Many people believe that God withholds miracles. They think God only dishes out miracles as He wants to, when He wants to, or when we’ve done everything perfectly. And this kind of incorrect thinking prevents miracles from happening.
The miracle already exists. He promised you healing. He promised you protection. He promised you provision. If you don’t have these things in your life, it’s because you haven’t figured out how to receive His promises.
So step one to seeing miracles is, we have to stop blaming God. He’s not withholding these things from you. It’s your own fear and unbelief that keeps you from receiving the things He’s already provided for you.
The core scripture for this series is found in Mark chapter 11. In this chapter Jesus gives us four things we need to do to see miracles. Let me read it to you:
Mark 11:22-25 NLT – Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.
In this short lesson from Jesus, He gives us four things that determine our ability to receive miracles from God:
- Have faith in God.
- Speak your faith.
- Remove the doubt.
- Forgive others.
In the first week of this series we talked about faith. We found out that faith is confidence in God’s Word. And the way we build this confidence is by hearing the Word of God over and over and over.
We also found out that faith is evidence of things we cannot see. In other words, to live a life of faith we have to believe God even when we don’t see it.
Let me make this practical. When all you see is sickness, you have to believe God has already provided you healing through Jesus. So you choose to believe God’s Word over your symptoms or what the doctor told you.
Yet most of us believe the doctor’s report over everything else, as if they are some kind of god. Let me fill you in. Doctors are practicing medicine. All they can do is compare your situation with what happened with other people in the past.
And since most people don’t believe God’s Word regarding healing, why would you want to be grouped with them? All these other people died of that same cancer because they never stepped out in faith for healing.
But you are different. You know that cancer is no big deal to God. So instead of accepting a death sentence, you choose peace by trusting that the healing power of Jesus Christ will cause your body to healed of even the worse sickness.
If you want to live a life of faith, get ready to be the oddball. But you are going to be the healthy oddball that is full of life, joy and peace. Doesn’t seem so bad, does it?
- Faith is why we praise God even when we don’t feel like it.
- Faith is why we give even when it’s inconvenient.
- Faith is why we trust God even when we don’t understand.
Faith. It’s what enables you to stay at peace in the gap between when you release your faith and see the result. Because you know the result is coming, just like you know your Amazon order is coming when you press buy now.
In part 2, Tim & Darla brought us a powerful message about speaking our faith. They taught us something very important: In order to speak your faith, the Word of God has to be planted down in your heart.
Most of us start out on this speaking thing by reciting scripture that we hope is true. And this is a great place to start! But to see the results of it, you need to be speaking something that you believe deep down.
And this unwavering belief only comes from time with God. The Word of God cannot grow deep roots if you do not continually water the seed that was planted. The best way to water is to spend time with God first thing every morning, just like Jesus did.
Remove the Doubt
So step one, have faith in God. Step two, speak your faith. Now let’s talk about removing the doubt. The Lord has been showing me that this is the one that has been tripping most of us up.
If you’ve been trying to walk in faith but you are not seeing the results of it, this is the message you need. Today is your day. You’re going to find out what is getting in the way of your faith so you can remove it.
Have you ever prayed for something and it seemed that God didn’t even hear you?
Have you ever prayed for healing for someone else and yet they died?
This kind of stuff leaves us confused. And often, these negative experiences cause us to abandon faith because we start to think, “If it didn’t work that time, then it will never work.”
And you know, we are kind of at a disadvantage here in America. We live in the era of immediate gratification and we think that God should be just as obsessed with it as we are. We want God to answer our prayer NOW.
I mean, if Google can answer my question now, then I want God to answer my prayer now. You know this is true, but when I bring it out into the open like this, we all recognize how ridiculous we are.
We all want to hear that God answers prayers immediately every time, but it’s just not true. So I’m not going to stand here and lie to you. Instead, let me show you a story in the Bible that will help us understand that the answer is always coming, but sometimes it takes time.
This is found in the book of Daniel. We talk about this guy a lot because he is an awesome example for us. He lived in a culture that was anti-God, but yet he faithfully lived his life for God. Very relevant to where we are today.
But in Daniel chapter 9, he was praying. The people of God were in a mess because, well, they disobeyed God even when He gave them a chance to change their behaviors. Sound familiar?
Anyways, Daniel was praying and repenting on behalf of Israel. He was confessing their sins and asking God to have mercy on them even though they didn’t deserve it.
He was also looking for clarity on a vision that he had, asking God to help him understand the vision. If you read Daniel’s prayer, it seems as if it lasted for about three minutes. At this point, look what happened:
Daniel 9:21-23 NLT – As I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came swiftly to me at the time of the evening sacrifice. He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding.
