Obsessively chasing signs, wonders and money
Signs and wonders, like spiritual gifts, do not guarantee spiritual growth. Signs and wonders increase adrenaline, while prayer, Bible reading, and humility calm the soul. Although there are references in the epistles to the gifts of healing and prayer for healing (1 Corinthians 12:27-31; James 5:14,15), much of the biblical content of these letters to the churches addresses gospel issues. , spiritual growth, love, service to others and saying “no” to sinful desires.
The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament. Genesis through Revelation is filled with signs and wonders, and the greatest sign was the death and resurrection of Messiah. Mature Christians focus much more on the death and resurrection of Christ than on other miraculous signs and wonders. Unless you are grounded in the Word and sound Bible doctrine, you will become like a kite raging in the wind. Fanatical winds of false teaching are carrying people away from a mature Christian life that clings to the doctrine of the apostles.
The miraculous signs and wonders of the first five books of the New Testament dazzle the mind. But spiritual growth cannot be sustained by signs and wonders. Christians need spiritual nourishment every day to grow strong and stay on track. The Apostle Peter instructed the people of God, “As babies, draw pure spiritual milk, that through it you may grow in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2: 2). Healthy Christians find great joy and satisfaction in meditating on the Word of God.
If you are looking for a sign, study the life of a mature believer in Jesus Christ who for decades persevered through various trials and who, by the grace of God, rises far above the fanatical winds of false teachers. Religious leaders who strive to enrich themselves arouse the same desire for covetousness in their followers. If you are constantly thinking about money or are obsessed with chasing signs and wonders, it would be extremely wise for you to take a few steps back.
Redirect your focus. Christianity is centered on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And there’s nothing that can happen in your life or your church that can begin to compare to the riches of this ultimate sign and wonder. God wants your spiritual life to be based on the scriptures, rather than the dream of getting rich or the fantasy of performing all kinds of sensational miracles.
God is more than capable of not only providing for you, but also performing additional signs and wonders whenever He wishes. Believe in God for miracles without becoming obsessed with chasing signs and wonders. Maintain the right focus and resist the desires of your flesh.
The obsessive pursuit of signs, wonders, and money keeps people from doing God’s will. So don’t take the bait as these captivating religious teachers dangle before your eyes. Instead, study the letters the apostles wrote to Christians in the early church. And submit your soul to the Gospel and sound Bible doctrine. Otherwise, you may be seduced by false teachings and easily led astray.
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.