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It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
Whitaker House (September 6, 2011)
At age 80, Dr. Marilyn Hickey, founder and president of Marilyn Hickey Ministries, is still going strong. Known and loved worldwide for her clear, down-to-earth Bible teaching, she’s brought Scripture to life for countless thousands through her radio and TV broadcasts, books, and speaking ministry. In recent years she’s ministered across the U.S. as well as in the Sudan, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, India, China and Pakistan. The author of dozens of books and pamphlets, Marilyn Hickey’s recent Whitaker House releases include: Spiritual Warfare, The Names of God, Total Healing, and Your Pathway to Miracles. She and her daughter co-host the weekly worldwide television show, Marilyn and Sarah.
Visit the author's website.
In her latest book worldwide Bible teacher Marilyn Hickey offers a “how to” for those in need of a miracle. Dr. Hickey teaches readers how to learn to build trust in God, creatively interweaving faith-building Scriptures with her considerable personal experience, such as giving birth to her daughter after being told it was medically impossible. Christian leaders are applauding the results, recommending Your Pathway to Miracles to their congregations and audiences, with Joyce Meyer saying, “it will fuel your faith and give you a new passion to believe God for the miraculous,” and from Richard Roberts: “allow her new book to set you on your own journey for miracles in the mighty name of Jesus.”
List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (September 6, 2011)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
What Miracle Are You Seeking?
In the United States and around the world, countless numbers of people are looking for miracles in their lives. When some people say, “I’m praying for a miracle,” they are really talking about wishful thinking or a vague hope that things will get better. Others, however, mean that they are asking God to intervene in their lives based on the reality of His promises. There’s a big difference! Over the years, my ministry has received numerous reports of miracles that have come through prayer and holding on to God’s Word, miracles such as:
My eight-year-old son had leukemia. I called for prayer for strength to go through the treatment. That wonderful prayer partner rebuked the disease and prayed that he be healed in Jesus’ name. Now my son is healed! There is no leukemia in his body! It was such a testimony to the doctors and nurses.
I had a nervous breakdown [and when I was feeling the worst I would] listen to you say, “This is the best day of your life!”…Little by little the joy I felt began to increase.…I want you to know that my mind is healed now. I was sick for seven years. I feel the peace of God and the joy of the Lord again.
I recently requested that you agree with me to lose weight because I had reached a whopping 203 pounds. Well, praise God, the Lord has done a miracle for me. I went on a diet and have lost 53 pounds, and I’m not through yet.
You prophesied that a child who had been kidnapped by his father was going to be returned to his mother. I claimed that word as mine! I had stood in faith for 2 1/2 years before that word; and in less than one month, my son was returned to me. I was tired and weary…ready to give up—your word from God renewed my strength to stand.
Everyone needs a miracle of some kind, whether it is one of healing, financial provision, restoration of broken relationships, open doors of opportunity, favor with another person, or another intervention of God. I have experienced many miracles in my life, and I am still experiencing them. Miracles are available to us today because God’s Word promises them. What miracle are you seeking?
Our heavenly Father is a God of the miraculous. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is a miraculous book. It is a supernatural gift, a revelation from God, which He has given for our instruction, comfort, and guidance in life. It tells us of many miracles God has provided for His people over thousands of years. Yet the Bible doesn’t talk just about past miracles; it tells us how we can experience miracles in the present and the future. God hasn’t changed. He desires to do miracles for us, too!
For I am the Lord, I do not change. (Malachi 3:6)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
A Miraculous Sign
A miracle is something that, without the intervention of God, would never have happened to the person who received it. A miracle may also be defined as something that occurs outside the natural processes of life that we would ordinarily experience in our physical world.
In October 2000, I took a group of travelers on a ministry trip to La Paz, Bolivia, and held a series of citywide meetings in the stadium there. There are many indigenous people in Bolivia whose cultural roots are steeped into idolatry, witchcraft, shamanism, and the like, and who need to hear the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.
One of the travelers accompanying us told me she’d had a unique dream. “I dreamed that there were three rainbows in perfect arches in the sky,” she said. “I don’t know what it means, but it could be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit or some special visitation while we’re in Bolivia.” I didn’t share this conversation with anyone but kept it hidden in my heart.
While we were in Bolivia, we would hold three nights of healing meetings in the stadium, as well as two days of meetings with Bolivian ministers, because we like to pour the knowledge of God’s Word into the hearts of ministers. We had brought books printed in Spanish, and we had special times of instruction and fellowship with them.
The president of Bolivia invited me to join a breakfast meeting he was sponsoring, and I was asked to speak to some of the key leaders in the government. This was an unexpected and wonderful open door for ministry.
