Miracles are not accidental occurrences; they are the deliberate acts of God provoked by the desperate faith of men. Faith is a vital key for unlocking the door to the miraculous. That was why Jesus said:

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Mark 16:17

The condition for signs to follow one is belief. The believer compels signs and wonders to pursue after him. Signs don't follow every Christian, only those who actually believe.

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
Mark 9:23

That means that as far as God is concerned miracles are not initiated by Him, but by man. God is a miracle worker, that is what He does best. He does not deny Himself, He abides faithful. His side is intact; in fact, He is surprised when miracles do not occur. Miracles are as natural to God as breathing is to man. If this is true, and God is constant, where lies the variable then?

The variable is on man's side. God will only act when He sees faith. Faith is the connection between man and the miracle-working power of God.

When the Jews observed how miracles attended to Jesus, they were stirred up to ask:

... What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
John 6:28

And Jesus' response is very revealing.

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
John 6:29

Therefore the cardinal way to "work the works of God" is by faith. I am not talking about the mental assent of "I believe", but the "work" known as faith. You may ask, "Is faith a work?" Hear this:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
John 14:12

Faith is a work! Consider the account of the woman with the issue of blood. She needed a miracle from Jesus, yet many people were thronging Him. But by faith, she pressed through the crowd, until she touched Jesus and drew virtue from Him. She got connected to signs by her faith. That was not just the mental assent of "I believe Jesus can heal me." The multitude believed, but the steps she took demonstrated her faith. That's the work of faith! Jesus crowned it all by saying:

...Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Mark 5:34

Friend, without faith you cannot do signs nor receive signs. Without faith you are sign-barren! You need the instrument of faith to work miracles. Not tears, but faith!

And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us.

And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
Matthew 9:27-29

The tears of the blind men did not move Jesus to act on their behalf. So, tears do not produce miracles. It is pathetic to note that this same incidence recorded in Matthew 9 is still prevalent in the Church today. Too many are still crying after Jesus for miracles. They have been following for long, crying after Him for miracles. Some undergo 40, 70 and even 100 days fast, just to cry to Him for miracles. But weeping will not produce signs.

The same question Jesus asked the blind men is the same He is still asking people today: "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" Until faith is in place, your tears are a waste. How long you have been following Him is irrelevant. All that will deliver the sign into your hand is your faith. For without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews. 11:6).

In Acts 14:8-10, the story is told of a man who had been lame from his mother's womb. He received his miracle simply because he believed. As a matter of fact, nobody picked him up, he rose up by himself! And as he arose, strength came to his lame legs. Paul looking at him, perceived that he had faith to be healed. Faith is what connects you to the miraculous.

Looking closely at Hebrews 11, I discovered that all the men mentioned there were men of faith. For instance, Enoch was translated and did not see death, because of his faith. Moses' amazing ministry was run and sustained largely by faith.

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.

By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter...

By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
Hebrews 11:23-29

That enormous ministry, characteristed by mind-boggling wonders was a product of faith! I paraphrased Hebrews 11:6 to read:

But without faith it is impossible to move God; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and is up to the task he's presenting before Him.

The Force of Faith

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

Faith is a substance. It is not a figment of man's imagination, neither is it a psychological state of mind. From the reference above, it is substantial; it is a tangible "takeable", "handleable" force .

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Ephesians 6:16

"Taking the shield of faith." If faith is not a substance, you cannot take it. The fact that I said faith is a tangible force does not make it physical. It is definitely as real as the air we breathe, and equally invisible to the human eye. It is therefore a spiritual entity, a living force. It is the trigger that provokes supernatural interventions. It is beyond the mental sphere.

Faith is a spiritual entity. How then do we take delivery of it?

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17

The Word of God is the delivery van of faith. It transports faith to you. The Word can also be likened to a pregnant woman, and the child in the womb faith. Only those who labour in the Word deliver faith. Just as a pregnant woman must go into labour before her child is born, so also must one labour in the Word of God before faith can be born.

