This is still a thought in progress. It might not be finished, or coherent, or it might just be plain wrong. And it doesn't have any embarrassing stories in it. But we'll get back to those next week. For now, this is something that's been rolling around in my head, and I've love to know your thoughts in the comments.
What if I told you...God would rather use you than a miracle to change things?
You're familiar with the verse Matthew 16:18. where Jesus tells Peter "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church..."
Let's look at the tools Jesus actually had at his disposal to build his church. He had the natural and the supernatural. He had all the angel armies, all of heaven, all miracles, all of nature moving at a whisper of his voice, and then he had us. And he looked Peter in the eyes, and confirmed, "on THIS rock I will build my church." Not on THE rocks he will build his church. Even though the rocks consistently praise him a lot more than we do.
Jesus knew he had only so many years. When you realize you have something finite, you invest it in what you care about. And while Jesus spent plenty of time doing supernatural miracles, way more than anyone else in the Bible, he spent even more time investing in his disciples. So, I think it stands to reason he thought people a better investment in the building of his church than him performing miracles. So to Jesus, people > miracles.
It's empowering, I think, to realize that God, seeing a problem that needs to be solved, calls you first. You're his Plan A. You're the "In Case of Emergency" in his phone.
Jesus clearly loved to do miracles for his people to relieve their suffering, because he cared for the people who were hurting. I'm not trying to discount miracles at all. I believe in praying for miracles, and I believe God performs miracles, even today. We hear praise report after praise report of God's miracles working in the lives of our church, and we celebrate every single one.
But I also think this information needs to change the way we pray. We need to spend the vast majority of our prayers talking to God about OUR part, praying that he would change us to look more like him so we can fulfill our part more effectively and efficiently. But instead, we just go straight to asking for that supernatural miracle.
We are quick to ask for a supernatural miracle because it doesn't change us at all. To pray that we would play our part -- that's a more difficult prayer to pray. It might be inconvenient. It might be messy. We might get tired. But that's the way Jesus knew it would work out best. By lending him our heart to change at will, we look more and more like him. We can more effectively walk our own walk, and serve the people around us. Whatever future problems come up, if God has changed our heart, it's the heart-miracle that keeps on giving.
And for those moments when no human could do it, or no human will do it, supernatural miracles abound. Because that's the kind of God we serve. He works miracles. But he would rather work a miracle in your heart, to make you more like him.
What do you think? Am I right on, totally off base, or somewhere in the middle? Does it raise any questions or new thoughts for you?