Anatomy of a Miracle

Miracles. What are they? How can they take place? What can we do to make them?

I think it is safe to say that anybody would welcome a miracle in their life. I mean, why not? Healing? Fixing of relationship? More money? ______________________?

Why do miracles take place? As far as I am concerned, God does a miracle as He sees fit. ONLY God can do it and He does not always explain the circumstances!

But I think we have a part. When following a cake recipe, it is important that you get all the ingredients otherwise the cake won’t turn out right.

cake fail

The difference between my wife and I decorating cakes! Ha!

While I am not baking a cake here, I am listing the ingredients for a miracle.

And for the miracle to take place, to actually happen, all three of these need to be present. Let’s go back to the Jordan river to see the Anatomy of a Miracle.

  1. A miracle consists of an Objective Impossible for you to Obtain. The Israelites had a promise given to them many years prior to this point. Literally, God had told them that He would take them to the Promised Land. They had their eyes set on an objective. We all need something that holds our attention. Call it a goal, desire, objective or whatever; you need to be looking at something ahead of you or you will never move forward. Flip the coin. That objective that you want-it must be impossible for you to get. For a miracle to take place, you first need to be looking at something that you cannot get on your own.  
  2. A miracle consists of an Obstacle Insurmountable for you to Overcome. There was a river in the way. A fast-flowing river that would prevent them from entering the Promised Land. Is there an obstacle in your way? Is it something that you cannot overcome? Good. You are on your way to a miracle. If you have a goal but something is blocking you then I see that you are two-thirds closer to God doing something great in your life. Whether that obstacle is a person, an idea, a negative thought, a physical thing, it must insurmountable for you.
  3. A miracle consists of an Opportunity Included for you to Obey. Yes, the dreaded ‘O’ word. The older I get, I keep coming back to the idea that all I can ever do is obey. That is all God asks of me. Yes, He wants my heart and mind but my obedience is that handing over of those things to Him. Every time I get stuck, I get an opportunity to obey. Standing before the river, the command was to step into the river. When facing an obstacle, do I obey and take the step of faith? For the Israelites, it was a literal step. For me, what is my step of faith? For you, how can you obey God today?

It is my opinion that someone would need all three of these”ingredients” for a miracle.

However, one thing I need to make clear is this: God can and will do miracles in His sovereignty. I can’t force God to do something. This might be debatable but I feel like God will do what He pleases when and how He pleases. That is part of what makes Him God.

Let me end 2018 with a recap:

  • A miracle consists of an Objective Impossible for you to Obtain. 
  • A miracle consists of an Obstacle Insurmountable for you to Overcome.
  • A miracle consists of an Opportunity Included for you to Obey. 

Or, just simply obey God with all your heart. No matter how small or unimportant it may seem, trust what God is telling you.

Who knows, you may be experiencing more miracles in this next year! So go ahead and take that step of faith!

step faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Need for a Miracle

Well, the year is almost finished. Christmas is over. 2018 is almost done.

As part of my year-end routine, I think back and reminisce. Inevitably, my thoughts meandered to this blog. If I may assist your remembering, here are links to the previous posts on Joshua, the Israelites, and the crossing of the Jordan river.

  1. 40 years and 97 days!; 2. Crowd or Committed? ; 3. Rivers: obstacles or opportunities? 4. This ark don’t float! 5. Let it go…and not the song from Frozen.

These blogs speak about the Israel nation as they approached the Jordan river. This river marked the border of the Promised Land. They were almost there! And like I said at the end of “40 years and 97 days!”, they needed to prepare for war.

God designed it so that His people would need to fight their way through the land. Living in freedom was going to take work. No, not work, war.

I will try to connect the dots in my head now so this blog might actually make sense to you (and me).

connect the dots

As I recall 2018, there were many hardships and accomplishments. From travels to remodels, lots happened.

But there is more. My relationship with God has room for growth. So while 2018 was good, 2019 will be better.

The Israelites had food to eat. They were surrounded by families. Everything they needed, they had while in Egypt. But they were still in bondage.

Does that feeling ever relate to your life? I have nothing to complain about in my life but I can’t shake the feeling that there is more. Like I am on the verge of entering the Promised land.

So the need for war.

I want more in 2019. That basically means I am signing up for war. As a follower of Christ, I am already in a war. But I want to fight head on, on the front lines.

Perhaps the people of Israel were ready to fight. It seems that, at this point, they were ready. Primed, if you will.

The Jordan river is the only thing left in their way. And it would take a miracle.

miracle

Now, as I look forward to 2019, there are some expectations I have:

  1. 2019 will be better than 2018.
  2. My relationship with God will grow.
  3. I will be in a war.
  4. I need a miracle.

I have one more post for 2018. It will also be the last post about the Israelites and their miracle-working God at the river Jordan.

You might be in need of a miracle. In reality, we all do. God has to do something because life would not be worth living without His touch. The only way to cross over Jordan and into God’s freedom is through a miracle.

Let God make 2019 miraculous!

Don’t know what a miracle looks like?

Please tune in a few days from now to read about the Anatomy of a Miracle.

40 years or 97 days!

August 2 was 40 years ago! Reality says it was actually 97 days. It only seems like 40 years  but so much has happened. In fact, I had to re-read my previous 4 posts to catch myself up with my train of thought!

