Have you ever been denied a miracle?
Larry Chkoreff July 19, 2002
As a believer perhaps there have been desperate times in your life when you felt it would be appropriate for God to give you a miracle. You read about His miracle working power in the Bible, you read that He loves you, now you want to see it in your circumstances. Putting these two assumptions together, you ask God for a miracle, and you expect Him to give it to you. Sometimes He does, but sometimes, perhaps even more often, He does not.
What are you to believe? Where is God in your affliction?
Perhaps we can learn from the events recorded in John chapter 6. Jesus had just supernaturally fed more than 5,000 poor and needy people in the setting of a third world country. He took five loaves of bread and two fish and did a miracle of increase that would astonish anybody. They thought for sure that this was the prophet that Moses had spoken of, the one who would again provide manna from Heaven "Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone" (John 6:15).
The disciples entered their boat and crossed the sea. Jesus walked on the water, and they arrived together. But the crowd who had been fed looked for Jesus the next morning hoping for another miracle. They finally found Him.
Jesus refused their request.
"Jesus answered them and said, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him'" (John 6:26,27).
Jesus admonished them to turn their efforts to what God requires. He knew that feeding them again would simply be another short-term fix, but it would not solve their true problem, which resided in their hearts and souls. Jesus wants us to prosper, Jesus wants to meet our needs, but from the inside out, not from the outside in! "Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." (John 6:29).
Then Jesus started a conversation that really caught them off guard. He has a way of doing that. We may be thinking about a material or earthly need, and He turns our attention to the real issue.
"Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" Then Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.' Then they said to Him, 'Lord, give us this bread always.' And Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst (John 6:31-35).
Their response was interesting. "The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, 'I am the bread which came down from heaven.'" (John 6:41).
Then He took them even deeper down His road of surprises when He said, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world" (John 6:51). "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him" (John 6:56).
Jesus was offering them a blood covenant with the Maker of the Universe. (See addendum 1).
This is what He offers you and me. Can you just imagine? The infinite almighty God, sinless and holy offers to exchange places with you and me, mere created and sinful people! He knew that having a blood covenant would make these people one with Him. They would abide in Him and He would abide in them. He knew that if they accepted the covenant that all their needs would be cared for. Which would you rather have, a miracle to take care of today's problem, or a covenant of blood with Deity?
"Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, 'This is a hard saying; who can understand it?'" (John 6:60).
Jesus persisted and even made things sound more difficult. He asked them how much more they would be offended if He left and they could not even catch Him to eat His flesh and drink His blood. He was speaking of His crucifixion and resurrection (John 6:62). It is human nature to desire a god or an idol that the natural eye can see.
Here is the major point.
"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). In other words He was saying, "You don't have to actually become a cannibal and drink my blood, but if you want a blood covenant with Me you will eat my Word, because My Word and I are one. My Words are supernatural. The more of the Word you obtain, the more of my blood you receive!" Covenants are made with words. In this case the Word replaces blood. Yes Jesus shed His blood, and that blood is transferred to you through His Word. You have an invitation to cut the blood covenant with the Maker, God Himself. All He has is yours, provided of course that all you have is His!
Sorry Jesus, without a miracle I am out of here!
"From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more" (John 6:66).
"Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 'Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'" (John 6:67-69).
Quick fixes and miracles will not build your character; they will make you dependent slaves. "Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word" (Psalms 119:67). God created us to be fed from the inside not from the outside. Remember He said in Matthew 6:28 that lilies are clothed better than Solomon because they have life inside of them. Our provisions and all of our needs, emotional, spiritual and physical are to come from the life of God on the inside of us.
The blood covenant.
Here is a brief description of how we appropriate the blood covenant with God. There are three main elements:
1. His Cross, representing His blood. We appropriate His Cross when we, through the Word, obtain revelation on the finished work of His Cross and the wonderful grace afforded by it. We must be prepared to believe this radical message of unfathomable love and God's gifts bestowed upon us.
2. Your cross. "Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23). We take up our cross when we live a life of love, and say no to our old nature which is manifested by our old unregenerated will, intellect and emotions. We must be radical in our walk of love.
3. Words. "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death" (Revelation 12:11). We use words when we take the Word of God on our lips and speak it against our demonic enemies. We must be radical to speak God's Word no matter how bad things look.
This is called overcoming.
Abraham is an example.
In Genesis chapter 15 he was declared righteous by faith. God walked the blood covenant trench for both parties. Abraham drove away the birds, which is a picture of our driving away the demons with God's Word. Finally, Abraham had to take up his cross when he walked his beloved son Isaac up the hill to sacrifice him. God confirmed his blessings at this point. The Lamb of God was revealed (Genesis 22).
You must be radical to allow the blood covenant with God to operate.
