Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Asking for signs.

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."

Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test."

When Satan tempted Jesus to throw Himself from the top of the temple, he used Psalm 91:11-12 that says, "He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." Jesus responded to the devil with Deuteronomy 6:16, saying, "Do not put the Lord your God to the test."

How many of us need to read this again and again today? So often, we seem to think of God as a magician, someone who pulls a big neon rabbit out of a hat to let us know what direction to go, what He wants us to do, or whether He's real or not! We need to make a decision, so we ask God for a sign. Then we sit back and wait for that big, miraculous fireworks display that flashes "God Did It!" in giant letters. We think if we pray the right way, we can get God to show us beyond a shadow of a doubt through some Industrial Light & Magic-type display that we are on the right track.

Remember the story in Joshua 3 about the people of Israel crossing the Jordan? The Jordan was at flood stage. It was a river wild. God told the priests to take up the Ark of the Covenant and step off into the water. From our perspective, they were being told to commit suicide. But from a spiritual standpoint, they were being told to have faith in God. So the priests stepped into the water - and the raging waters stopped!

In Matthew 16:1-4, the Pharisees and the Sadducees were looking for a sign from heaven. Jesus answered them in verses 2-4, “When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah."

Although Jesus worked many miracles during His ministry, He never once performed a miracle because someone asked him to. Instead, when someone asked Him for a sign, He would respond the same way He did to the Sadducees.

God is not a magician. He's not a puppet whose miraculous strings we can pull. He's God Almighty. He wants us to have faith in Him, not in signs and wonders. He guides us gently and quietly, showing us the raging water and waiting to see if we have enough faith to step in.

Don't put God to the test. Instead, allow Him to test your faith. Step into the water. Wade out a little bit deeper. Allow Him to show you His power through your faith, not through some miraculous sign that you’ve dreamed up on your own.

"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'" Luke 16:31 NIV

Asking for faith, knowing the signs will come,
Pastor Mike

Another wanna be joke!

There was a man driving down the road behind an 18 wheeler, at every stoplight the trucker would get out of the cab, run back and bag on the trailer door. After seeing this at several intersections in a row the motorist followed him until he pulled into a parking lot.

When they both had come to a stop the truck driver once again jumped out and started banging
on the trailer door. The motorist went up to him and said, "I don't mean to be nosey but why do you keep banging on that door?

To which the truck replied, "Sorry, can't talk now, I have 20 tons of canaries and a 10 ton limit, I have to keep half of them in the air all the time!"


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