I believe in miracles. Some people look at it as coincidence. The difference has to do with the existence of God and the degree of His intervention. If you believe the Bible to be true, God’s hand is all over the place — He intervenes constantly. Many things happen by His decree, making human efforts look pretty ridiculous by comparison.
Jesus is the hybrid man and God. He didn’t come to earth to make people’s efforts appear ridiculous, really — it just looked that way by comparison. Even the scale of love He demonstrated far exceed our best efforts. Furthermore, it wouldn’t really be a big deal apart from the sensational aspect of it if the miracles didn’t come from a man proclaiming to be God (see Luke 4:21 for telling the religious leaders this information, much to their great disdain). But, the miracles did look like that.
So, I believe Jesus is God, and that He performed miracles as described in the Bible. I think miracles still happen today.
Unfortunately, church has abused miracles, both historically and today. Namely, man has used “acts of the Spirit” to acquire power, attention, and money. They have sold what is God’s to others. Not good.
Miracles are not for ourselves. They’re for God. Our insatiable human desires want to believe that God is looking to do things just to make us feel good about ourselves. But He’s actually trying to get our attention.
Let’s see how it works in the gospel of Luke:
Jesus is teaching, and He sees a couple of fishermen getting frustrated because, even though their trade involves fishing, they kinda suck at it (v. 5). So Jesus tells the guys to put out their net again, just like they’ve done before. We know how the rest of the story goes, so if you have a Facebook attention span, you can skip the rest of this. Miraculously (see how I strategically used that word to emphasize the theme??), they pull up the net and it’s bulging with tasty fish. Kaching. Business is good again.
Peter is not very concerned with the lucrative find, however. The man is tremendously humbled — “Go away from me, Lord! I am a sinful man!” (v. 8)
This is the correct response to a miracle. Not a quick prayer saying thanks, or breathing a sigh of relief because you finally received what we expected because of your faith. Peter recognizes his decrepit, sinful state before the Lord and responds appropriately.
Who are we to determine how the Lord shall bless us anyway, and in what matter He decides to do it?
“But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags,
We all fade as a leaf
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away”
If something awesome happens in your life, praise God. But don’t pretend like you had it coming. Know that this is a fulfillment of what He has promised, but it should bring us to a place of recognizing that we are not God, instead of the result of believing that we’re closer to God than ever before.