Cool! Daniel’s prayer was answered in about three minutes. It wasn’t immediate, but I think we could all handle a three minute delay. I mean, it takes about that long to get through the McDonalds drive through, so we could at least check Facebook while we are waiting three minutes on God to answer.
But Daniel’s prayer wasn’t answered in three minutes. It was actually answered immediately. We find this out in the next verse:
Daniel 9:21-23 NLT – The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision.
When did God answer? The moment Daniel began praying. Then why did it take the angel three minutes to get the answer to Daniel? I don’t know. Maybe Gabriel was coming from the other side of the galaxy? Or had to pack a toothbrush or something?
What we do know is that God answered Daniel’s prayer the moment he began praying. God set the answer in motion but something had to take place in the spiritual realm before it was made manifest in the physical realm and this process took about three minutes.
About now, you might be thinking, “Okay, I can wait three minutes. So from now on, I’m going to put a three-minute deadline on God.”
But before you make a three-minute doctrine, let me show you what happened in the very next chapter of the book of Daniel.
This is years later on in Daniel’s life. So he is now more mature in his faith. He’s been getting closer to God. Therefore, I bet his next prayer is going to be answered even faster, but take a look at what happened:
Daniel 10:2-3 NLT – When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks. All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed.
Aw man. Three weeks? And it wasn’t even a pleasant three weeks. He was mourning and fasting while seeking God for an answer for three whole weeks.
You guys know that is a long time. I mean, just listen to people gripe about being quarantined for two weeks. It feels like a lifetime! How could someone as awesome as Daniel have to wait three weeks for God to answer his prayer?!
Well, at the end of this three week period, once again, a messenger from heaven came to explain the vision to Daniel. And the messenger even explained why it took three weeks. Take a look:
Daniel 10:12-14 NLT – Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.
When did God hear his prayer? The first day he began praying. Once again, as soon as Daniel prayed, God set the answer in motion but something had to take place in the spiritual realm before it was made manifest in the physical realm.
Last time it took about three minutes. This time it took three weeks. The cool thing is, this time, the messenger from heaven gives us an explanation:
Daniel 10:12-14 NLT – But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.”
Ah! There was a fight in the spiritual realm that had to be won before Daniel’s prayer could be answered. This is interesting and it’s why we all need to be aware of the fact that there is a spiritual realm. Even though we can’t see it, it’s there and it is even more real than our physical realm.
In this story, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Daniel gave up on his prayer. What if Daniel gave up on God a few days in? I mean, most of us would.
We’d be like, “God, you answered this kind of prayer in three minutes last time. It’s been three days! I guess I’ll just figure this one out on my own.”
If Daniel would have done that, he may not have ever gotten his answer. I mean, why would the angel continue fighting in the spiritual realm if Daniel no longer had faith to receive from God?
I think we are all starting to understand why so many prayers seem to go unanswered. God has always answered immediately, but we tend to give up before the answer has time to manifest in our physical world.
We’ve taken on this mentality that if I don’t see it immediately, God didn’t hear me. But that’s just a lie the enemy uses to get you out of faith. Now you know better. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, God heard me the first time.
In both of those stories about Daniel, I want you to remember that God answered him as soon as he started praying. But there was a period of time that had to pass before the answer was made manifest in the physical realm.
That’s why we are getting rid of doubt today. Because your doubt is the thing that keeps blocking God’s answer from getting to you.
God has always answered your prayer. Every time. But you have a tendency to build a wall of doubt that keeps your answer from ever manifesting in the physical realm.
This isn’t God’s fault. It’s your fault. But you can fix it by getting rid of doubt.
3 Kinds of Doubt
To help us get a better understanding of doubt so that we can easily recognize it and eliminate it, let’s break it down into three different categories.
Sometimes you just don’t know. The Bible says faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God, but there are just some things you haven’t heard yet. So you doubt God simply because you don’t know something about God.
For example, you may have grown up in poverty. That’s all you knew. You had no idea that God wants you to have more than enough so you can be a blessing to those around you, so you always thought God wanted you poor.
The way out of this kind of doubt is simple – invest more time into hearing the Word of God. I recommend you do it every day. Instead of watching your favorite sitcom at night, spend the same amount of time listening to the Word of God.
Here’s the next one:
2. Wrong Teaching
This is basically the same thing, but it’s a bit harder to overcome. It’s like if I had a blackboard up here. If it was blank, all I would have to do is start writing on it. But if it was full of wrong teaching, I’d have to clean all that off first.
