What Causes Miracles?
Have you ever read the stories of men of God who have led great revivals or saw great miracles? Do you know what many of them had in common? A deep devotion to prayer.
I believe that before God prepares people to do great wonders through them, He first takes them deeper in sanctification. When Joshua was about to cross the Jordan river, the Lord gave him a specific instruction.
And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, the Lord will do wonders among you.”Joshua 3:5
Five Steps to Sanctify Ourselves
There are a variety of things that the Lord can use to sanctify our lives in preparation for miracles. Some of those steps are derived from this passage in Isaiah 40.
The voice of the one crying in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight in the desert, the way for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low. The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together for the mouth of God has spoken.Isaiah 40:3-5
Many people want the wonders but don’t want God to fix their highway, crooked paths, and rough places. You cannot have the supernatural without sanctification. Repentance is the first step towards sanctifying your life. When we take time to repent before God for the wrong things we have done, thoughts we’ve had, or desires that are impure, we are humbling ourselves and asking Him to cleanse us of all impurity that is found in our hearts. The Bible makes it clear that holiness is the most important thing in our walk if God if we ever desire to see Him.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.Hebrews 12:14
2. In the Wilderness, Make a Way.
Wildernesses are hot, uncomfortable places. When people find themselves in spiritual wildernesses, they feel dry, empty, and sometimes lost. These are often tiresome and uncomfortable seasons that we all go through as Christians. Now, while it’s true that some go through these seasons as a result of disobedience, most go through it because they are being refined by the Lord in certain areas. Whatever the case, a wilderness is not an easy place to be in spiritually. But I want to encourage you today. If this is you, don’t waste your time in the wilderness just waiting to see what will hit you next. Instead, begin to prepare for what is coming despite what you are feeling and seeing.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1
It is during these times that God teaches us to not rely on our emotions, but instead to learn to trust in His character which we discover through His Word. Don’t just go through your wilderness, learn to grow through it. Begin to “dig into the ground” by praying and seeking God’s face. Show up to prayer even when you are struggling to “feel” God. Don’t allow the emotions to shake your faith in who God is. Start to build a highway for God in your wilderness through your prayer and fasting.
Prepare spiritually for what your eyes can’t yet see physically.
3. Bring the “High Things” Down
Along with repentance and seeking God despite the feelings we may have, prepping for revival means that every prideful thing must come down. As children of God, we cannot walk in holiness and power without humility.
God’s grace and power can touch anybody and everybody, but for it to stay with someone, that person must be consecrated to God in humility. There are many stories of men and women of God who have been used greatly by God, but when their recognition started being greater than they ever imagined, pride snuck into their hearts and laid its grip on them. God could no longer use them the way He desired. Pride is a sin, according to the Bible. It is the very thing that caused satan to fall. God hates pride, and it can be dangerous if not addressed within the hearts of His children.
Sometimes God allows our pride to be injured by the people closest to us. They will say comments or do things that can either cause us to recognize our pride and repent; or, we can choose to break off relationships because we are denying our own issues. Allow God to expose any seed of satan in your heart. It is better for it to be exposed before God uses you, than to have a huge, public downfall as a result of it.
Our desire as followers of Christ should be that God would examine the integrity of our hearts and remove anything in us that grieves the Holy Spirit.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.Psalm 139:23-24
If it is pride, allow His conviction to lead you to repentance. Ask Him to break that off of you.
4. Raising the “Valleys”
As you walk in sanctification and purity of heart, know that God will begin to use you. But that is not the only thing that will happen. As God brings certain exposure to your life, fear, anxiety, inferiority, and timidity will also begin to be exposed within you.
Every new level God takes us, reveals a new level of insecurity.
Just remember that God is wanting to speak through You. When you shift your focus to who God wants to touch and change through your simple act of obedience, you will soon realize that that alone shuts down the fears trying to limit you. God wants to reach them and He’ll do it through you if you’re willing.
Sure, it may be true that maybe you’re not as qualified, or trained, knowledgeable, or fluent as you wish you could be, but that’s the beauty of God. He wants to get the glory of what He does through you. He wants you to be the evidence of His power, of His reality.
All throughout Scripture we see stories of people with all sorts of limitations, fears, insecurities, and even horrid pasts. Noah was a drunk, Joseph was abused, Moses had a stuttering problem, Rahab was a prostitute, Elijah was suicidal, Jonah ran from God, Peter denied Christ, and the Samaritan women was divorced. Yet these are just a few of the men and women we read about in Scripture who are evidence that we serve a great, life-altering God.
God will use ordinary people, if they allow themselves to be used by God.
Perhaps you may not have a problem with pride, instead, your problem is with the valleys–insecurities. When you begin trusting in God’s character you will begin to trust that He can use you. That is how you overcome the insecurities and fears that are trying to limit your calling in God. The key is found in noticing when thoughts of insecurity come and “trapping them.” You’ll do this by noticing when they’re coming in, and by redirecting your focus. Instead of allowing those thoughts to grow within you, shut them down. Shift your focus onto the people that need to hear what you are saying, or the little boy or girl that God is asking you to pray for. Think of the needs of these people and how God desperately wants to reach them; it is you who He is asking to simply obey and trust that He’ll operate through you.
Be a willing vessel that He can use.
God might not change everybody’s view of you, but He wants to change your view of yourself.
5. Make the Crooked Things Straight
Learn to live with integrity. Things in life are not necessarily black and white. Not all things are wrong, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t crooked. Don’t live your life trying to see how close you can get to sin, while still being “close” to Jesus. This includes our modes of thinking and behaviors that aren’t “sinful” but are leading us to compromise on prayer, Scripture reading, or on the integrity of our eyes.
With this kind of mentality, you will always find a loophole to compromise, but you will never find yourself in revival.
If you desire to live a life used by God, sanctification is the only way.
This is the “price to pay” to see all that God has in store for you, your community, and our world.
I pray this was a blessing. Please share this blog and let me know what you think!