Reimar A.C. Schultze
FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS LEADS TO MIRACLES
Obedience leads us to the supernatural.
"When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing." John 9:67
"Go, wash in the pool of Siloam." Oh, how we loathe instructions. Have you ever bought a bicycle in a great flat box with a label on it: Instructions for Assembly Inside. You open the box and dump out the contents, and there, instead of a bicycle coming out of the box, you have dozens of parts of the bicycle on the carpet. You look at those dismembered parts and the six plastic bags containing all kinds of screws, washers, and nuts, and your heart sinks into your shoes. Then you look at the extensive assembly instruction book, and you say to yourself, "This is too demanding, too time-consuming, too strenuous, too difficult to figure out," and you decide to assemble the bicycle without the instructions. After all, you know what a bicycle is supposed to look like when it is finished.
After two hours of hard, discouraging labor, you give up in despairat least, I do, and I call for my wife to help me. She then comes along and patiently goes through the assembly instruction book and hands me piece after piece in proper order, and before long, a miracle is born. All the bicycle parts in the flat box have come together, and a beautiful bike is speeding down the road with me enjoying the breeze blowing through my hair.
"Go, wash in the pool of Siloam."
Follow Instructions, and a Miracle Will Be Born!
Oh, how we want miracles without following instructions, without obedience. How many patients does the doctor see each year who want a miracle of healing without following the instructions for good health? "Take this medicine until it is all gone." "Change your diet." "Dont eat anything three hours before bedtime." "Start exercising." How many patients miss their miracle because they dont follow instructions?
How many people have refused to listen to the advice of a hoary headed financial advisor and come back years later at the edge of bankruptcy because they have not followed instructions?
How many parents have not heeded the uncompromising instructions from the book of Proverbs on child-rearing and never see the miracle of having a God-fearing, pure, praying, teenager?
Throughout the centuries, how many times have men of God given instructions to their followers, then the people reject the instructions and come to spiritual barrenness?
"Go, wash in the pool of Siloam." Are we going to do it or not?
The man who was sent to the pool of Siloam was born blind. When he was brought to Jesus, he and those about him expected an instant miracle. No doubt, they had all heard of the miraculous powers of the Lord Jesus, for his fame had spread throughout the whole country (Matt. 4:24, 9:26, 31). Yet, instead of Jesus saying to the blind man, "Be healed, be made whole," Jesus spat on the ground, formed a little piece of clay, and anointed the eyes of the blind man. Nothing happenednothing! Without having said a prayer, Jesus simply gave the man instructions (my expanded version): Dont take the clay off of your eyes. Go all the way to the pool of Siloam and wash it off there. No other pool will do, nor will water from a bucket suffice. Do exactly what I tell you to do." The man followed the instructions. And as he went, he had every reason to expect a miracle.
My friend, if you follow Jesus instructions exactly, you have every reason to expect a miracle. Your miracle is guaranteed. But it is always contingent upon following his instructions, of not leaving anything out, and of not looking for shortcuts. Dont loathe or take lightly the instructions of Jesus, or you may be miracle-less.
Every instruction we receive from the Lord through the written or spoken word is a call to obedience. You obey God, and you will live in miraclesevery day. Every day! Let me explain:
Follow Instructions for the Miracle of Conversion.
To transform a man full of sin into a man full of God takes a miracle. But it will not happen if the sinner misses any of the instructions to help him experience new life. Too often, in these days, sinners are told, "All you have to do is believe in the Lord Jesus." This is giving a sinner incomplete instructions, without which the miracles of conversion will never happen. First of all, nowhere in the Bible does it ever say, "All you have to do is...this or that." Indeed, it tells us over and over to believe, but it also tells us over and over to repent and confess our sins. Repenting without believing is fruitless, and so is believing without repenting. Jesus said, "...repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15).
To repent means to sorrow over our sins; it means to confess our sins; it means to forsake all sinful habitsthe sinful lifestyleto accept the life of the Lord Jesus through the rebirth (John 3:7; Rev. 3:20). About 92% of Americans believe they will go to heaven, because many were told that all they had to do was believe. However, no one who has not repented and turned from his wicked ways has been born of God. Neither can they go to heaven.
