Finding Fulfillment in Following God

A letter for the New Year…

I’m so tired of Hallmark and Pixar stealing the word miracle and degrading it to “magic”. The world would have us believe that the two concepts are completely interchangeable… or else, if there has to be a difference, that magic is a slight of hand trick with a natural explanation done by human hands and miracles are more reliant on the supernatural… but no, we seriously need to draw a distinction here.

A magic trick is just that, a magicians skillfully practiced and painstakingly executed slight of hand (think Magic for Humans, Now you See Me, and The Prestige) but magic in general is what people are looking for anymore when they ask for miracles. True “magic” also relies on the supernatural and has no natural explanation. It’s what all the movies are talking about when they ask for Christmas “miracles”, Christmas magic or Christmas wishes. It’s what we want when we ask for “impossible” favors from God to make life easier for us or fix all our problems. Magic is what we want when we wish this life were already heaven.

Magic and Miracles - Magic is what we wish for when we wish this life were already heaven

Miracles, on the other hand, point us to heaven. Miracles are God taking “impossible” action in this human world to draw us back to Him, to protect and save His own, to prove that He is God, that He is there, that He is worthy of our trust, to remind us that nothing is impossible for Him. God uses miracles to validate messages and messengers and to draw us back to Him.

God is not a showman, desperate for our attention to validate His ego, nor is He a waiter or a salesman hanging on our every whim to ensure Himself a good tip or commission.

He does not need us, He WANTS us.

Magic and Miracles - God does not NEED us, He WANTS us

Why don’t we “see” more miracles then?

Sometimes, if He did the miracles we ask for because it would make our lives too easy and we would forget our need for Him.

They exchanged their glorious God
    for an image of a bull, which eats grass.
 They forgot the God who saved them,
    who had done great things in Egypt,
miracles in the land of Ham
    and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. – Psalm 120: 20-22

Sometimes, His miracles simply wouldn’t make any difference to us.

He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” – Luke 16:31

And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. – Matthew 13:58

Miracles always point to God.

Magic is just wishes on stars or genies in bottles (or, a whole other level of intensity, that starts to involve spells and incantations to invoke the opposite sort of powers and give us a sense of control over the supernatural – Hello, Harry Potter creepyness). It’s the Fall all over again.

The serpent said to the woman, “You certainly will not die! […] you will become like God…” – Genesis 3:4-5

Magic only makes us greedier. It brings out our sense of entitlement and makes us wonder why God doesn’t bend to our whims. It makes us blame God for our dissatisfaction and say that it is His fault this world isn’t heaven.

If God would only do this for me, I’d be happy.  Doesn’t God want me to be happy? – God must not care, if He’s even real at all…  Sound familiar?

I’d even go so far as to say that believing in magic or wishing for magic is the reason our world is turning away from God…

because we’ve turned away from miracles.

We’ve replaced our need for miracles with “magic” and reduced miracles to unfinished science projects.

But, science itself is a miracle! The order in the universe that God created and bends when it suits Him is a miracle. The development of a child in the womb is a miracle. Our lives and the way our brains regulate involuntary processes like breath and heart rate is a miracle. The fact that our planet still sustains us after all we’ve done to destroy it is a miracle. The way God secretly multiplies the funds and food of those perfectly generous with Him is a miracle. The witness of the gospel writers and the first martyrs is a miracle. The fact that Christianity still exists and that so many of our most important documents and artifacts have survived the test of time and persecution is a miracle. The lives of the steadfast saints who went before us and the trials they endured made each and every moment a miracle. That’s why we’ve discarded them as aggrandized legend.

We MUST regain our sense of God. Our awe at His power, our trust in His might.

Magic and Miracles - We are CALLED to a life of Miracles

We are CALLED to live a life of miracles. A life that points to the power of the One who made us. We aren’t called to be calculating, cautious, “reasonable”, or painstaking, reducing our faith or our lives to what’s “possible”. We are called to be lavish (Mt 26:7, Mk 14:3), unflinching, vulnerable, and to step out of the boat.

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these – John 14:12

So, Here’s to a 2023 of coming back to earth, of stepping out of the dream world of sparkles, rainbows, unicorns, and CGI, a life of everything exactly how we think we “want” it all the time, of spoiled rotten expectancy, entitlement, and inaction, of skipping our role in this life because wishing on stars is easier than showing up. And here’s to a life of believing in miracles, a life not stripped of purpose, a life of more God.Magic and Miracles - Here's to a life of more God


Join me this January as I debut a special email series on transforming Christian GOAL SETTING – Taking those resolutions from Head to Heart  for our life of miracles and learning to live intentionally from a place of identity and grace. Click for more info and to sign up. I hope to see you inside.

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