What will it take for us to obey? The Bible tells us about many miracles. God parted the Red Sea, He sent food down from heaven for the Israelites in their need and even raised Jesus up from the dead!
Jesus also did many miracles in His time. He healed the blind and the lame, turned water into wine etc.
Most people would agree that it would be amazing to experience such things.
Just think if you were among the Israelites that Moses led out of Egypt. You are standing in the middle of the Red Sea. God has just split it completely in two and you are walking on dry ground, with high walls of water on both sides as you move through towards safety and freedom.
Or imagine you are living in the village of Bethany. A man named Lazarus, whom you knew well, has been dead for four days. You helped carry him to his tomb and watched as his family mourned over their loss. But now, Jesus Christ has just told him to come out of the grave, and he is alive again! He walks towards you, healthy and well.
You might think to yourself that you would surely never doubt again if you had experienced miracles like these.
Depending on signs and wonders
Yet, that is exactly what happened to so many people. They saw and experienced such amazing things, but they still ended up doubting. (Psalm 106:13; John 12:37.) Only very few trusted completely that God would take care of them, even after He had shown them time after time that He would do so. “The Lord said to Moses, ‘How much longer will these people reject me? How much longer will they refuse to trust in me, even though I have performed so many miracles among them?’” Numbers 14:11 (GNT).
It is very easy for us to doubt. We depend very much on what we see, hear and feel. The result is that we often question God or ask for signs or miracles before we choose to obey Him. There is no doubt that miracles played an important part throughout history. They are described in the Word of God as a help for us to believe, even today. (John 20:31.) But it is important to know that miracles themselves can’t completely satisfy us. The miracles are meant to create faith in us, and that is the only thing that will truly satisfy us in all the situations of life.
A living faith
We need to have a living faith in God! Such a faith is much more than simply believing that God exists. Living faith means that we trust God in every situation, and seek to do His will, no matter what we see or feel. Living faith means that we believe in God’s Word and the words of the prophets, of Jesus Christ and the apostles, even when there is no clear sign or miracle. Basically, living faith is obedience, even when we don’t understand everything.
If we truly believe in God, then our lives should become one with His Word. When God’s Word says, “Don’t worry about anything,” for example, we should not sit and worry about our finances or how impossible or hopeless our situation may look. But we also shouldn’t expect money to rain down from heaven. No, we need to be obedient to God’s Word and say No to all thoughts of restlessness, worry and doubt.
In the same way, when we are in difficult situations, when we feel lost or confused, we should not expect that God will appear and fix everything in some miraculous way. No, we need to be glad, just as Peter writes in 1 Peter 4:13, and choose to thank God for the trials that we face, instead of complaining or becoming bitter. We need to believe that God will use each situation to change us, even when we don’t understand, or our feelings are at their lowest. (Romans 8:28.)
The result of such faith and obedience to God is that we become immovable. We trust in Him and seek to do His will and then He can do amazing things for us. (Joshua 3:5.) But those who doubt, those who are not willing to believe and do what God says in His Word, are “… like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind”. James 1:6 (GNT). Such people depend on outward things; they are easily confused and discouraged, and because they doubt, God cannot help them in their lives. (James 1:6-7.)
God doesn’t want us to be dependent on outward signs and miracles, which are only of value for a time. But faith and obedience to God are of eternal worth. This is what God wants of us: that we believe in Him whatever situation we are in and seek to do His will without expecting anything earthly in return. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 (NIV).
Don’t wait for a sign or a miracle. “’Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,’ says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!’” Malachi 3:10 (NLT). If you do this, if you choose to believe in the living God and obey His Word, if you give Him your life without holding anything back, you will surely experience His rich blessings and mighty power in your life!