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The Greatest Sign

Michael Beck Michael Beck

 

A craving for the supernatural is all the rage in the Body of Christ nowadays. Signs, wonders, and miracles are the order of the day. Finding people to “practice on” is a daily duty. And without a doubt, there is need all around us. We should have eyes for fields that are “white already to harvest.” Paul did not reprove the Corinthians for their enthusiasm when it came to operating in spiritual gifts. He said he spoke with tongues more than all of them. What he did seek to correct was their failure to walk in a “more excellent way.” (1 Cor. 12:31)

The Bible’s famous chapter on love begins this way:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:1,2)

The greatest and most supernatural possession a Christian can have is love. Without it all else he has by way of supernatural power or gifting is nothing. It certainly is a thrill to feel that God is using you in a supernatural manner to touch the life of another. Who wouldn’t want to be able, by the power of God, to make the lame to walk and the blind to see? How cool is it to pray for people and see them healed of cancer? There are mountains in people’s lives that cannot be moved without a demonstration of the Spirit and power. Then there are words of wisdom and knowledge, prophecies that cause men to fall to their knees and exclaim that “God is in you of a truth.” But are these the greatest demonstrations that God is in us?

Jesus told His disciples: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35) When it comes to loving others we so often rely on our natural abilities. But loving those around us with the love of Christ is just as supernatural as healing the sick, casting out devils, or raising the dead. Seminars and conferences are held where “experts” seek to teach the eager how to activate spiritual gifts and operate in a supernatural dimension. But how to love can only be taught us by God. “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” (1 Thes. 4:9)

When we become born of the Spirit, we are positioned to be taught of the Spirit. The first fruit of the Spirit is love. (Gal. 5:22) If we were experts in loving others with the love of Christ we wouldn’t need to be tutored by the Spirit of Christ. God has placed us in His Son, and put His Son in us so that we might bring forth the fruits that were in the Son’s life. Did the Son do many mighty works? Indeed. And He said that those who believed upon Him would do these same works. (John 14:12) He then added that they would even do “greater works” than these. What are the greater works? Has anyone ever done greater works than Christ Himself? No. But are we commissioned to do greater works than healing the sick and casting out devils? Yes, and Paul told the Corinthians what was greater than these displays of supernatural power: “…But the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Cor. 13:13) To love with the love of Christ requires a supernatural working in our life greater than that of any other.

You may or may not have the opportunity to pray for someone today and see the supernatural hand of God at work in their life. But each day provides us with ample opportunity to put on the love of Christ. If love comes easy it is probably not the supernatural love of God that is flowing. Jesus said: “For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.” (Luke 6:32) We naturally like people who like us. No doubt, our best friends are people who really like us. But what about that person who for some reason just doesn’t like you? You know it. You can feel it. You don’t understand it. You say, “What have I done to them?” It angers you. The natural knee-jerk reaction to not being liked is to not like. We stay away from people we don’t like. We don’t want to be around them. If there is a gathering we find out if they will be there; if so, we find some excuse not to show up. Outwardly we may act cordial enough but inwardly we may be seeing red. We especially have this attitude toward one who has hurt us or one we love. We simply don’t like the person and act accordingly. Is this natural? Perfectly naturally. But do we call ourselves sons and daughters of God? Do we say we love to operate in that which transcends the natural? Then how is it that we are on the lookout when it comes to praying down the power of God on people, but are so absent of this power when it comes to loving the unlovable that are in our orbit? Are we just as desirous to flow in the supernatural love of God toward our enemies as we are wanting His anointing to pray for the sick?

The Corinthian problem is still with us. The letter Paul wrote to them is still needed today; not just as a “road map” when it comes to the operation of the Spirit in signs, wonders, and miracles, but as an exhortation to walk in the greatest miracle of all – the love of Christ. Do not be “sounding brass” or a “tinkling cymbal.” Let the Spirit of Christ teach you to transcend every natural instinct and live and walk in the fullness of God. Be a supernatural sign, wonder, and witness to the world around you. Covet earnestly the “more excellent way.” Walk in the miracle of love.

 


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.