Little did I dream what God the Father would do to prepare the hearts of the people for that breakfast and our healing meetings. The first morning of our ministry training school, we were in downtown La Paz teaching the local pastors. About one thousand Bolivian leaders were there, plus the one hundred and twenty-five people from the United States who had accompanied us on the trip. One of our staff people passed a note to me while I was speaking, saying that there were crowds in the street and that traffic was stopped because there were three rainbows in perfect arches over the building we were in. I said to the people, “There is something very unusual happening outside. We must go out and look.”
We walked outside, and, as had been reported, there were three rainbows in the sky above the building. All three were shaped in perfect arches, and each one was a different color. We were able to capture this sight on video. No one knew what to think. I was shocked that God would perform such an unusual miracle right then and there.
We went back to the meeting and praised and worshipped God. Following the meeting, we boarded our buses to go back to our hotel. When we arrived, we saw that the three rainbows had followed us and come to a stop over the hotel. We also found that witches had gathered outside, protesting by ringing bells and banging pans. The president of the country had called a leadership conference of witches, and these witches were very upset with our being there and with the rainbows that were positioned over the hotel, and they had come to speak curses against us. But let me tell you something: You cannot curse what God has blessed.
In both the Old and New Testaments, the Bible says that Jesus took the curse of our sins on Himself on the cross so that we could be blessed. (See, for example, Isaiah 53:4–5; Galatians 3:13–14.) Knowing this, we rebuked Satan and asked God to bring these witches to salvation in Jesus.
When I went to the breakfast, oh, what a breakfast it was, because of all the news that had been on television and in the newspapers regarding our visit and the manifestation of the rainbows. What timing the Lord has! He had given a woman on our team a dream and then brought it to pass as a sign to us and to the people of Bolivia. Because the three rainbows had appeared over the city, I knew what to say to all those attending the breakfast. I asked them, “What is God saying? He wants to bring revival to La Paz, Bolivia. God wants to move on this country, but He can do it only as we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ.”
The breakfast was a wonderful opportunity to praise God. He had already sent a sign of His presence in the form of the three rainbows. The Bible says that miraculous signs will follow those who believe. (See Mark 16:17.) That was a time when signs both went before us and followed us! I built on the sign God had sent by calling the people to repentance. Then, at the stadium meetings, people were Spirit-filled, and literally thousands of people were saved and healed. There were an unusual number of people healed from growths and tumors. People also came and threw their eyeglasses onto the platform because they could see perfectly without them.
We were able to broadcast these meetings over satellite to all the Spanish-speaking countries in the world. It was an awesome time, a time when God showed up and “showed off.”
Why does God do miracles in the lives of His people and in relation to situations that concern them? Our experiences in Bolivia draw attention to five significant reasons God does miracles.
1. God’s Miracles Reveal His Power as Creator-King
When God created the earth and everything in it, including human beings, it was a miraculous event that reveals to us His power as Creator, as well as His sovereignty over the earth. The created world continues to reveal God’s nature and power.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19:1–4)
The three remarkable rainbows in the sky demonstrated that this same powerful Creator God was involved in our visit to Bolivia. God spoke the world into existence at the beginning of time, and He not only continues to create wonders that glorify Him, but He also brings the things we need into existence as we speak His Word to the circumstances and problems in our lives. As He does so, He manifests His nature and His ways to us.
2. God’s Miracles Reveal the Spiritual Reality Supporting Our Physical World
Miracles make known the existence of an invisible spiritual reality that is the true or ultimate reality in life. Most people live only according to what they can experience through their five senses, but there is a spiritual realm that undergirds, and is greater than, the physical reality of our world, and within which our physical world exists. The Bible tells us that Jesus, who is God the Son, the second person of the Trinity, both created and sustains our world: “All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist [“hold together” niv]” (Colossians 1:16–17).
A miracle sign such as we saw in La Paz, and the resulting outpouring of supernatural healings and other manifestations, revealed to the Bolivian people the presence of God’s spiritual realm and His desire to intervene to meet both their physical and spiritual needs.
3. God’s Miracles Convey His Compassion for His People
God the Father does miracles to bless and deliver His people, because He is loving and compassionate. For example, when He sent Moses to deliver the Hebrews, who were enslaved in Egypt, He told him,
I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey. (Exodus 3:7–8)
In the course of delivering the Hebrews, God performed many miracles, including the manifestations of the pillars of cloud and fire, which were signs of His constant presence with His people, and the parting of the Red Sea, through which He rescued them from their enemies. (See Exodus 13:21; 14:21–30.) And God still saves and delivers today.
God loves all the people of the world. He created them in His image and sent His Son to redeem them. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). When Jesus came to earth, His healings and other miracles were prompted by His compassion. In one instance, when two blind men called out to Him, asking for mercy, “Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him” (Matthew 20:34).
The sign of the three rainbows in Bolivia was a symbol to the people that God knew them and loved them and wanted to move among them in compassion, healing, deliverance, and the outpouring of His Spirit.
The apostle Paul wrote that if God gave His Son to die on the cross for us, “how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). “All things” includes miracles.