If you’ve been taught that God made you sick, or that this is punishment for your sin, or that God somehow gets glory out of you being sick or poor, then the antidote is the same: you need to hear the Word of God.
You are just going to have to hear it a whole lot more. This one is harder to overcome than ignorance because you need to hear the Word of God frequent enough to erase the wrong teaching from your mind.
I’m not trying to discourage you, but this one can take awhile. You might have to hear the truth several times a day every day for a year before it finally erases the wrong teaching out of your mind.
When you uncover wrong teaching in your life, you have to be diligent to get rid of it. If you’ve been taught that God wants you poor, look up every scripture you can find about God’s provision. Listen to every message you can find on YouTube about God’s provision. Keep filling your mind with the truth.
So, these first two types of doubt – ignorance and wrong teaching – are both overcome by hearing the Word of God. Here’s the third one:
If you pray for someone to be healed and they end up dying, that circumstance is going to make you think, “This doesn’t work.” If you’ve been sick for years, your circumstance is going to make you think, “God doesn’t want to heal me.”
So how do you overcome this kind of doubt? Well let me take you to a story about Jesus that might be familiar to you.
Matthew 17:14-21 NKJV – And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
So here we have a father who desperately wants his son to be healed. His son was having terrible seizures on a regular basis that threatened his life. Can you imagine how stressful this would be as a parent?
The Gospel of Mark shares this same story in chapter nine and gives a few more details. This wasn’t something new that had just started happening, this is something that had been going on for a long time.
So the father brought the boy to the disciples. They prayed and nothing happened. So if you feel bad for the times you’ve prayed and nothing happened, there you go. It even happened to the disciples.
But, Jesus’ response is pretty straightforward…
Matthew 17:14-21 NKJV – Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
Our inability to use the power of God effectively is not cute to God. Sometimes we get ourselves caught in a sense of false humility saying things like, “I’m just a man. There’s only so much I can do.”
We convince ourselves that this sorry attitude somehow honors God, but it offends Him. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, and that’s what you do with it?
No! God wants us to be confident. He wants us healing the sick and casting out demons. Obviously it’s not because we’re awesome. It’s all because the all powerful One lives on the inside of us and He NEVER leaves us.
Alright, back to the story. The disciples failed. Jesus cleaned up their mess, and here’s what happened next:
Matthew 17:14-21 NKJV – Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;
In other words, you couldn’t do it because of your doubt. Some translations say, “Because of your little faith.” Even my favorite translation, the NLT, says “because you don’t have enough faith.”
But sometimes our modern translations get it wrong. That’s why you should always check things against the translation closest to the original language, which is the KJV or NKJV.
We know this whole “little faith” thing is not accurate because of the continuation of this verse:
Matthew 17:14-21 NKJV – for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
If Jesus was blaming the disciples’ inability to cast out a demon on their little faith, why would He then go on to say all you need is a little faith to move a mountain?
Because Jesus wasn’t talking about little faith. He was talking about doubt and unbelief. The reason the disciples couldn’t cast out the demon is because of their own doubt.
And it seems that this was circumstantial doubt. They watch the boy having a wild seizure right in front of them and this circumstance caused them to doubt if they could handle this one.
Keep in mind, they had already been casting out demons. But this time must have been more scary than the other times because for whatever reason they started to doubt something they had already seen done many times.
So, they asked Jesus why and Have gave them the answer:
Matthew 17:14-21 NKJV – However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Most people read this story and think that Jesus was saying, “This kind of demon only goes out by prayer and fasting.” But He was not talking about the demon here. He was talking about their doubt. This kind of doubt does not go out except by prayer and fasting.
So, the antidote to circumstantial doubt is prayer and fasting. Y’all are getting excited aren’t you? I mean, everyone loves a good fast. Let me tell you why it works this way.
Prayer moves you closer to God.
The more time you spend in prayer, the more aware you are of His presence. If you don’t spend time with God in prayer, you’ll remain closer to your circumstances than you are to God.
Fasting partners up with prayer to take it to the next level.
When you fast, it makes you aware of how much your physical body is in control so you can put it back in its rightful place.
If you want to make your body upset, you should fast. People will kill and even cannibalize because of hunger. The reason is, hunger is one of our strongest desires and probably the easiest one to aggravate.
Some of you can’t go four or five hours without eating. Your body tells you what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat and you just bow down and say, “Oh yes, great body of mine. Have whatever you want.”
So when you fast, your body is crying out, “Feed me! I’m in control here!” And your spirit says, “No, I’m going to believe the Word of God over this pain I feel.” And your body shouts back, “Who do you think you are to deny me? It’s been 20 years since you’ve denied me and I am not going to listen to you.”
