Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thoughtful About . . . Greater Works Than These

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."
John 14:12 
I had quite a few verses of Scripture that I kept in mind while writing A Soft Breath of Wind. One of them that was always hovering at the back of my mind was that one--John 14:12. A simple statement, made by Jesus to all who believe. To his disciples. To his followers. 

I've heard this verse for a lot of years. I know it. I believe it. We, the church, are capable of doing miracles. We are. Do you ever question that? But we are.

This past spring, I read a really, really amazing non-fiction book that WhiteFire Published, called No Plan B: Discovering God's Blueprint for Your Life. I've mentioned this book on here before, but it bears repeating--it's an amazing book. Because it helps shatter the lie that the church has come to believe over the past 2,000 years. That we can't do what Jesus did. That we're powerless on earth, just waiting for heaven. 

http://www.amazon.com/No-Plan-Discovering-Gods-Blueprint-ebook/dp/B00MNSOP2Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415879899&sr=8-1&keywords=no+plan+b+nelson+hannah
No true. So not true. And the author points out why. Jesus didn't perform his miracles under his man-power, obviously. He didn't perform them under his God-power, either, or we wouldn't be able to do these works also. He did them under the power of the Holy Spirit. That same Holy Spirit that lives in us. Not that comes occasionally to visit us when the worship music hits us just so, but who lives in us. Always. He is the one who healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, fed the five thousand, and raised the dead.

Has the Spirit changed?

No.

Has the church?

Unfortunately...yes. Most of us have. We can't believe in the miraculous in the world of CG and special effects. It just takes too much faith. We can't believe in healings--and raising from the dead?? FORGET IT--in the world of emergency rooms, prescription drugs, and routine surgeries.

Nelson Hannah challenges us in No Plan B to let go of that lie--and, for heaven's sake (literally), don't teach our children that lie!

We tend to look at the church of Acts as something...special (and it was). But something...out of reach (but it isn't). We tend to look at it as "Back in the day, when miracles happened." I've even seen (quite a few) publishers who say, in their requirements "Stories may not include miracles unless they are biblical fiction."

That galls me. It really does. Not because I have all these stories that want to use miracles as a device to quickly wrap up the action, but because I want to shout at these publishers and editors, "But He's the same God! The same Spirit! Why in the world are characters set in A.D. 30 allowed to do it, but those from today aren't???"
In A Soft Breath of Wind, there are miracles. Yes, it's biblical fiction. So they'd be "allowed" by any publisher. But the whole point of the miracles, in Soft Breath, is that it's the power of the Spirit, working through imperfect humans who doubt, just like we do. But who choose to believe instead, just like we can.

Because Jesus doesn't say that we might do greater works than these. He doesn't say that "He who believes in me today--but not those who believe in me in later generations, mind you--will do these same works and greater." He says, "He who believes."

In my book, not every character believes. But Zipporah does. She believes with the faith of a child, a faith that she clings too as she grows up, even in the face of doubt from those who should believe in her. She believes in the impossible, because nothing is with God. She believes that what Jesus spoke is truth.

In A Soft Breath of Wind, there are miracles. But the miracles aren't used as a quick wrap-up. The miracles aren't an easy way out. The miracles are the hard part, because they require the characters to let go of their human understanding, their human limitations, and trust in Him. They require them to step outside what they "know."


They require them to believe in him.

Every wonder why Jesus says we'll not only do what he does, but greater? Because we're operating by the same Spirit...but now we have him in heaven, too, making intercession for us. Sometimes when I pause and think about it, this just awes me. Jesus--wise and humble, perfect and bold--is fighting for me. And his Spirit is whispering into my mind. 

Writing A Soft Breath of Wind forced me to look pretty deeply at this. Forced me to realize that if I'm not doing these things--and greater--it's no fault of His. It's a fault of mine. It's my lukewarm faith, not the age I live in. It's me choosing to focus on the things of this world instead.

I'm not there yet--I'll be totally honest about that. But I'll state it here and now, a phrase pretty popular this time of year with talk of Santa and that famous Miracle on 34th Street

I believe. 

I believe He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

I believe the same Spirit that raised the dead and healed the blind and wrapped time around His little fingers is here today, waiting to be called upon.

I believe Jesus spoke truth when he made that promise.

I bet you believe too. The questions is...what are we going to do about it?


*Sunshine photo: 
photo credit: Hamed Saber via photopin cc

4 comments:

  1. I believe. I absolutely believe. :) And thank you for writing with His power & presence so accurately represented. Your words are like iron sharpening iron, challenging & encouraging me in my walk. Never back down.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly what I pray my words can do! Only through Him.

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  2. I believe and am sad by how often we expect miracles that aren't really miracles when He can and will do so much more! I want to be there when they happen (to anyone) so I can praise Him with applause, laughter and joy...

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