Magic or Miracle?


The planet is spinning out of control- deluded, denuded, diluted in self-inflicted miseries racing each other for prominence in the headlines till we are numb to outrage, and merely shrug at each new one.

What was to our ears once a thunderclap is now a yawn, as the ground and all its foundations shake beneath our feet. Some of us are dismayed and nauseated, preferring not to continue to suffer such indignities, while others celebrate and feast the creeping progress of sin and its agenda of disintegration dismantling a holy paradigm of thought and existence. At the same time we hear Yeshua saying, “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

But none have yet witnessed mountains obey such cries of the faithful. Perhaps the parable speaks not of Magic but rather of persistent faith with a vision, no matter what the size of the challenge in opposition. Through faith in divine Providence, and persistence in the face of failures in an overwhelming fight against the greatest military force of the age, George Washington struggled for eight years of losses and depravation unto final victory, and the founding of the United States of America. A mountain had been moved. And Gideon’s victory was not achieved by his greater numbers, but the complete opposite, being a small, trustworthy and dedicated group of the faithful. Israel’s 6-Day War of 1967 could be included in the list of miracles.

Many a devout believer has suffered and died surrounded by prayers as some lone man of science worked diligently until he overcame that disease which took the person’s life, with a new vaccine. Not Magic, but a Miracle of faith, fortitude, and finishing. Few now ever get polio since Dr. Salk came up with the polio vaccine, thank God. So much of the great medical achievements today are just taken for granted.

On the other hand, divine miracles recorded in the Bible were not done leaving any in doubt for the observers. The paralyzed man, who everybody knew, suddenly got up and walked. The blind man suddenly was given sight, and the leper cleansed. Lazarus, dead and three days buried, was raised again to life in the sight of all, in response to a word spoken by Yeshua of Nazareth. This suspension or alteration of natural phenomena was a rare anomaly, and their initiator finally condemned to death- leading to a yet greater miracle. And he left us with the words, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do, and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” Greater works?

Perhaps it is not the curing of acid indigestion he referred to, but the transforming of human society. This is the great challenge to the believer, a mountain to be moved by faith, starting the miracle from the individual, if he has the faith that he holds the medicine to cure a sick world, to take it himself, then to his family, and on out to society at large. A pinch of leaven leavens the whole loaf. Is that too great a miracle to believe? But here we do speak of Miracle. And that may not be Magic, but the persistence of the outmanned and outgunned General Washington in the fight, depending on Providence for the victory, even after many defeats. Magic seeks to manipulate reality, whereas Miracle is a co-working with pre-ordained divine promise. Miraculous signs and wonders are not meant to be a side-show of entertainment in a mega-church or a tent meeting, but a transforming event relevant outside the tent, where real life prevails.

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind’. (2 Timothy 1:7)

If our Creator has endowed us with love, power, and a sound mind, I suppose He expects us to use the latter soundly, and the former effectively.