I used to love the idea of being saved. Being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. All of the “special powers” that endowed – healing the sick feeding the poor and all that stuff. The healing bit particularly appealed to me.
I still use paracetamol for the headaches. And plasters for the cuts and scrapes. And the doctor for when I am unwell. Because those ARE the miracle of modern medicine.
So my “special powers” were quickly self-diagnosed: a) a miracle is “a miracle” wherever I find it … b) don’t use special powers on the small stuff. And everyone else seems to do that so I must be right.
As for the “big stuff” – cancer and terminal illness and horrible stuff medicine cannot cure … My teaching is “The Mystery of God” means that “healing” might be something I don’t immediately recognise … that the “physical stuff” might be a symptom of the “spiritual stuff” – because this is taught all the time from St Paul’s Letters in The Bible:
If you are getting killed for your faith … or suffering physical affliction and persecution … It is how you cope “spiritually” that is the important thing. That is where miracles of faith happen. The “physical body” is just an outer casing for the spirit – to be left behind when we meet our Maker. And if that is sooner rather than later – it’s all good.
So me not being able to heal the big stuff – that’s all okay as well.
Because bottom-line: miracles are “deeds of power” and to be used sparingly – or else I use up power on stuff I shouldn’t and don’t have enough for the stuff I should – always “God willing” …
“Jesus left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honour, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went about among the villages teaching. “ Mark 6:1-6
I have come to read these verses differently than “taught”.
I now see my “hometown” as all this chatter inside my own head – all the stuff I have just written above. THAT is my hometown: the ologies and isms, the teaching and preaching, the taught and self-imposed ways to being a good Christian, the expected ways of fitting in with what is expected … all that “hometown” stuff.
That, for me, is the “offence” I take at the indwelling God (I loved being saved by). My internal (and external) chatter is my “hometown” and my verdict – my statement of “disbelief” – is my offence at God. All my explanations for why and why not … my logic and reason used to justify why and why not …
Monetary intervention to “feed the poor” … will we run out of money, is this ministry sustainable, will it make a difference, will we have the resources, will we have the sustainability … ?
Physical intervention to “heal the sick” … what if I do it publicly and it doesn’t work, what if physical healing is not what God sees as the necessary fix, what if my spiritual gifts are making cups of tea and sweeping up … ?
Visible intervention to be seen as the miracle worker … who is my target audience, will this bring glory to God, what if “these can only be cured by prayer” – and my prayers aren’t good enough, what if I let God down … ?
My hometown is stuffed full with paracetamol, doctor’s appointments … saving accounts and budgets, overdrafts and loans … books on theology and church history …
My hometown is stuffed full with unbelief. So what do I do … ? I take the easy option:
he I went about among the villages teaching.
Because that is The Great Commission! And I know where I am with The Great Commission. Teaching and preaching … I tell and they listen! Job done!
(because He does the rest, hallelujah)