But you fast anyways because you know the Word says that man does not live by bread alone but by every word of God. And your body responds, “I’ll be dead by noon, I know it. I won’t survive.”
And so you decide, “Alright, I’ll go two days instead of one.” And your body will say, “No, you can’t! I’ll be dead for sure!” And so you say, “Alright, three days.”
About this time your body realizes it better shut up if it really does want to survive. It’s interesting. After about the first or second day, you don’t even feel hungry anymore because you brought your senses and desires under control.
That’s what fasting is all about. It helps you remember that your body does not get the last word, God does. So when that symptom shows up again, you laugh because you know God’s Word prevails over sickness.
Or when you pray for someone and they get worse, you laugh because you know it doesn’t matter what it looks like, God’s Word works every time as long as we don’t negate our faith through doubt and unbelief.
Circumstantial doubt only comes out through prayer and fasting.
You have to draw yourself closer to God and show your body who’s boss.
Are you realizing now how God has never been withholding miracles? It’s always been you getting in the way of your own faith. But now you know how to overcome it, so get to it.
Take every opportunity to hear the Word of God. And when you have doubt creep in because of past circumstances, it’s time to hit your prayer closet on the regular and treat your body to a good fast.
Truth Removes Doubt
Since the Word of God is what removes doubt, let’s end today overcoming some of the most common doubts with the Word of God.
For each of these, I am going to share the truth and three scriptures to back it up. We don’t have time to camp out on these. But if you are dealing with one of these, write down these scripture references so you can begin to read them out loud every day until the doubt is gone.
Lie: If I’m sick, it must be God’s will.
Truth: God wants me healed every time.
2 Peter 3:9 NLT – …God does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
1 Peter 2:24 NLT – He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.
III John 1:2 NKJV – Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
Lie: The devil is more powerful than me.
Truth: The devil can’t do anything without my cooperation.
James 4:7 NLT – So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Luke 10:19 NLT – Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.
Psalm 91:7 NLT – Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.
Lie: God uses sickness to teach me.
Truth: God rescued me from sickness.
Galatians 3:13 NLT – But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
Mark 2:8-10 NLT – Jesus asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.”
Mark 16:17-18 NLT – These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe … They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.
Lie: God is glorified when I live sick or poor.
Truth: God is glorified when I make a difference.
John 15:7-8 NLT – If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
II Corinthians 1:20 NLT – For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
Matthew 5:16 NLT – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
How do you overcome doubt? By hearing and hearing the Word of God. And when it’s doubt caused by circumstances, bring in the big guns – prayer and fasting.
To wrap up this message, let me share one more story about Jesus. This is found in the eighth chapter of Luke. Jesus was on his way to heal a twelve year old girl and take a look at what happened on the way:
Luke 8:42-48 NLT – …As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
This woman was healed without Jesus even knowing what was going on. She didn’t have to get His attention first. He didn’t have to say anything or do anything. She was healed because of her faith.
I’ve been telling you for the last three weeks that God’s not withholding miracles. And this story proves my point. Jesus is so ready to heal, that as soon as you extend your faith, it’s done.
And remember, regardless of what you see, you’ve received. There may be a time before you see the results of it, but God has heard you and He’s already answered.
Those pesky thoughts of doubt will try to kill the process, but don’t let them win. Every time a doubt hits your mind, reply with the Word of God. The miracle has already been done and it’s on the way.
Praise God for what He is doing in your life!
The Bible says that heaven throws a huge party every time someone says yes to Jesus. There must be a never-ending party going on up there. Heaven is going to be a good time, no doubt about that.
I want to be real with you though. Saying yes to Jesus is more than a prayer you say one Sunday morning. It’s more than the emotions you feel after a sermon that touches your heart.
Saying yes to Jesus is saying goodbye to your old life and yes to new life in Christ. Some of you have been in church for a long time, but you’ve yet to do that. Well, heaven is blowing up balloons now to get ready for your party.
It’s time to say goodbye to me, myself, and I and say yes to Jesus. Yes, I will follow you. Yes, I will do what you Word tells me to do. Yes, I will choose joy.
If that’s you, I want you to have that conversation with Jesus right now. Between you and Him, make that commitment.
Salvation Next Step
If you just prayed that prayer, we want to support you along the journey that’s ahead. But we can’t support you if we don’t know. So we set up an easy way for you to tell us. Simply text the word Jesus to 918-373-9883.
We’re not going to bug you. We’re not going to spam you. We are just going to help guide you through your next step. We’re here for you. So please, go ahead and send that text.