God At Work Today
The question before us is whether we have examples of God at work today performing “miracles”.
For one example we turn to David Platt’s book, Radical, which describes one such encounter. While in Indonesia, Platt met a young seminary graduate, Raden. Platt gives us Raden’s story:
“ ‘Before I became a Christian, I was a fighter. I learned ninja, jujitsu, and a variety of other techniques for taking people down.
“ ‘One day I was sharing the gospel in an unreached village with people who had never heard of Jesus. I was in one house sharing Christ with a family, and the witch doctor from the village came to the house.’ Witch doctors and magic men are common in villages like these. They hold sway over entire communities with their curses and incantations.
“ ‘The witch doctor called me out,’ Raden said. ‘He wanted me to fight him.’ Raden smiled as he confessed, ‘My first thought was to walk out there and take the witch doctor down. But when I turned to go outside, the Lord told me that I no longer need to do the fighting. God would do the fighting for me.’
“So Raden walked outside, pulled up a chair, and sat down in front of the witch doctor. He told his challenger, ‘I don’t do the fighting. My God does the fighting for me.’
“Raden recounted what happened next, ‘As the witch doctor attempted to speak, he began to gasp for air. He was choking and couldn’t breathe. People came running to see what was wrong and within a few minutes the witch doctor had fallen over dead.’
“By now the entire village had crowded around the scene. Raden said, ‘I had never seen anything like this, and I didn’t know what to do. But then I thought, I guess this is a good time to preach the gospel.” Raden smiled and said, ‘So that’s what I did and many people in that village trusted in Christ for the first time that day.’”
Platt goes on to discourage, as an established church-growth policy, the permanent dispatching of your pagan opponents through the Holy Spirit. But the point of the story is that today, even in our age, God is at work. This might be counted as a minor miracle. A witch-doctor, an enemy of God, tried to halt the preaching of the gospel. The Holy Spirit struck him dead. The result? The gospel was preached.
Next time we’ll look at the greatest miracle of all and the last entry in this blog thread.