Vision Sunday last week was awesome! In 2017 God showed up mightily for our ministry, both collectively and individually. God is doing a work in and through all of us!
In 2018, we need to be locked-in and start strong and focus on our own spiritual lives. If we want miracles to happen, we need to understand that there’s a process.
So, for 2018, our theme is “Miracle in process”.
Miracles are usually a process where our faith, meets God’s blessing. Some miracles are to strengthen the faith that is already working inside of us.
Our culture is used to having things quickly and we don’t mind jumping any processes in order to get what we want! You can actually design and alter your body to appear muscular and fit without effort through surgeries like liposuction and prosthetics. But you know what, it looks unnatural!
Some of us have unnatural faith.
It’s unnatural to want a miracle in your life that you are not willing to work through in prayer, fasting, Christian community, God’s word and serving others.
Just like it is unnatural to want a job while you sleep all day. Or unnatural to want muscles without working out.
The miracle belongs to God, but the effort belongs to you! Miracles happen when your process of growth, meet God’s process of test.
And many times that happens when we are going through crisis.
Not just problems, but a crisis!
In Matthew 15:21–28 (NLT), it says, “Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”
23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”
24 Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”
25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”
26 Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”
27 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”
28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.”
In verse 22, you see THE CRISIS, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”
A gentile, pagan women asking Jesus for a miracle. Not for her, but for her child. A desperate plea, in a desperate situation.
A crisis is not just getting what you want, when you want it, and in the manner in which you want it. Rather, it is when the only one that can resolve this situation is the hand of an all-powerful God.
Every crisis has an opportunity for us to go to God.
Many times, we just sit around waiting! Many don’t come to church for the smallest, most miniscule reasons. It’s too cold! It’s too loud! They don’t have the children’s ministry I like. The donuts weren’t good. The coffee was cold. Someone looked at me funny. And so on.
This woman seized the moment and went to God! She didn’t care what anyone said or that her dirty laundry was out in the open. She seized the moment!!
In v23, Jesus gave her no reply. Not even a word!
The Response was Silence.
We can only imagine what we might of thought. She put everything out there and got silence. Yet she did not complain but responded in worship.
The bible says in v25 “But she came and worshiped him…”
Nothing moves the heart of Jesus like worship does. Learning to worship in the midst of your trouble is part of the process for your miracle.
Then came the Test.
Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”
Sometimes God’s response is not what we want to hear. God uses these responses as a test to see if we want just the miracle or the God of a miracle.
Many people want the miracle. It might be they want a job, money or healing, but then they get it and forget Jesus.
Often God tests us in the midst of our crisis because our response shows our determination and resolve.
The woman showed her Audacity of Faith.
In v27 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”
You don’t need much when you are desperate! It’s not the size of the miracle that she was focused on, it was the size of her audacity. She’s like, “I’m desperate! I’ll take what I can get!”
It was Jesus that said… “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move.” Nothing will be impossible.
In this instance Jesus was marveling at the lack of faith around him. But this gentile, pagan women, was professing that she doesn’t need much! She knows that whatever she can get from God is better than her circumstances!
Jesus also said, “whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” (Luke 16:10)
It was at that moment that this pagan women faith met God’s lesson about faith. This was not about theory anymore, this was about practicum.
God is saying, if you are desperate for a miracle, don’t give up at the first sign of silence or lack of what you want to hear! Keep trying. Be audacious and don’t give up! Go after Him. Don’t stop worshipping!
Jesus Responds to her in v28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.
He’s saying, her Faith moved God.
Boom! Miracle Granted. No more discussion. No more questions asked. He’s saying her faith is astonishing!! It’s better than from His own children. The people he came to serve.
In 2018, how will you respond to a crisis? Are you going to give up at the first sign things don’t go your way? Or are you going to willingly accept the challenge? Are you going to allow the process to birth your miracle??
Audacious faith is willingly moving into the unknown, simply, because you have nothing else to lose.
You have nothing else to lose. Dig deeper in 2018! Join us tomorrow and bring a friend!