build the ark, and Moses who confronted the mighty Pharaoh of Egypt with nothing but a stick in his hand and God at his back. We might recall Jonah who preached so effectively that an entire city was brought to repentance. There was Elijah who prayed and fire came down from heaven. Peter grabbed the hand of a crippled man and he got up and walked. Four friends lowered a paralyzed man through the roof of a house and Jesus healed him. I could go on for several years of this column just listing miracles.
One thing in common
All of these miracles involved faith mixed with the word of God. Faith is essential. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) Of course you knew that faith was essential, but how much faith do we need?
Let us dissect a famous miracle and see how much faith it actually took. In Exodus 14, the Israelites were about to be destroyed by the Egyptian army. The Lord told Moses, “…lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”(Exodus 14:16) Moses followed directions, and the miracle came to pass. When the Egyptians followed, the waters closed over them and they drowned.
It wasn’t really about Moses
We might think, that Moses had prayed long enough that God granted him this miracle, or that he had gone so long without eating meat, that God decided to give him a miracle. Wrong. All that Moses did was show up, mix his faith with the word of God, and see the miracle. Moses faith consisted of raising up his walking stick and raising his hand over the water, that’s it (you or I could have done it). As with any miracle, the human being has very little to do with it. Miracles are about Jesus not about us. Without the man, the miracle wouldn’t have happened, but all that the man did was mix in a very tiny amount of faith, and the Lord did the rest. If Moses had gone back to his tent to suck his thumb, the miracle would not have taken place, but instead, he believed the word of God, and mixed his faith with it.
Less than 2%
Have you ever read the ingredients on food labels? The ingredients are listed in order from most to least. Sugar and salt are often at the front of the list. At the end of the list there is often a phrase that read, “Contains less than 2% of the following ingredients”. If there was a list of ingredients on miracles, this is where faith would fall: less than 2%. If you think I am wrong, you are trusting in humanity and not in God.
Do you have enough faith?
…faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17 NIV) If you have heard the word of God, then you have held faith. If you allow that faith to mix with the word of God, then you are moving in the right direction. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (Hebrews 4:2) That’s good, but how much faith is enough to see the power of God?
Do you believe Genesis chapter 1? Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:3) If we believe that God created the heavens and the earth, and everything that follows, then we have enough faith to get started with the Lord. Jesus said unto them, “… If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you”. (Matthew 17:20) Jesus is always the main ingredient to a miracle, but when a human being meets Jesus with less than 2% faith nothing can stop him.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, AK.