Have you ever had a dream, a vision or an ambition and desire to do something big, and strong, and good and for God? Maybe you really believed that God was in it, but you weren’t patient enough for God to work it out, in his own way, and in his own timing. So you rushed out like Moses did, and like him, you fell flat on your face. Exodus 3:1-15 describes God’s interaction with Moses at the burning bush after that experience.
When we look at the remarkable workings of God through his servants in the Old Testament, the abilities he gives seem to divide into three categories. There are the manifestations, the gifts of revelation, such as prophetic insight and understanding. Then there are gifts of wisdom.
Sometimes it works out slowly in a man’s life like Jacob, who had to learn the ways of God and develop wisdom through the hard knocks of life. Or like with Solomon who prayed to God for a wise and understanding heart, and he got it.
Firstly, revelation, secondly, wisdom, thirdly, power.
This is where Moses comes in. Supernatural power is the ability to do extraordinary things – unusual signs, wonders and miracles. When we look at Moses’ life we see this gift in action all the way through the plagues in Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea and all the miracles that happened it the wilderness.
They were extraordinary bursts of miraculous power at a remarkably high level!
When we seek to understand God’s purpose for signs and wonders, the first thing we notice is that signs and wonders are given in part to reveal the name of God. In Moses’s day a name was not just a label, it was a revelation. Sometimes it was a faith revelation or a description of a character, destiny, or purpose. So when Moses anticipates that the elders of Israel would ask, “You say God appeared to you. Well, what’s his name?”, it wasn’t about giving God a label; it was carrying a revelation of what God was going to do for them.
God said to Moses: “Tell them ‘I am’ has sent you.” (Exodus 3:14). This is the word we understand to be Yahweh. And it was, and still is, a very holy name.
In our Bible, it’s it is translated as LORD, in capital letters. But far more important than this is what this name means. It is connected to the Hebrew verb hayah, to be. It is God in action.
When we call him Yahweh, it is an acknowledgement that God promises to do whatever we need him to do, at any point in our lives, to fulfil his purposes so that his covenant faithfulness will be confirmed.
In a sense, the miracles that flowed from this moment onwards were coming out of the authority of that revelation and were indeed a revelation of God’s name. They were confirmation of who he is.
So miracles are there to glorify the name of God, to demonstrate that he is faithful, that he is with us and that he is active in this world in a supernatural way.
That brings us into the New Testament. Jesus said, “These signs will follow those that believe in my name. They will cast out demons, lay hands on the sick.” (Mark 16:17-18). When we perform miracles, we don’t do it in our own name, in our own authority. We rest in the name and the authority of Jesus. And when we say “In the name of Jesus!” it goes right back to the revelation of the divine name, because Jesus is Yahweh.
John 8:58 is a very strong statement. Jesus used the divine name ‘I am’ to identify himself with the person of God. That would be blasphemy or idiocy if it were not true. Therefore it is divine revelation.
This is what he says, “Most assuredly, I say to you: before Abraham was, I am.” So today, when miracles happen in the name of Jesus, it is glorifying God the Father, revealing today that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Miracles are given also to confirm God’s Word.
Truly speaking, miracles attest to Christ. They are there to point to him. KT mission teams have seen undeniable miracles all over the world, but every single time it is all about Jesus, not about us!
Can you imagine how Moses felt when he argued that the people would not believe him?
God disagreed and gave him three signs. Moses was commanded first to throw his rod down, and it became a snake. He picked it up and it became a rod again. Then to put his hand into his robe; when he pulled it out again it was leprous. He put it back again, and it came out clean. Finally God told him to take some water and pour it on the ground, and it became blood. God instructed Moses to do these three signs in the presence of the people, and then they would believe that God sent him. And they did.
God is very loving when he gives us an extra confirmation. But this was probably more about encouraging Moses. Sometimes we go through life and try hard but nothing seems to work. Because of these failures, we can be discouraged, and God always gives us enough supernatural confirmation to remind us that he is truly with us.
Remember, God is with you. We don’t chase after signs and wonders, as if we have to live by them. We walk by faith, but we are so happy when God releases miraculous manifestations in us, through us, and to us, because it glorifies his name and calls people’s attention. And in a wonderful way it validates not only the message but in some secondary way, it validates the messengers, us.
The role of signs and wonders is carried throughout the whole of the Bible, beyond Pentecost, even till today. They are there to reveal the glory of God’s name and to demonstrate his power. They are there for God to fulfil his covenant promise that he will be with us. Whatever we need, he will there: for healing, deliverance and blessing.
God will continue to confirm his Word. This shows us a whole lot about the heart of God!
Let me ask you this: as you go out serving God, what revelation do you carry? How has God spoken to you? How has God used you? How does God demonstrate himself through your life? Because that’s unique to you!