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Is God Your Personal Magician, Or Your Savior?


a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.

Jesus wasn’t the only one who worked miracles. His disciples did. Prophets before him did. Some believers can do miracles today. So if they did happen, do happen, and foreseeably will happen, how can expecting a miracle negate God? Let’s look to the Bible.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry here on earth, Pharisees were following him. Some became followers and some stayed scoffers. What was the one thing they asked for? Signs. Miracles. Wonders. They asked questions, trying to catch him in an error from the Torah and other teachings. Jesus, knowing their heart, either left or admonished them, because there was no value in that action. Giving them what they wanted would not have convinced them; rather it would have hardened their hearts even more.

The issue is that we are too close to the Pharisees.

So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?” John 6:30

My mother’s death was the occasion of what some (but not I) might regard as my first religious experience. When her case was pronounced hopeless I remembered what I had been taught; that prayers offered in faith would be granted. I accordingly set myself to produce by will power a firm belief that my prayers for her recovery would be successful; and, as I thought, I achieved it. When nevertheless she died I shifted my ground and worked myself into a belief that there was to be a miracle. The interesting thing is that my disappointment produced no results beyond itself. The thing hadn’t worked, but I was used to things not working, and I thought no more about it. I think the truth is that the belief into which I had hypnotized myself was itself too irreligious for its failure to cause any religious revolution. I had approached God, or my idea of God, without love, without awe, even without fear. He was, in my mental picture of this miracle, to appear neither as Savior nor as Judge, but merely as a magician; and when He had done what was required of Him I supposed He would simply, well, go away. It never crossed my mind that the tremendous contact which I solicited should have any consequences beyond restoring the status quo.
-C.S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy

Have you ever thought past the present pain of your asking?

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