Galatians 3:5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
What comes to mind as I read this is how many churches today have never seen a miracle, or at least one they recognized, and there is little or no evidence of the Holy Spirit being present. This is not a matter of denominations, it’s a matter of hearing with faith. Too many today take the Bible as a book of fairy tales, and certainly don’t seek to apply it in their daily living. At the time Paul wrote this very little of the New Testament had been written, so they were operating on oral testimonies backed up with Old Testament prophecies. That’s why the emphasis here is on hearing. Today we have the whole Bible in almost more forms than you could count, and yet people don’t take the Word in and really believe it to put it into practice. Paul was really having to get on the Galatians because they were becoming legalistic, but at least they had the Spirit and the miracles in the first place! The Church today needs to wake up and examine itself, shake off empty forms and get back to believing and living out the Word of God.
I have to include myself in that, because this church has seen very few miracles, at least that the world would acknowledge. We are seeing the fruit of the Spirit that Paul talks about later in Galatians, but we have plenty of room to grow in all areas. As Paul said in Romans 10:17, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ. As pastor, I must be both careful and bold to speak the Word in love, in season and out of season, not failing to speak because I doubt the reception will be good but trusting God to use His Word to produce His results. That applies to speaking both to non-believers and to believers, because all need to grow in faith so that they may receive all that God has prepared for them in Christ.
Father, thank You for the opportunities You gave Cathy and me yesterday to share Christ at some length with people. Thank you that both those people are hungry. I pray that they would not delay to open their hearts to be born again, and I pray that there would be many more to follow them. I pray also for the believers who are already in the church, that their eyes would be lifted from themselves and their circumstances and fixed on You, so that they may believe and trust You enough to allow You to do in and through them all that You have planned, for their blessing and for the growth of the Body of Christ, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!