Contributor: Martins Olubiyi
We have established that the gifts of the Spirit can be categorised into three major divisions: The Utterance gifts, The Revelation gifts and the Power gifts. The Power gifts encompass the gift of faith, the working of miracles and the gift of healing. Today by the grace of God we shall be examining the gift of Working of Miracles. To access any of these gifts it is important we bear in mind the injunction of Apostle Paul when he said ‘but covet earnestly the best gifts…’ 11Cor 12:31a.
To covet is to desire as he stated in 1Cor 14:1. So we must earnestly desire these gifts before we can find full expression of it in our work with the Lord.
Text: 1 Cor 12: 7-11.
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
TO ANOTHER THE WORKING OF MIRACLES; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
The Working of Miracles Defined
A miracle can be defined as a supernatural intervention by God in the ordinary course of nature. The word miracle is very encompassing. When we use the word "miracle" generally speaking, it means one thing; but used specifically, it means something else. For example, sometimes the word "miracle" is used generally as a figure of speech. We talk, for instance, about miracle drugs, miracle detergents, e.t.c. In nature we might see a beautiful sunrise and say, "That's a miracle." We might look at a beautiful rose garden ablaze with glorious color, the perfume of the flowers ascending into the heavens, and say that it is a "miracle" of nature.
None of these things are a miracle specifically speaking, but generally speaking they are. In the magnificent sunrise, the sun is doing exactly what it ought to do according to the laws of nature. The rose is doing exactly what it was meant to do according to the laws of nature.
Therefore, specifically, these are not miracles because a miracle is a supernatural intervention in the ordinary course of nature. The new birth is a supernatural act which takes place in the spiritual realm.
We do not call that a miracle according to our definition of the word "miracle": a supernatural intervention in the ordinary course of nature. What we call a miracle in the specific sense, is a supernatural act on a natural plane. Therefore, the new birth is not a supernatural act in the natural realm; it is a supernatural act in the spiritual realm. The natural birth is in the natural realm. One is spiritual and the other is natural, and neither are miracles in the specific sense. Every one of the gifts of the Spirit is miraculous; they are all supernatural. In the general use of the word "miracle," all gifts of the Spirit are miracles, not just the gift of the working of miracles. But specifically speaking, all of them are not. When the working of miracles is in manifestation, there is a divine intervention in the ordinary course of nature. For example, the dividing of a stream by the sweep of a mantle is an example of the working of miracles in operation (2 Kings 2:14). After Elijah ascended to heaven in a chariot in the whirlwind, Elisha received his mantle and smote the Jordan River. Dividing the waters by a sweep of his mantle was the working of miracles because that was a supernatural intervention in the ordinary course of nature.
Now let's look at examples from the Bible of this gift in operation.
Through the working of miracles, loaves were multiplied (Matt 14:17-21; Mark 6:38-44; Luke 9:13-17; John 6:9-14).
Through the working of miracles, a solid iron axe head was made to float in water as if it were a piece of wood (2 Kings 6:5-7).
Through the working of miracles, the raging force of a storm was quieted (Mark 4:37-41; Luke 8:23-25).
Through the working of miracles, a multitude of fish filled the disciples' net when they let it down at Jesus' instruction (John 21:6-8, 11).
Through the working of miracles, the widow's small pot of oil became a fountain of oil and provided sustenance for her and her son (2 Kings 4:1-7).
The Importance of the Working of Miracles
God certainly worked a miracle when He spoke the earth and the world into existence. When the Lord permits a person through the power of the Holy Spirit to speak a word, and the miraculous occurs, then the same God who created the world is allowing some of His omnipotence to be manifested through that person. But, remember, these gifts of the Spirit, including the gift of the working of miracles, operate as the Spirit wills. By the working of miracles, a nation was plagued to ensure the deliverance of God's people and to bring Him glory (Exod. 7:12). By the working of miracles, the shadow cast by the sun went back ten steps on a sun dial as a sign that King Hezekiah would live and not die (Isa.38:1-8).
Through the working of miracles, suddenly and astonishingly a rod that was thrown to the ground miraculously became a serpent (Exod. 7:10). Through the working of miracles, fire flashed from the sky and consumed a sacrifice as well as the altar upon which it had been sacrificed (1 Kings 18:38). One time through the working of miracles, a prophet even made it thunder and hail (Exod. 9:23).
Elijah and the Widow
The working of miracles was also used in the Old Testament to provide for those in want. For example, it was a working of miracles when the widow's cruse of oil didn't fail, but kept flowing out like a fountain of oil until it filled up every vessel she had, and still the cruse kept flowing with oil (1 Kings 17:8-16).
Working of Miracles in the New Testament.
Now let's look at a few examples of the working of miracles in operation in the New Testament. Jesus and the Feeding of the Five Thousand, when Jesus took the little boy's lunch and fed five thousand with it (John 6:5-14).
In Acts 8: vs 5 -6 “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the MIRACLES which he did.”
ACTS 6: vs 8
“And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and MIRACLES among the people.”
ACTS 15: vs 12 “Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what MIRACLES and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.”
ACTS 19: vs 11-12
“And God wrought special MIRACLES by the hands of Paul so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and evil spirits went out of them.”
The passage goes on to tell us about some of the miraculous healings which took place.
It takes purity and earnest desire to access the magnetic field of God’s power. If we are ready to pay the price with the ultimate aim to see Jesus glorified in our calling, God will make all grace abound and orchestrate events that will allow us to be vessels unto honour ready for the Master’s use.