When it came to the earthly program, God’s glory was magnified through seeing. And, the prayer of faith was the catalyst. Miraculous events, visual events, that was God’s earthly kingdom plan. Is God utilizing the prayer of faith during this present dispensation of grace? Did the apostle Paul know what to pray for as he ought when he was asking God to deliver him from the thorn in his flesh? You see, had Paul known that God’s strength during the dispensation of grace is perfected in the lives of those who are weak, Paul would probably not have asked for deliverance in the first place. However, when Paul did come to understand how God was working in this dispensation, he did an abrupt about face telling us that he now took pleasure in infirmities.
The believer’s patient endurance through suffering is a way of demonstrating their hope, and when their hope is put on display in the midst of their suffering that brings glory to God. The grace and strength God gives a person to endure that suffering is the strength of God he wants others to see in that person’s life. That’s when God’s strength is perfected in a believer’s life. While a believer seeks deliverance from suffering, God seeks devotion through suffering. Prayer was never given to change God’s perspective of a believer’s greater preference. Prayer was given to change a believer’s perspective of God’s greater purpose.
God’s greater purpose was not to strengthen a believer’s faith by altering their circumstances. God’s greater purpose is to allow the believer to demonstrate their faith as they remain strong in spite of their circumstances. Prayer was never given to bring God into alignment with a believer’s wants. Prayer was given to bring a believer into alignment with God’s will. A believer can thank God, not with thanksgiving for receiving, but with thanksgiving that God is in control and that God is using the suffering circumstances in a believer’s life to perfect what God has begun in them.
What will it be like when God says enough is enough on his program for heaven so he can pick up where he left off with his program for those who will inherit the earth? Often times, people fail to see the distinction in the secret coming of the Savior and the second coming of the Messiah. When the apostle Paul talks about the last days or the latter times, he’s not describing the end of the world. The apostle Paul is describing some of the things that will be characteristic of the last day of this age just prior to the body of the Savior being caught up off this planet. A continual downward slide concerning human behavior; evilulotion not evolution, some call it devolution; increasingly more religious and superstitious in our last days, interested more in pleasure than lover of God.
This is how God is operating with age of grace saints, he’s not giving you things to look at or giving you signs. If you see something and say that was God, isn’t God good; guess what, same things happen to non-believers today. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. Personalize blessings that’s called worshipping at the altar of the miraculous. Worshipping at the altar of the miraculous is to worship at the altar of the flesh. To worship at the altar of the flesh is to allow experience to trump truth and to allow experience to trump truth is to allow emotion to trump truth. And when experience becomes king in a person’s life, experience is determining that person’s doctrine rather than the person’s doctrine determining the validity of their experience. Emotion not only becomes the fuel but the pilot of that person’s life.
A miracle is a supernatural act of power, but most often when people think of the term miraculous, they think of some special display of power that God performs just in special instances and for particular people or perhaps for a particular person and at a particular time. A criteria in a believer’s mind that they would use to decide whether that event they witnessed would be from God or from Satan, keeping in mind that Satan’s miracles would be the things a believer would expect God to do, not Satan to do. Divine miracles were always in scripture preformed to indicate or signify something. They were to indicate or signify or to be the signature of not only the massager but of the message.
Satan distracts from the truth through the miraculous. The meaning of deception is to be distracted from the truth, to believe a lie. When a believer lines up the miracle beside the message, it will immediately tell them whether or not God or Satan is involved. And Paul makes that so easy by telling us what the message is. (2 Corinthians 11:3) The simplicity of Paul’s message is total payment for sin, accomplished by Jesus’ total sacrifice. The believer has therefore how much forgiveness? Total forgiveness! If the message isn’t total forgiveness all upfront and all inclusive, the believer can bet it’s not a miracle being preformed of God. Satan’s miracles will never stand on this message, because they want to distract from this message.