To be born of God, we must confess our sins, repent, and receive Jesus into our lives as Lord. Wherever these instructions are followed, the miracle of new life will occur. Hallelujah!
Follow Instructions To Walk with God.
After we are born of God, we are invited to walk with God. We walk with God by following Jesus. Jesus said to his disciples, "Follow me" (Matt. 9:9, 16:24; John 1:43). From the moment a new convert begins to follow Jesus, he becomes a disciple, living his life on Gods agenda.
Discipleship does not begin when you are born again. It begins when you start to follow Jesus. Discipleship begins when you forsake all and commence to do only what Jesus wants you to do, go only where Jesus wants you to go, and have fellowship only with those who Jesus wants you to fellowship with. The rebirth does not make you a disciple. You only become a disciple when you take up your cross (i.e., deny the Self from having its way), obey God and follow Jesus. Jesus said, "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven" (Matt. 7:21). These instructions for discipleship are given in several passages by our Lord himself (Matt. 10:3738, Luke 14:2627, 33).
Disciples are with Jesus all the time. They never do anything without him. They go nowhere without him. They watch no television programs without him, nor do they listen to any music without him. He is their life, their passion, their joy, and constant fellowship. Jesus, when on earth, did all of his work through his disciplesnever through those who said, "All we have to do is believe." Disciples are the ones who have power in prayer, who possess the kingdom of God, and the kingdom of God is "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Rom. 14:17).
The miracle of the rebirth is preceded by instructionsand so is the miracle of discipleship. And the miracle of this discipleship is maintained by continually living by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
Follow Instructions for the Miracle of Healing.
"Go, wash in the pool of Siloam."
Now consider Naaman the Syrian who had leprosy. The prophet Elisha told him "Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean" (2 Kings 5:7).
Often God speaks through his servants. Now, if there is indeed healing power for leprosy in the muddy Jordan, then why do not all the lepers in the world go there to wash seven times? We all know the reason the miracle occurred is not because of the Jordan but because Naaman the Syrian obeyed the man of God: Go wash seven times in the Jordan!
Without your following instructions, without your obeying Gods word and his servants, you will be short of miracles. But, oh, oh, oh, the blessings God has in store for the obedient hearts!
Following Instructions Brings the Miracle of Provision.
Elisha also told a widow who was about to lose her sons into slavery to get as many vessels from her neighbors as she possibly could. She was to take these vessels into her house, close the door, and start pouring into them from the little bit of oil she had in one remaining vessel (2 Kings 4:17). The woman followed the instructions, and all the vessels were filled to the brim. She sold the oilas Elisha commanded herkept her sons, and her retirement years were paid for.
By the way, notice that in most all cases, the instructions given before the miracles were irrational. They defied common sense and natural law. Oh, widow lady, whether you have bread on the table and enough to spare depends on your obedience to God or the men of God.
If we obey God, all our needs are metall of them. That is what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Oh, think of all the other miracles of provision God did and how they were preceded by instructions: Moses in confronting Pharaoh; Joshua and the children of Israel marching seven times around Jericho; Elisha telling Israel to "make this valley full of ditches;" Jesus telling Peter to cast a hook into the sea and expect to find a coin in the mouth of the first fish he brought in, etc. Look at all the provisions that come out of men and women by simply obeying God, by following his instructions.
Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, said something like this: most all Americans seek a spiritual experience, a spiritual sense of connectedness with God. But most of them do not want to be brought under his authority nor under the authority of anyone. Oh, what these people miss.
It is complete obedience to divine authority that connects us to the supernatural, while disobedience disconnects us from it. The Christian life is supernatural. It cannot be lived in the natural nor does it bring forth fruit in the natural. Continuous obedience through self-denial keeps us connected to the life of Christ in which there are no disappointments EVER! Let us pray that Christians all over the world will come to an awakening of the power of an obedient life to God, to do all that he has instructed them to do. It is then, once again, that the power of God will be manifest in his church to draw sinners into his kingdom.