You must continually seek His promises, His personal words to you, the finished work of the Cross representing His mercy and grace. You must walk a life pleasing to the Lord and be radical about it. I am not saying you must be perfect to make it, but you must hate your flesh nature and continually repent for bitterness, anger, worldly ambitions, idols of all types, mammon of all kinds, unforgiveness, and trusting in man rather then God. You must live the love life as Jesus did. You must be a giver and not a taker. You must continually allow the Word of God to flow out of your mouth as a sword against the enemy.
The results are rewarding beyond imagination.
Not only will you see your "Junk" turn into "Jewels" for the Kingdom of God, but you will enjoy being more than a conqueror. What is that? The more is more of the close presence and personal fellowship with Jesus.
"Why are we sitting here until we die?"
That is what the four lepers said in 2 Kings chapter 7 when they felt that their lives were hopeless. They resided in Samaria, which was besieged by the Syrians. The people were suffering starvation. They were boiling their own children for food.
"Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, 'Why are we sitting here until we die? If we say, 'We will enter the city,' the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die'" (2 Kings 7:3,4).
The four walked out to the Syrian army's camp and found that the Lord had caused the Syrians to run for their lives based upon a "noise" that they had heard. The lepers had all they wanted to eat, and eventually called the people of Samaria out to share in the abundance of food left behind by the Syrian army.
You may be in oppressed circumstances. But you do not need to sit there until you die. You need to know that there is something you can do. First, you need to know that the spiritual army that has besieged you is already defeated. Jesus defeated Satan at the Cross. Next, you need to know that if you enter into the overcoming lifestyle that you will enter into the abundant life as Jesus described it. As you walk and live this lifestyle, you will bring others into it just as the four lepers did.
Your afflictions, circumstances, economic environment, medical environment, and nation in which you live do not limit overcoming. Overcoming is not based upon living in the First World or the Third World. The Word of God will operate in a human heart wherever you may live. The requirement is the condition of the soil of your heart, not the natural soil in which you live. God is able to work in any environment. His power is not limited by the culture in which you live, it is only limited by the honesty and passion of your own heart.
My family and I have overcome some very difficult and naturally impossible circumstances. We have "done" something and have been overcomers, rather than just sit there and die.
What I write here is not just what I have learned, but as John said (paraphrased) in his first epistle, "We have seen it with our eyes, our life has touched it, testified to it, and we now proclaim it to you, the eternal life which was with the Father and has appeared to us." We have seen Jesus in our overcoming, and now testify to you, that He is real, alive, and on task for you!
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:1-3, NIV). John went on and said, "And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy (in seeing you included) may be full - and your joy may be complete" (1 John 1:4, Amplified Bible).
Don't just sit there, enter the blood covenant!
Volumes of books have been and can be written about blood covenants in general, and with God in particular. Many Christians do not realize that their relationship with God is based upon the blood covenant, and are therefore living beneath their covenant privileges.
Here is just a brief outline containing some of the primary elements of a blood covenant:
1. Exchange of coats. Each party exchanged coats with the other party in a blood covenant symbolizing the exchange of character. "Put on Christ like a garment" (Colossians 3:10, 12, 14).
2. Exchange of weapons. The handle of the Nomadic sword or dagger was crested with family precious jewels and symbolized the wealth and status of the family. They exchanged swords. Each party pierced their hands and embedded a darkening agent therein to remind any invader that another party protected them. When we hold up our hand to the Devil, he is reminded of the scars in Jesus' hands and he must flee.
3. Exchange of names. Like in a marriage when the bride's name is changed and she becomes one with her husband, Jesus and you have exchanged names indicating your oneness with Him, and His commitment to care for you.
4. Walking through the cut halves of animals. Like Abram's experience in Genesis chapter 15, blood covenant parties would cut animals in half, place halves on each side of a trench wherein the blood would drain. Then both parties would walk the trench saying, "As these have lost their lives because of this covenant, so I am willing to lose my life and shed the blood of myself and family in defense of your family."
5. Exchange of information.
a. There was an accurate accounting of the assets, liabilities and wealth of each party. This was done so that non equals need not be ashamed but could join without hesitation to another more wealthy party.
b. Then there was a pledge given by each party guaranteeing the mutual possession of each other's wealth. Each party could draw on the other's resources as needed. One party could say, "I need such and such." The other party would say, "Agreed."
c. In addition to human wealth, human labor was also promised.
6. Final witness: bread and wine. As the final act of covenant the parties and their extended families partook of a symbolic meal. Each broke bread and gave to the other as a token they were willing to break their bodies in defense of the other. Fruit of the vine (sometimes actual blood) was shared as a token that their blood would be willing shared for one another. This should be our example for our communion time with the Lord. We should not only remember what He did, but it should be a vow that we take up our cross for Him as well.
Some information on this addendum was adapted from the book En Punto, author C.R. Oliver, Zadok Publications, Montgomery, TX, 2002.