“I prayed for a miracle, but God didn’t give it to me. Why should I believe in him?”
Maybe people don’t say it as bluntly as the statement above, but many are very disappointed with God because he does not answer their requests as they think he should. While we don’t intentionally develop the attitude, seeing Jesus as a supernatural vending machine is easy to fall into. We read passages which encourage us to pray, assure us of a good response and we think, “All I have to do is insert my prayer and out will come the miraculous blessing.”
Even the most basic study of Jesus’ teachings on prayer shows that he in no way encourages us to see him as a vending machine of miracles. That’s why it’s good for us on a regular basis to study the miracles Jesus performed during his earthly ministry as they are recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. By studying the context of the miracles, we can avoid the two extremes of “I ask for what I want and Jesus gives it to me,” or “Miracles don’t happen anymore! That was only in the past.”
There is an old saying, “Be careful what you ask for, you might get it.” The meaning of that proverb is we often ask for things which really aren’t good for us. And that can even happen in our relationship with Jesus. We believe in his power, but then we demand he use that power to give us things we want but which will have a negative effect on our relationship with him. Jesus loves us too much to give us what will push us away from him. Tragically, because we can’t see ourselves or our lives as he does, we interpret his love as cruelty.
God does miracles today just as he always has. What we need is an understanding and appreciation of how and why God works in miraculous ways. If you feel a little cheated in the miracle category of your spiritual life, join us for one of our weekend services. The real Jesus is infinitely better than the vending machine Jesus.
Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm & Sunday: 10:00 am.