Also, you cannot have faith without knowing it, just as a child cannot be born without the mother's knowledge; if any thing, she cannot forget the pushing or labour process. Faith comes that same way; not in the labour ward, but in the "Labour Word".

The sister in this testimony laboured in the Word, which gave birth to faith, that delivered her much desired baby to her.

"I was here last year for the last Feet-washing service of the year, trusting God for the fruit of the womb. Precisely three months before my wedding, I stopped menstruating. After my wedding, I went to see the doctor. The first doctor said, ‘Madam, I am sorry you’ll find it difficult to take in.’ The second one said, ‘Sorry, without menstruating, ovulation cannot take place. Without ovulation, you cannot get pregnant.’ He then said, ‘Tell your husband to get between 10,000 to 100,000 naira ready, and I will carry out different tests, to know what exactly is wrong with you.’

Initially, I began to run from one hosptial to the other, seeing the gynaecologists. Later I got hold of one of Bishop’s publications, You Shall Not Be Barren! The first paragraph I read said, ‘There is no biological reason that is strong enough to hold married couples from getting pregnant, if they want to.’ I held on to that. And he further said, ‘The Bible says, be fruitful and multiply’. I then said to myself, ‘Menses or no menses, I am getting pregnant!’

During the last Feet-washing Service in 1996, I came here and was sitting under the canopy. The Bishop said, ‘Today, the devil will see you and will cry’. I said amen. And he said, ‘Today, we are going to disgrace the devil and give God a serious dance.’ I was really prepared. He further said, ‘Matthew (song leader), come and lead us in worshipping God in the Ijesha dialect.’ The talking drum was playing full swing and I began to dance.

When it was my turn to wash my feet, I dipped my feet inside the water and said, ‘Enough of barrenness, enough of unfruitfulness. Today, menses or no menses, I am getting my baby. I am coming here with my baby at the last Feet-washing service of the year in 1997.’ After that, I began to dance as if I was out in a competition.

My husband wasn’t at the service, so when I got home, I told him, ‘Look, our baby is ready’ and he said, ‘Okay’. In January, I went to the hospital to see my doctor. I told him, ‘Look, I am pregnant.’ He said, ‘Okay, let’s carry out the most accurate test, which is the blood pregnancy test.’ But the result was negative. I went home and told my husband, and he said the doctor didn’t see well.

In February I went back to the hospital and told my doctor, ‘Check me, I am pregnant.’ He said, ‘Madam, I don’t mean to frighten you. I don’t think you can be pregnant. I am sure it is because of your menstrual cycle. It is either you have PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease), ectopic pregnancy or the ovarian cyst is still disturbiing you’.

But I said, ‘Doctor, I cannot have any of these diseases.’ He said, ‘Why are you so sure?’ I said, ‘It is because from Genesis to Revelation there is nothing like that.’ He said, ‘Madam, go and do a scan again.’

By the time I got to the scan doctor’s door, I began to shake. The doctor said, ‘But woman, I have scanned you before.’ I said in my heart, ‘God don’t make me a case study in this hospital.’ The man placed his scanning machine on me and said, ‘Woman you are pregnant’! And I began to cry. I said, ‘Doctor, how many months pregnancy?’ and he replied, ‘11 weeks and 4 days’. Today, I have my baby in my hands - a bouncing baby boy!"

Olowosuko, A.

Faith Gives Substance To Hope

When the Bible talks about faith being the substance of things hoped for, it means that the things you hope for, your expectations, cannot be realised until you inject faith into them. It is faith plus hope that equals manifestation.

Many people miss it by hoping for miracles without activating their faith. But hope alone is nothing but an idle wish. It is faith that makes it a reality.

For example, I cannot see me fail, lie stretched out on a hospital bed or trapped in an accident vehicle. That is my expectation, my hope. But to give it substance, so that these woes never befall me, I have located God's Word on success, divine health and protection.

Standing on the Word is faith, while my expectaction is hope; which is given substance by faith, guaranteeing the manifestation of my expectation.

Faith Guarantees Rest

For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Hebrews 4:3

Can you imagine a Family without problems, a ministry without crisis, a body without sickness, a pocket that is never empty, and a life without any worries whatsoever? Nothing defines the word "rest" more than these.

