(Photo by Harnoor dhaliwal on Unsplash)

Many in the charismatic movement today are being led away from Jesus, not by sex, booze and drugs, but by an unhealthy fascination with signs, wonders and miracles. For example, a young man shared with me about being in a meeting where miracles were being greatly publicized. He said that at one point the crowd began to chant over and over "Signs! Miracles! Signs! Miracles!"

Choking back the tears, he said, "I felt grieved in my spirit." He was also confused. Why did he feel grieved inside? Aren't we supposed to desire miracles? I assured him that what he experienced was the Holy Spirit in him being grieved by this crowd's unhealthy preoccupation and fascination with miracles. Jesus had been preempted by their self-centered desire to see a miracle.

This reminds me of Herod, who was "exceedingly glad" (Luke 23:8, NKJV) to finally see Jesus when Pilate sent Jesus to him during His trial. Why was Herod "exceedingly glad" to see Jesus? It wasn't because Herod wanted to know Him and His message. Luke 23:8 goes on to say, "He hoped to see some miracle done by Him." Herod wanted to be entertained by a miracle. His interest in Jesus and miracles was centered in himself and his own egotistical desire.

Believers are not to follow signs; signs are to follow believers. Mark 16:15 says, "And these signs will follow [accompany] those who believe." Believers are to follow Jesus and let the signs follow where they will. The devil can perform signs (remember Pharaoh's magicians) and if we are following signs, we are headed for trouble. Here are some suggestions to help keep us on track:

1. Remember that Jesus is the source of true and genuine miracles, so seek Him.

2. Remember that a miracle is not an end in itself, to be sought for its own value. Its only value is in bringing glory to Jesus and helping someone in need.

3. Remember that the primary purpose of miracles is to honor and exalt the name of Jesus, not build up a preacher, church or ministry.

4. Don't follow signs. Follow Jesus and let the signs follow you.

5. Beware of those who would nurture an unhealthy fascination with miracles instead of a closer, more intimate walk with Jesus.

6. Avoid the Herod mentality that wants to be entertained by a miracle in much the same way that people pay to be entertained by a magician.

7. Believe in miracles, but follow Jesus

The above article was first published in 2005. The late T.L. Osborn, a true apostle of God and the father of modern, miracle evangelism, read the article and sent the following email.

Hello Brother Eddie:

Congratulations on your newsletter: "Believe in Miracles, but Follow Jesus." We are facing a real serious plague of superstition in the body of the charismatic Pentecostal world. I am often embarrassed, shocked, ashamed by the silly things people are doing and saying. Keep up the good work. We must let the world know that somebody, somewhere is being faithful to gospel redemption teaching.

Greetings to you both. You are special. The writings that both of you are offering to our world are of tremendous spiritual value.

Your special friend and co-worker with Christ,

T.L. Osborn

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author, historian, Bible teacher and follower of Jesus Christ. He holds an earned doctorate from the School of Divinity at Regent University. His books on reformation, women in the church and spiritual awakening are available from Amazon and his website at eddiehyatt.com.

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