46 says the pandemic is over.
While I’m not sure if this is more cognitive dissonance or China concentrating more on Taiwan than cooking up something else to mess with us, beggars can’t be choosers and I’m up for any kinda good news.
I spend a lot of time with hurting people with pastors among ‘em.
While I’ve got feelings too and every day’s not a hot fudge sundae, I’ve been blessed with an extraordinarily faithful staff and leadership core like never before after over four decades of praying for it; and considering how it happened, it’s miraculous.
As I tell pastors in divided churches not to boast but to point to the miraculous for them, “Our church is not divided. They’re gone!”
In short, our worship over the past three years and especially last six months has been more warm and wonderful and respectful to Him and His than ever and our mustard seed is about to bear unprecedented fruit.
So I’m gonna ramble on a bit about some recent miracles in my/our life and ministry, again for emphasis, not to boast but to point to the miraculous available to anyone with Matthew 5:3 humble fidelity.
Pero first, a preface.
As Tug McGraw said to the Mets in 1973, “Ya gotta believe.”
Do you believe, as the angel explained to Mary about a virgin birth being a mere trifle for an omnipotent and sovereign God (Luke 1:26-38), nothing is impossible with God?
Luther often reminded us to let God be God.
The miraculous is commonplace for God.
So anything is possible for anyone with humble faith in God as long as it meets this summarial Biblical qualification articulated so well in The Shorter Catechism of the early 17th century, “Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, FOR THINGS AGREEABLE TO HIS WILL, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of His mercies.”
Certainly, we could exegete that pregnant sentence to distraction; so I’ll focus on one thought concomitant to the miraculous available to anyone.
Agreeable to His will.
In other words, if we petition or intercede about anything or anyone to God and it is agreeable to His will, it’s gonna happen sooner or later, usually sooner than later, and definitely in the end.
Some quick recent examples.
The manufactured pandemic hurt many people; yet in a miraculous Romans 8:28 kinda way, faithful people and churches have endured, overcome, and been miraculously blessed. Our family of faith lost posers and gained women and men of faith with an authentically personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior for a reinforced remnant with exponentially better attitudes, affections, and allegiances.
Don’t get me wrong.
We’ve had our challenges as some sleeper cells and spiritually oppressed to possessed spies slipped in and attempted to pollute us (read Jude for more on that). But we endured, overcame, exorcised, and have enjoyed the miraculous in worship, work, and witness as testimony to Psalm 91, Matthew 16:18, James 4:7-10, and 1 John 4:1-6.
Though the CCPC19 and those oppressed to possessed by the Jezebel spirit did their worst to divide and destroy us because they could not manipulate and control us, our finances have taken a very, very, very positive turn. For example, on September 18, I prayed God would bless churches like ours that are not pure and perfect in every way and know we need Jesus to save us by grace through faith; and we received a large five figure check to cover some major repairs, were named in the will of someone that left our church for a more faithful church many years ago, and got another check for our Matthew 25 Compassion Closet.
The checks came in on September 19!
I am going to pray more specifically and try to make sure it’s for things agreeable to His will; knowing if they are…
Then in a recent memorial service in our sanctuary, a real troublemaker showed up; so I prayed right after reading Psalm 23 that God would keep me from the distraction so I could pay tribute to the resurrected saint in thanks to God for his eternal life in heaven by grace through faith in Jesus. From that moment on, I was literally blinded to her; and when my wife mentioned miscreants that showed up, I said I didn’t see them either. Really, I didn’t see her or them. God blinded me to her and them because my prayer to focus on him and Him was agreeable to His will. The only people that I saw were the faithful saints and resurrected saint’s family. God honored my prayer to focus on him/his and Him/His.
Here’s the point.
God is not dead.
God is alive and active to those that ask Him, seek Him, and knock on His door; and He will come through specifically in time as requested if the petition or intercession is agreeable to His will (take a look at Matthew 6:25-34 and 7:7-12 for more context).
God honors people that honor Him (1 Samuel 2:30).
That’s when miracles are commonplace…like they are increasingly in churches that want to be faithful like one on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois.