THE GOD WHO DID MIRACLES DOES MIRACLES
I must say my heart breaks for the horrible crisis in Afghanistan. I don’t blame anyone for being numb to the pain. After all, in recent years we have watched our world, both at home and abroad, disintegrating into increasing madness and chaos. And now, suddenly, we watch helplessly as another human tragedy explodes that, without divine deliverance, will likely expand into unspeakable tragedies.
As distressing as it all is, we must keep our perspective! Let’s remember that we know and serve a God of miracles. His Word promises that in Christ, life has endless possibilities, not impossibilities. (See Matt. 19:26 and Luke 1:37.)
In other words, with Him, we can always be hopeful. When I start feeling otherwise, I need to realign my heart to reality – that I am not seeing the big picture, that God does see it, that He reigns and has not surrendered His authority, that He is good and loves us, and that He hears and answers our pleas.
With a renewed perspective, I can begin afresh to send up faith-filled prayers. And, oh, how the world needs them right now! Such overwhelming challenges call us to comprehend and appropriate our strength in Christ, to put on our spiritual armor, and to fight the fight of faith – “for such a time as this.”
Yes, the world’s tribulations may exasperate and break our hearts, but the Lord has not canceled our assignment. We were made for this hour, and He assures us as He did Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).
What kind of power? The Greek word is dunamis. Yes, this is the root word of our English words dynamite, dynamo, and dynamic. In other words, God’s power entrusted to us is wonderworking. We have no real excuse if we neglect it. Why not? He just explained it in the verse above. In essence He assures us, “No matter how weak you become, by my grace, I can take that weakness and make you more powerful than you can imagine!”
I have experienced that power. Granted, sometimes I have prayed in faith and been unable to pinpoint any direct answers. Still, regardless of my perception, I was sure God used those prayers. But then, there were those times that knocked my socks off, when I saw dramatic answers to my prayers, even in far off countries. So, yes, I firmly believe in God’s power in us to influence individuals, circumstances, and nations.
I know there are many current crises in the world that should not be neglected. At the same time, this current catastrophe in Afghanistan is our nation’s doing. Consequently, I feel we have more than a small obligation to intervene.
Please, let’s unite in serious prayer for these desperate people. At this critical juncture, let’s especially pray that God keeps our Christian brothers and sisters safe; that God makes a way of escape for others in grave danger, like translators and others who worked with our government; that He has special mercy on the women and children; that He sends a mighty visitation of His Spirit on everyone; that He roars from heaven against the evil in the Taliban, stops their atrocities, and saves and delivers them. Let’s expect miraculous dunamis interventions!
Remember, the Bible is packed with stories of God moving heaven and earth to rescue His people (and even those who were not yet His own) from destruction. Please bear with me as I cite some stories to inspire you:
He sent 10 plagues upon Egypt and then secured the hordes of His people’s freedom by having them cross the parted Red Sea on dry ground. He then made the water collapse over Pharaoh’s pursuing army (Ex. 7-11; 13:17-14:31). Also, on several occasions, He parted the Jordan River -- for Joshua and the whole multitude of Jews, for Elijah, and for Elisha. (Josh. 4:1-18; 2 Kings 2:5-9, 12-15). He rained hail upon the Amorite armies and made the sun stand still. (Josh.10:11-14). He rescued Lot and rained fire on Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19). He thundered from heaven to throw attacking Philistines into a panic that made them run for their lives (1 Sam. 7:10). He also rained fire for Elijah in his contest with Jezebel’s pagan priests (1 Kings 18:30-40). Again, he used fire when he struck two threatening military regiments. Another group’s captain cried for mercy, and God spared his men (2 Kings 1:9-14).
When the Aramean king and his forces went to capture Elisha, his servant saw them and was terrified. Elisha reassured him, “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then the servant saw the hills around them full of horses and chariots of fire. The Lord struck the Arameans powerless by blinding them. (2 Kings 6:8-18). Once, God sent a rumor to the mighty invading Assyrian army to draw them out of Judah. An angel struck them dead (2 Kings 19:5-7, 35-36). Really, these few stories are just for starters!