4. God’s Miracles Promote Faith in the Truth of the Gospel
Miracles are also a way in which God the Father confirms people’s faith in the legitimacy of the gospel message, helping to bring them to repentance and into a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.
[Jesus said to His followers,] “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature….And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;…they will lay hands on the sick, an they will recover.”…And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” (Mark 16:15, 17–18, 20)
Likewise, God opened the door and validated our ministry in Bolivia by the manifestation of the rainbows, which drew the attention of the people as they saw the sign personally or heard about it through the media. Then, during our meetings in Bolivia, thousands of people were saved and healed. The healings, including those of growths and tumors, were further signs—“accompanying signs”—that confirmed the ministry of the gospel God had given to us for the people.
Please remember that Jesus said we are not to seek manifestations of signs as a substitution for belief in God’s Word. (See Matthew 12:38–39.) And we are not to seek signs for their own sake, as a form of entertainment. However, God will use miracles to promote faith in His Word so that people will believe and be saved, healed, and experience abundant life in Him.
5. God’s Miracles Reveal Genuine versus False Spirituality
The signs accompanying our preaching of the gospel in Bolivia were a testimony to the people of true, godly spiritual activity in contrast to counterfeit spirituality. The witches who had protested our presence there had gathered for a conference in La Paz at the request of the president, who had also invited me to speak to governmental leaders at a breakfast, so there was obviously confusion in that nation regarding what kind of spirituality should be practiced and promoted. To some people, witchcraft or shamanism may seem innocent and helpful, but these things are false and destructive. The witches had tried to cause a commotion and disrupt our ministry, yet God showed that He is greater than counterfeit spirituality. He poured out His Spirit in a powerful way according to His love, bringing salvation, healing, and deliverance to the people.
Please be aware that false teachers and prophets can exhibit counterfeit signs and miracles. Jesus said, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). And the apostle Paul wrote,
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
(2 Thessalonians 2:9–10)
Genuine miracles from God, however, are recognized by those who know His ways and are enlightened by His Spirit. One of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day named Nicodemus told Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2). And the Corinthian believers to whom Paul ministered were aware that the message and work of an apostle from God will be confirmed by signs and miracles: “Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds” (2 Corinthians 12:12).
Remember that true miracles bring glory to God—not to a “miracle worker.” They confirm the truth of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection and triumph over the devil and all the forces of evil. (See, for example, Colossians 2:11–15.)
How Do God’s Miracles Come to Us?
God’s miracles—His supernatural interventions in our lives—come to us in different ways. While there may be similarities between these ways, and they may overlap, each is important in itself. Throughout this book, we will explore various avenues through which God brings miracles into our lives. We will also discover what we need to know and act upon in order to receive our miracles. Miracles usually don’t just “happen” in our lives, for, as we have seen, God does miracles for various reasons and gives them as we seek Him through faith in His Word.
Think of yourself as on a pathway to receiving the miracles you desire from God. I invite you to take a journey with me as I relate the adventures of miraculous living that I have experienced in my life, knowing that you, too can experience the same kinds of miracles and live in the realm of the miraculous. The path to miracles is an ongoing one, and we can experience miracles of various kinds throughout our lives.
Let’s be sure not to miss out on all that God has for us. There are consequences of not accepting and receiving the miracles He wants to give us through our faith in Him. The Scriptures say that Jesus “did not do many mighty works [in His hometown] because of their unbelief” (Matthew 13:58). We don’t want to forfeit our miracle opportunities, which are part of the spiritual wonder and destiny God has planned for our lives.
If someone witnesses God’s miracles but observes them only as a spectator and stays in unbelief toward Jesus and His offer of salvation, there is a high cost to him.
Then [Jesus] began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.…And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.”
(Matthew 11:20–21, 23)
Not to experience a healing or deliverance God desires for you would be tragic enough, but to lack repentance and refuse to receive Christ would lead to a grim penalty. We don’t want to fall short of God’s purposes for our lives. In this book, we’ll see how to both receive Christ into our lives and enter into the realm of the miraculous. Let us be able to say with Paul, “In [God] we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
Receiving Your Miracles
Through Your Pathway to Miracles, I want to show you how to gain a deeper relationship with your heavenly Father and learn how to live in the miraculous according to His plans. He has spectacular episodes for your life as you hold fast in faith. Get ready to be liberated from frustration and defeat as you set your eyes continually on His positive truths and principles, even as you contend with negative circumstances and situations. You will discover…
how miracles begin
the reasons and seasons for miracles
the roles of faith, expectation, positive affirmation, and prayer
the importance of claiming your miracle
how to recognize the miracles in your own hands
keys to removing mountainous problems blocking your miracles
how to access “giant” miracles for big needs
ways in which God gives favor and opportunity
the nature of “miracle packages”
how to persevere to receive God’s miracle when there seems to be no solution for your problem and all seems hopeless.
My friend, whatever kind of miracle you need, read on!