I have to be honest… Sometimes I read scripture from the bible and I wonder if I’m understanding things right. Jesus tells us that we’re supposed to be able to do amazing things in his name like drive out demons, heal the sick, or even raise the dead. I know this isn’t by our own power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Even still, when is the last time you’ve seen miracles like these? Do they happen anymore? Let’s take the example that Jesus gives in Matthew 21:21-22. This is after Jesus commanded the fig tree to never bear fruit again and shortly thereafter it withered. The disciples asked how the fig tree withered so quickly. Then the scripture says:
"Jesus replied, 'I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask in prayer.'”
Now that is a powerful statement. But I rarely hear about anything close to this happening in anyone’s life. Are there prerequisites that we have to have before the Holy Spirit will act in such a way or does it just come down to faith and faith alone? I had a friend who saw a man drown. He actually pulled him out of the water and tried to save him to no avail. He then prayed that God would heal him right then and there, believing with all his might that it would happen. But in the end, the man remained dead. This really shook my friend’s faith. Why wasn’t this man raised when we’re told that we’d be able to do the things that Jesus did? I don’t have all of the answers, but I’ll give you my thoughts on the matter...
If we’re told that if we have faith and don’t doubt we can say to a mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea” and it will be done, then why don’t we see things like that happening? My guess is that miracles are happening, just not so much in my circle of existence. But when they do, in my opinion, I believe that there are prerequisites to whether the Holy Spirit will act on our behalf. Is there sin in our life? Is our relationship with God strong? Do we really believe what we’re praying for will happen? And does what we are praying for fall within the bounds of God’s will? Are we praying with correct motives? The bible tells us that the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. That makes me believe that our life and relationship with God matters, and faith means everything. The bible tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. But David prayed and his son still died. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew that God could save them from the fiery furnace, but didn’t know if he would. And I believe that we have to pray, believing in faith, but ultimately knowing that God will answer in his time and in his way. We also have to realize when God answers our prayer. If we’re starving and pray for a fish, but God gives us a chicken, did he answer our prayer? I say all of that to say this… I believe the bible to be true. Jesus wasn’t lying when he said that we’d be able to do these things if we believe and not doubt, but as you can see, that scripture puts the ownness on us. So if people aren’t being healed before our eyes, if mountains aren’t jumping into the sea, I truly believe that it is something we’re lacking, not the Holy Spirit.