Seek God; Not Signs

“Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him.  But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.” Mark 8:11-12 NKJV

Ironically this verse was in mind in relation to an interesting encounter I had yesterday. And here we read about this 2 times (and didn’t we read this yesterday as well?) I have been studying the chronology of Peter’s and Paul’s ministries in preparation for finishing the New Testament with you and I get confused about what I said to you and didn’t – without going back and reading. lol

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Matthew, chapter 16, the book of Mark, chapter 8 and the book of Luke, chapter 9, verses 18-27 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

Yesterday this website was under attack. Someone or plural, came after a bunch of our posts. I have things set to be moderated and I am so glad I do!!! You all do not need to be reading the angry, abusive comments. The blog was shared as well – they were sharing and calling me and the word of God all sorts of terrible things. And they threatened to report me. 
I was working on my leather business when my notifications started to dig, after a few I stopped working, washed my hands and checked it out.  It was chaotic to follow what was happening. But since everything was going to moderation, I went back to work and figured I could sort it out later.  
And I did. I read the messages. Someone (not sure if a man or a woman) in Sweden, I think – that was where I traced the IP to, is crying out in pain and possessed by many demons and afflictions. They are angry that God hasn’t healed them. They seek a sign, they seek a healing – they do not seek God and do not wish to be freed from the bondages of the devil.  They wanted to get my attention. They did. They wanted my prayers and now they have them. But I cannot make the shift inside them from seeking a healing to seeking the healer. When their heart is right God’s grace will transform them and they will be forgiven and saved. But they do not want that, they want healing.

Beware of the leaven – but their account was deleted before I could block them.  

But – it does lead us to ponder, are we here for the healing or the healer? Are we here for the provisions or the provider?

My son says he will come to God when he sees a sign and he has been given a multitude of signs and wonders – yet he has not come. A little leaven, leavens the whole loaf, sadly.

I know a Rabbi who said he was asking God to show him an angel.  He wanted to see the glorious sight and experience it all, like he heard many other describe.  As he told me, I worried for him – he obviously did not know what he asked for.  As he continued the story – he explained that at some point his prayers were focused on the angel and not on God. Here he is with a greater blessing, of being able to come to God himself, but he was angry because he couldn’t see an angel. Seek God – not the signs!!!
God sent an angel to him, dressed like a man and without any shining glory and the angel rebuked him; and he knew it was an angel because he felt the spirit of the Lord and it was confirmed by witnesses. “You want and angel and not me?” Asks God. “Here” as the angel punches him in the gut! (not literally but the angel did rebuke him.)

I share this story because, even those of us on fire and serving God can get off track seeking signs and not the sign maker. It is not wrong to desire to see people healed or to be healed. It is not wrong to want to see and angel. It is not wrong to want to see proof (like Thomas) that our God lives and is powerful. What is wrong is seeking these things and NOT God.

This is all tied up in the fact that signs and wonders are NOT following most who believe. Is it their belief? No doubt they have faith and it does not take great faith to make a sign or wonder follow you. So do not let the enemy condemn you.
But for those who do not have the signs and wonders following them, examine your heart – are you seeking God. Will you still serve him if he doesn’t answer your prayers, if you do not get healed, if things do not work out the way you want? Are you fasting and praying and spending time in the secret place? Are you getting plugged in so you can receive the downloads? Are you relationship building?

In the book of Acts – Peter walked by and his shadow was healing people! Is that for us today? I do not see why not – but have you given up all that Peter gave up and committed even to being thrown in jail and killed??

It is such a small difference to seek the healing and not the healer – but leaven is small, very small and a little is all it takes to change the property of the dough – from flat bread to a fluffy loaf. And no – it is not about the bread!!!

It is about eyes on Jesus. And a relationship!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! These memory verses were selected, last year for this year.  As many of you tell me of the great attacks on your lives – the timing is perfect! But of course it is, it is God!

Deuteronomy 28:7

NKJV – “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
NAS – “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated by you; they will go out against you one way and will flee at your presence seven ways.”
ESV – “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
AMP – “The LORD will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way, but flee before you seven ways.”
NIV – “The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Matthew 16, Mark 8, & Luke 9:18-27 NKJV

Matthew 16

The Pharisees and Sadducees Seek a Sign

16 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ [a]Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of [b]the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed.

