Is God Your Personal Magician, Or Your Savior?
I’m guessing you haven’t because, well, you’re human and so am I. Let’s get honest here- miracles and prayers for them are left locked up in the fireproof safe of our hearts marked for emergencies only, next to our worst fears, deepest secrets, and our temperamental bottles of secret sin. A giant forest fire of life comes, rolling over us and we run to pull back the rug we’ve shoved our problems under, we open the safe, and as we’re pulling out the prayers, we knock one of the bottles of sin over and a little bit gets on us. It’s like ink, and it doesn’t wash off easily. We clean up the spill in our minds, close the vault and proceed to pray. We look down and see the darkness of our sin, and ask ourselves, “will this disqualify me for this miracle?”
Satan, noticing your error in judgment, and your existential questioning, makes his way into your mind and says, “Ooh, I’ve seen that sin before. The big guy won’t be too pleased about that. How old is your prayer? I mean I know the guy- I’m in the Bible, you know. I kind of have a big part in it all. Do you really think he’s going to give you a miracle? With that sin?”
Doubt floods your heart, your worthiness in the garbage, and you tell yourself, “I’m just a disappointment.”
God, of course, sees all of this unfold in HD.
And that’s really the thing, isn’t it?
That he sees it all?
He’s waiting for you to tell Satan that you are a ransom-paid child of the Holy, Uncreated God, and that every prayer, every prayer, every prayer is heard.
Sin is tough though. We keep it in secret, we know we should repent, but sometimes; there are things repentance can’t fix. There are some roots we need someone one with a backhoe or a deep drill to get out, like a mentor, counselor or psychologist to help us get the rotten, smelly roots in our hearts and minds we just can’t dig out on our own. That isn’t sin to need someone stronger than us- we needed Jesus, and he gifted these people with the strength to help.
And that’s where we begin and the Pharisees end. The Pharisees are looking, nay, demanding for a handout, a freebie. They are rich, affluent, well studied, and not that those things are bad, in and of themselves- but these guys weren’t asking for wisdom, or God’s will.
They basically could say, “We can get pretty much anything we want. Anything we can’t get, we make people feel guilty for having, because as a show we tithe not just from our bank accounts, but from everything, down to the spice rack. Look at our tithe, we tell the beggars- even our spices we give to God. No matter the evil in our hearts, we are intentional in keeping with our customs and laws. We are bulletproof.
But now, show us, teacher, what you’ve got, if you really are so special.”
Question: Who would want to do a miracle for someone so pompous?
We all have sin, we all have the opportunity of asking forgiveness, and we have been saved through the powerful work of Jesus on the cross.