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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Normal Miracles

Believing in them isn't the same as controlling them.

Joshua 2:15–21

Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall. And she said to them, “Get to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you. Hide there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward you may go your way.”

So the men said to her: “We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home. So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. And if you tell this business of ours, then we will be free from your oath which you made us swear.”

Then she said, “According to your words, so be it.” And she sent them away, and they departed. And she bound the scarlet cord in the window.

Rahab clearly believes in miracles, but she’s not relying on one here. She has a plan to get the spies home safely. She had already launched that plan when she sent the Jericho posse on a wild goose chase.

This is not a lack of faith on Rahab’s part. Believing in miracles isn’t the same as controlling them, or even being able to predict them. There are some cases in the Bible of people controlling miracles, such as the apostles all through Acts, but Rahab doesn’t know about those gifts, much less have them.

She’s functioning like a normal believer.

There are two opposite errors that people make regarding miracles. Some folks don’t believe in them at all. Others think there are people in this age that have apostolic level gifts. The truth is in between.

Miracles happen. I’ve seen plenty.

Prayer is effective. Never hesitate to pray for something just because the situation feels hopeless. Also, if you feel an especially strong tug to pray for someone or something, definitely follow that leading. This is an important part of a Christian’s relationship with the Holy Spirit. Those prayers are as glorious as anything can get. They honor God while growing us.

And treasure those prayers. I’d even recommend making some notes. I wouldn’t want to forget a moment like that. It’s also good to have the clearest possible record of God’s response. Seeing the hand of God is a life-changing experience and recalling the prayer context enhances perception.

But it’s a mistake to assume that prayers like that come with a guarantee. God’s plans can be complex. His response to prayer is glorious and informative even when it doesn’t fit our desires.

Especially when it doesn’t fit our desires.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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