The Problem With the Familiar
Recently I heard a statement that has really caused a shift in my thinking and basically how I am viewing God and His word. The statement was, "familiarity causes no miracles." I began seeing that staying with the familiar could be the main blockage in believers that keep us from moving in the miraculous.
The familiar may keep us from exploring the new, doing something completely different, and it also keeps us from being seen as someone that is, well, on the strange side. The unfamiliar seems strange because it cannot be figured out. I am sure Jesus appeared strange to others because he did not approach people or life with the familiar ways they were used to. Also John the Baptist came as a peculiar kind of priest because he did not dress or act like the other priests. When you bring a different kingdom with you, it is sometimes hard for people to discern what you are all about. We are in the kingdom of God, so shouldn't we be doing things out of the box?
As I looked at the miracles in the Bible, I saw that miracles occurred in the unfamiliar place and with those that were considered different. When you don't care that you are somewhat seen as odd to others, you are more likely to have miracles attracted to you. A miracle will cause people to wonder because it is so unfamiliar to the human mind, and that is exactly what God is after. To be free like Jesus acted is where I want to live. I hope you do too. If this is where you want to be, then hear what the Spirit is saying to you because we are going to be in position to do greater works than Jesus did - that is his promise to us.
Miracles are birthed as people go into unfamiliar territory. That is really what faith is - it is stepping out of the familiar place of what you know and stepping into the unknown. Heb. 11:1 tells us, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Many resist going into a place they have never been before. "Well, what can I expect? What is going to happen once I get there?" Those are triggers of resistance in your thoughts that will keep you from miracles because you won't go do anything unless it is familiar to you.
Miracles are unfamiliar because you can't explain a miracle. Miracles are far above human intelligence, so if something cannot be explained it is looked upon as odd. For many of us we must get over being looked at as odd for our beliefs and ways if we want to be part of God's miracles. God will have you doing things you do not understand in order to bring an atmosphere for miracles to come. Have you ever heard people pray and they have learned a particular method or steps to pray for someone's salvation or healing? God can and will bring answers this way, but as I look at Jesus and Paul and the apostles I don't see any methods for miracles. They heard what the Spirit was saying and then they stepped out. Remember the story in Acts 3:6? "Peter said, Silver and gold I don't have, but what I have I give it to you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk!" The man rose up and walked. The people that are listening to what the Spirit is saying and are not fearing being looked at as different will be working miracles!
The working of faith in your life is the atmosphere for miracles. So how do we get to a place where the disciples were when miraculous signs followed them everywhere? "Faith works by love" (Gal. 5:6). Love for others will cause you to see their need to want to help them. When life is all about yourself, you will want your miracle, but you won't see where you could be part of someone else getting their miracle. When you are motivated by love, you begin to see people the way God does and you have empathy for what they are going through. This will bring you to a place where you want to join with the Lord in bringing his miraculous works into someone's life. People are desperate for God even if they don't acknowledge it. God wants to put you in their path to show them His power and love.
Fill yourself with the word of God. Rom. 10:17 instructs, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." You will fill your life with something, so be purposeful about what you are filling it with. I don't go onto social network sites much anymore because I felt I was wasting time on unimportant things. I do watch or read the news, but I limit my time on it. You have to know what it is you want and then adjust your life.
Don't resist doing the unfamiliar just because you don't understand. Trying to understand everything will take God totally out of the picture. This will also lead to a life of trying to control everything. God does not have to get your permission on how He is going to work a miracle. This type of resisting will block your faith. It leads to pride and new wine can't flow from your life because you are living like you know more than God. This type of thinking and responding needs to be repented of so that you will be able to hear what the Spirit is saying. Otherwise you will miss the miracle right in front of you because you think it should come a different way.
Stop fearing what others think. I believe if we get past this we will hear from God and begin doing miracles as we follow His voice. This is not all about you - it is about you joining God in the working of miracles. Rom. 12:2 has a solid word for us. "Don't conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds." You must stop trying to conform just so you will fit into what others might expect you to be. You are too valuable to play act your way through life. It is time to be who God made you to be and work miracles like He said you would work miracles. He is in heaven and we are on earth - it is our time to do the works of Jesus Christ.
Start with the little things in front of you. Let someone know you are praying for them and then watch and see how God begins working through you to touch their lives. Ask God for dreams, visions, and visitations. When you make room for God and you invite Him, He will come with revelation and direction. Rev. 3:20 promises, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him and he with me." Talk with others about your testimony - what God has done for you, how He has answered your prayers, the miracles He has brought into your life. When you value miracles and what God has done for you, it will enlarge you to receive more from Him in the future. You then become faith filled!
You will realize your value to the kingdom of God. God did not give you a miracle to just make your life better. He gives you a miracle so that you will help others find their way to God that they might receive a miracle of their own. You are the very one to help them get theirs! I encourage you to step out of the box of your familiar and reach out to those that need a miracle. Remember you may not have what they are looking for, but you do carry what they need. You will be able to help them rise up and walk in a new way. That is the miracle power of Jesus Christ working through you!