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees

Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the [c]leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have taken no bread.”

But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you [d]have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? 10 Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? 11 How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the [e]leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the [f]doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not [g]prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth [h]will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.

Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection

21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, [i]“Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are [j]an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 16:3 NU omits Hypocrites
  2. Matthew 16:4 NU omits the prophet
  3. Matthew 16:6 yeast
  4. Matthew 16:8 NU have no bread
  5. Matthew 16:11 yeast
  6. Matthew 16:12 teaching
  7. Matthew 16:18 be victorious
  8. Matthew 16:19 Or will have been bound . . . will have been loosed
  9. Matthew 16:22 Lit. Merciful to You (May God be merciful)
  10. Matthew 16:23 a stumbling block

Mark 8

Feeding the Four Thousand

In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.”

Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?”

He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?”

And they said, “Seven.”

So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, 10 immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

The Pharisees Seek a Sign

11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. 12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees and Herod

13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side. 14 Now [a]the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the [b]leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”

16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.”

17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart [c]still hardened? 18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”

They said to Him, “Twelve.”

20 “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?”

And they said, “Seven.”

21 So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”

A Blind Man Healed at Bethsaida

22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.

24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”

25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. 26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, [d]“Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?”

28 So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”

29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”

30 Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him.

Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not [e]mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him

34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Footnotes

  1. Mark 8:14 NU, M they
  2. Mark 8:15 yeast
  3. Mark 8:17 NU omits still
  4. Mark 8:26 NU “Do not even go into the town.”
  5. Mark 8:33 setting your mind on

Luke 9:18-27

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

18 And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”

19 So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.”

20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”

Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection

21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [a]daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”

Footnotes

  1. Luke 9:23 M omits daily

4 Replies to “Seek God; Not Signs”

  1. Yes, beware, as signs can deceive!
    Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
    ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭19:20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬https://bible.com/bible/114/rev.19.20.NKJV

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great point! There are a few reasons not to seek signs – maybe I should pull all those verses and compile a multi-point sermon out of it! And today I have seen multiple post on testing the spirits – so it does all line up, doesn’t it?
      Deception is a huge contender against ministry and kingdom work, right now. But so is missing the point – not seeing the forest through the tress – and seeking healing and provision instead of the healer and provider. It was hard to stay on one point. But I did! Someone must have needed that hammered home or God is teaching me to stay on point. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I went through a months-long “How do I know I’m saved?” time. I concluded that seeing and/or doing miracles is no proof whatsoever!
        “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
        Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV

        Like

      2. Gasp! – Absolutely true that signs and wonders – and letting God do them through you does not guarantee heaven. and if we isolate that verse and look an no other verse – it says doing the will of God is the only thing that does. Luckily, that goes with what we are saying here – which is seek God (and in this case) there is no other way to really know and do His will specifically for your life. If you seek through scriptures and obey – you’ll get there. That is grace!
        If you ever go through it again – or if anyone else does – here is a good way to fight that off. First, condemnation and doubt like that come from the enemy playing off your weakness – when I am weak, God in me is strong – but what if God isn’t really in me?! so, pray. say the “salvation prayer” ask God to save you. It is in every post I post, so it will be easy to find. There are other versions or you can say your own. Obviously you believe. Obviously you have the heart to obey. Obviously you seek salvation – so seek the savior! Amen?!
        Signs and wonders are great and we are about to see them more than ever (in our lifetimes) – but do not seek them, seek God. they cannot save you – only Jesus is the savior!
        Your salvation is always a quick prayer away: Hey God, forgive me and save me, please – the answer is always yes. And you can tell the enemy where he can go with his accusations, condemnations and attacks. We have complete victory – won at the cross.
        Heavenly Father I pray that you wrap Mark and the other readers with a hedge of protection. Let your peace guard their minds. Visit them with assurance and give them a hunger to get to know you so well the earth shakes! In the name of Jesus I pray – amen!

        Liked by 1 person

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