Click here to go back and catch up yourself. Thank you.

Real quick…the Israelites are on the verge of entering the Promised Land!

They had heard from God.

Jericho had been spied upon.

Joshua relayed God’s orders.

They were ready for that miracle.

They had even consecrated themselves.

Here is verse 5 of Joshua 3, “Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

If I may, I would like to speak of the “amazing things” the Lord can do.


Since my last post in early August, there has been a big change in my life.

I got a new job.

I still work at the Olive Garden part-time.

I still perform weddings.

But now, I get to teach science at a private Christian school!

Since this is twominuteswithtim and not twohourswithtim, I will spare the details.

The Lord did an amazing thing in my life.

The Israelites shuffled through sand for forty years before they got their miracle.

Me? It was only 28 years. God called me into ministry in 1990. You can read about that call here and here.

It just fits. Like that last puzzle piece. This job is a perfect fit for me. I am truly in awe of how God worked this out.

puzzle piece

But it has also been some of the most difficult work that I have ever done.

Listen to verse 10, “This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites.”

Going into the Promised Land meant they were going to war.

Sure, I can say that I am living in the promised land. I can also say that I am at war.

So while God has done so much to lead me here, there is so much more ahead.

Whether you are on the east side of the Jordan waiting to cross over or…

You have entered God’s promise for your life,

There is work to be done. We are at war friends.

More on the war and fighting stuff next time.

For now, just enjoy God’s faithfulness and don’t forget to sharpen your sword.

sword-sharpening-600x600

 

Crowd or Committed?

“I just wanted to slap them upside the head!”

At least that was the thought going through my mind a few days ago.

My wife and I had a chance to catch a movie. In the theater with popcorn. It is certainly a nice but rare occasion for us.

couple at movie

In the row right in front of us were some teenage girls. And they talked. LOUDLY!!!

After getting shushed at a number of times, they finally left. My wife said later that she would like to see that movie again because she missed parts due to the noise.

Those girls paid the admission price just as my wife and I did. They had a right to be in the movie. Popcorn was available for them as well.

But their attitude and mindset were very different from ours. Travel with me back to our story in Joshua 3.

Here are the first 4 verses to catch you up in case you missed my last few posts.

1Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubitsa between you and the ark; do not go near it.”” 

So here they are, just east of the Jordan river. How were they going to cross over?

The three ideas we have explored so far from Joshua 3. Click each for a new window.

Let go and let God be in control.

Trust God.

Put God first.

What is the next step?

Verse 5 explains exactly what that next step is for the Israelites:

5Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

One verse with two parts. Part two is for next time.

But I will speak to the first part. Joshua (relaying what God had already told him), told the people to “Consecrate yourselves…”

Consecrate…?

The hebrew transliteration is qadash, which is pronounced kaw-dash’.

This word is a verb. God wanted the people to consecrate themselves.

They had action to take. They were to set themselves apart from the world.

The word simply means set apart. Set apart for a specific purpose.

Think about the million or so people waiting to cross the Jordan. Were they ready for this message? Which ones were committed to serving Jehovah? We don’t really get those details but I am sure that there are some who were just part of the crowd.

Just part of the crowd. Am I part of the crowd? I think those girls at the movie the other night would have been “just part of the crowd.”

For me, I want to be counted in the committed.

Set apart for a specific purpose. Yep, that sounds better than just hanging out in a crowd.

crowd

Are you committed? Or are you part of the crowd?

If we let go, trust God and put Him first, then being committed is easy.

Start today. Wherever you are with God, start there. He has not moved.

And just a little encouragement to take with you:

That huge river you see in front of you? God created it. And it’s not too big for Him.

jordan river

 

 

Rivers: obstacles or opportunities?

There is a river in the way. But God said that the river would not be an issue. It would not be a problem. Like the Red Sea, God can do something miraculous.

But the Israelites needed to trust. And that is where we find ourselves.

This post is building on the previous two posts.

Click here for the first one or here for #2.

Pretend you are a drone, a thousand feet above the Israelite camp. You can see the Jordan river, which flows from north to south, making up the eastern border of Canaan. On the right (or east side) of the river, there stands Israel. Right now, a nation without a home. I wonder how many tents we would see. Are the animals in pens or able to roam free? This map is an estimation of the crossing location.

crossing the jordan

Everything seems to be ready. Israel is probably excited because they are (after 40 years) about to enter God’s promised land! Only one obstacle left!

Joshua 3 gives us insight to our situation. Here are the first 4 verses.

1Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubitsa between you and the ark; do not go near it.””

From these verses, even though the people were apparently ready, God was not.

Verse 3 tells the people to follow the ark. They should be used to this by now.

Verse 4 explains why. This was new ground, literally. They had never been there before.


Here is the connection to you and I in 2018.

We are ready for God to do a miracle. At least we think we are.

We want God to bolster our financial situation.

We want God to heal broken relationships.

We want God to exact revenge on the idiots in our life.

We want…it seems we are always ready for a miracle.

But are we really?

God had a slightly different plan. He wanted to be in front. He needed to be in front.

That means He gets the glory.

And many times, our desires keep God somewhere other than the front. 

ark of the covenant

The ark needed to go first. That was true for Joshua and the Israelites.

The ark (God) needs to be first in all we do. That is our take-home truth for today.