Rest is a worry-free existence. It is a much sought-after commodity, because nobody wants to live in worry. However, not everyone knows how to enter into it. One sure access to God's rest is faith.

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Hebrews 4:9-11

Labour is required in order to enter into God's rest; that is labouring in the Word of God. You stay at the Word until you encounter faith, which in turn leads to rest. It was laborious those three days I went in search of prosperity, but I stayed at the Word until faith came and its result was financial rest.

Having laboured, I have "ceased from my own works", as God ceased from His. Abundance now attends to me naturally. There is no other way to life in the miraculous outside faith; and it is those who labour in the Word that encounter it.

I like the word "labour". Jesus said to the multitudes:

... Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
John 6:26-27

He was telling them not to labour for perishable bread, but for the Bread of life - the Word of God. As we labour for the bread of life, we take delivery of faith, which establishes us in rest. The moment faith comes, it commands rest on all sides. "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." When all things become possible to you, your rest is established.

That is why you cannot afford to be Word weary. As long as you keep hungering for the Word you are on the path to the miraculous. I am not talking about just reading, but reading, searching, meditating, until faith strikes in your heart. The moment faith strikes, there's a sigh of relief, because rest has come.

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:11-12

I love Doddie Osteen's testimony. She was struck with terminal cancer, and her husband, a mighty man of God, had prayed for her, but borrowing Bible words, "She was nothing bettered." He invited other mighty men of God, who also prayed, but there was still no improvement.

With just six more days to live, Doddie settled down with the Word and located forty powerful scriptures that guaranteed victory over cancer and death. With the last strength she had left in her, she began to feed on these scriptures, until faith struck in her heart.

In other words she sat down and mixed those forty scriptures with faith in the laboratory of her heart. She is still hale and hearty today, several years after her appointed day of death!

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Hebrews 4:2

Once the Word goes inside and is mixed with faith, it delivers definite benefits to you. If Doddie had refused to labour in the Word, she would have died, the great ministry they have notwithstanding, because God is not a respecter of persons.

Some years ago I wrote a book titled, Power Over Death. The title scared a lot of people, so I retitled it, Long Life Your Heritage. That book came from a week-long seminar on the weakness of death over the believer. But first, I had sat down with scriptures, running through Genesis to Revelation, until I discovered that death does not have the final say in the life of a child of God.

Shortly after my discoveries, death literally came to my room. I was at the point of death when the Holy Spirit on my inside asked me, "What are you doing here?" and I replied, "I don't know too." With that, I jumped out of bed, went to the bathroom, got dressed and went on a journey, saying, "Any death on my way, I will drive over your head and break you." That was not just a boast, but a statement rooted in the light I had just received from God's Word.

When God's Word is ignited by faith in your heart, you command signs and wonders. But without faith you can neither receive nor do signs.

At a time, death came to take our last daughter, and was actually taking her away. But I went into my office, locked the door and said to myself, "There is always a way out of any situation. I am here to locate that way." I laboured in the quick and powerful Word of God until I found certain nuggets that forbade the activity of death over my offspring. I squeezed out the substance in them, until faith rose up in me and gave me the authority required for victory.

At that point I knew death had lost the battle. When she recovered I wrote a poem welcoming her back. In it I said she had been in a basket, as it were, on the waters of death; but the crocodiles could not eat her. All through the period she was down, there was no crying, vibrating or gyrating from me. I simply laboured in the Word until faith came and death was swallowed up in victory!

There is no point waiting for miracles to happen on their own accord, you can make them happen! A choice to wait is a choice to waste. Don't say, "I know someday I will be pregnant." If you are barren, today can be that day for you. Many people have waited like that for years without getting anything at the end.

But your miracle is available today! What you really need is the key of faith. Once it comes, your mountains will be levelled, and the impossible will become possible.

Therefore faith is the cheapest way to continuous victory (1 John 5:4). It is also the ticket to life in the miraculous. Once you are born of God, faith is your emblem, it's your staff of office and authority in the midst of conflict.

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