Jesus had fed the 5,000, had healed the sick, had cast out demons, yet the Pharisees demanded to see more signs, more miracles — show us a sign and we will believe! Matthew 12:38. It as if they thought that Jesus would deliver a sign upon demand! How foolish of them, we say; how arrogant could they be, we say; how could they treat the Son of God like that, we say!
Are we not like them? We demand that God would resolve our financial difficulties, perhaps by God letting us win the lottery. We demand that God would miraculously take the disease away, on our immediate timetable, of course. We demand that God intervene and solve all our problems when we try to buy a new house or car, although we have not financially prepared for the purchase. Just one more sign!
Our God can do these things, of course. He is omnipotent so there is nothing that He is powerless to accomplish. But we miss out on His presence if we simply look for Him in a massive display of His power on our behalf. We forget that He has given the believer in Jesus the gift of life, both here and for all eternity, through the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ our Lord. Talk about massive display of His power! We forget that He is with us, in fact He is in us through His beloved Holy Spirit.
We see evidences of God’s presence everywhere we look, if only we use our heart’s eyes. A beautiful array of flowers, a stunning scene along the lake, an encouraging word from a friend that comes just when we needed it, a gentle rain or glittering rainbow, or provision He makes for our needs when we cannot see any possibility ahead of us.
The Pharisees did not need to see additional signs as evidence for them to believe in Him – Jesus had provided sufficient evidence that He was who He said He was. He had healed the sick, raised the dead, responded to questions in ways too deep for these “thinkers” to understand.
They didn’t need additional signs, and neither do we. In short, we don’t need to seek spectacular displays of God’s work to know that He is the Savior. The most spectacular display possible occurred 2000 years ago when Jesus Christ died the death that was rightfully ours and then when God raised Him from the dead.
“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
1 Corinthians 15:20 ESV
He is with us today, we don’t have to wait for Christmastime to realize this.
“Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”
2 Timothy 1:13-14 ESV
Oh that we would know that the Holy Spirit is resident within us, and that we would realize that we have “God With Us” in a way that those who lived prior to Pentecost could not imagine. We don’t have to wonder where He is, nor do we have to go to a specific church or place to pray. He is with us 24/7 and there is nowhere we can go that is outside His reach.
Read Psalm 139 as you ruminate on how all-embracing God’s knowledge of you is.
We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts.
A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)
I pray that each of us will have open eyes to see His presence in our lives each day.
Father, You are Lord of the Universe, King of Kings, Creator of All, and You are the Lover of my soul. Forgive, I pray, when I am so besieged by the difficulties, trials and concerns of the day that I fail to see Your hand, active and working in each of those situations. Forgive, when I expect spectacular evidence of Your involvement in my life even though I ignore Your Word or the reminders that You provide in the chirp of a bird, in the sound of the wind, in the rustling of the leaves, in the antics of woodland creatures or the family pets. Thank you Father for Your constant presence through the Holy Spirit. May I be more sensitive to hearing Your call as You work in my life today.