I also think of God’s miracles of sustenance. For 40 years in the wilderness, without fail, the Lord fed upwards of a couple million* Israelites manna (Ex. 16:14-35, Josh. 5:12). On one occasion, He fed them quail until they were sick of them (Num. 12:31-32). He brought water from a rock more than once (Ex. 17:5-7, Num. 20:7-11). A couple of times, He made toxic water drinkable (Ex. 15:23-25; 2 Kings 2:21,22). He made poisonous food good (2 Kings 4:38-41). During a drought, He sent Elijah to a hiding place with a brook where ravens fed him bread and meat twice daily
(1 Kings 17:3-6). In a famine, He made flour and cooking oil replenish itself daily (1 Kings 17:14-16). Another time, He made oil keep refilling jars for payment to creditors (2 Kings 4:2-7). He fed 100 hungry men with 20 loaves. They even had leftovers (2 Kings 4:42-44). One time, besieged Israel was starving to death, and Elisha prophesied God’s provision. The next day, the Lord so terrified the enemy forces with what sounded like a massive advancing army that they fled, leaving huge amounts of food behind them (2 Kings 6:24-25; 7:1-20). Another time, God saved Israel and Judah’s armies from thirsting to death in a bone-dry desert. It didn’t rain, but He still sent abundant water to save them and to defeat the opposing army. (See 2 Kings 3.) Elijah had prophesied this miraculous turn of events and ended with these words: “This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord . . .”
(2 Kings 3:18).
When we come to the New Testament, we see Jesus miraculously feeding 5,000 men and their families with 5 loaves and 2 fish (See Matt. 14:13-21) and 4,000 men and their families with 7 loaves a few fish (Matt. 15:32-39). Oh, and let’s not forget how empty nets suddenly burst with so many fish that the nets began to break. (See Luke 5:3-10). He even turned plain water into fine wine (See John 2:1-22).
Of course, Jesus was not limited to providing food and drink. He did many other types of extraordinary miracles to show God’s loving care for people – healings, deliverance from demons, cleansing of lepers, and even raising people from the dead.
And let’s not forget Saul of Tarsus who became the great Apostle Paul. Damascus believers fearfully awaited this fanatical religious terrorist to come wipe them out. But Jesus confronted him with a powerful revelation of Himself. His plans were terminated and God’s people spared. Saul of Tarsus was no more; the Apostle Paul was born . . . and the world was never the same!
Isn’t the Bible exciting? Its pages are packed with miraculous circumstantial shifts. What a Mighty God! And He never changes! Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” That means, if He DID miracles, then He DOES miracles.
So, concerning praying for Afghanistan: Despite all the dire circumstances, some Christian ministries believe a great move of the Spirit will rise from this disaster’s ashes and convert numerous Muslims. Let me just say that, from Scripture, I know this will not require an army of miracle workers; it will just take those who count it a privilege to rise in faith and make a difference.
The story of Jonathan and his armor-bearer come to mind. King Saul’s son had a burning desire to make a difference when he suggested to the young armor-bearer that the two of them go fight the Philistines. He professed, “Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.” (See 1 Sam. 14:6). Sure enough, the two stepped out in faith together, and mighty miracles unfolded.
Will you respond to the call? If you do, please be sure to think miracles. You can reflect on the biblical ones mentioned above. I believe God preserved them as a record not just to provide history lessons but as inspiration to grow and stretch our faith. Perhaps He will lead you to be active in other ways, but prayer is our first provision for securing beachheads. He wants us to pray and believe for miraculous dunamis outcomes!
Sooo . . . Let’s go! . . . Gloves are off! . . . No retreat! . . . Victory is assured . . . IN THE ALMIGHTY NAME OF JESUS! AMEN!!
There are many prayer resources for the current crisis. Here is one of the best I’ve found: https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/a-prayer-guide-for-the-people-of-afghanistan/
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people . . . (1Tim. 2:1)
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power (dunamis) through his Spirit in your inner being . . . (Eph. 3:16).
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people (Eph. 6:18)
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, because I know that through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, my distress will turn out for my deliverance (Phil. 1:18b-19).
And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:7-8)
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*According to the census after leaving Egypt, 603,550 men served in Israel’s army.
(Num. 1:46). It’s assumed that if one woman had 2 children by each of these men, the population would be about 2.5 million.