Miracles: Mastery over Distance

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, July 12, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

One of the attributes of the true God is that He is omnipresent. He is everywhere, in all places, and all times, all at once. One of the reasons God does not take physical form is because of His nature of being everywhere all at once. He is capable of revealing himself in a physical form as He did in many instances throughout the Old Testament (in such instances like Genesis 18, Joshua 5:13-15, or Daniel 3:24-26, we see Jesus in his pre-incarnate form: the Angel of the Lord). This yields a very interesting aspect of God: He has mastery over distance.

The clearest example of this is in the account of the faith of the Centurion. A Roman Centurion, whom the Jews respected, sought Jesus for help. He had heard of Jesus and knew that what He did came with power and authority he did not know. He recognized Jesus had the power to heal his servant, but he also understood that Jesus could not do what He did in His own strength and power. He recognized that Jesus was submitted to an even higher authority. That is why he told Jesus that He didn’t need to come in person but just speak the word and it would be done. This is perhaps the only time Jesus appears to have been surprised. He was astonished. Here was this Roman Centurion who as far as we know didn’t know God from a duck demonstrated more and better faith than Jesus had encountered from all Israel. Jesus commended that faith and granted the petition right then and there. The Centurion found out when he got home that his servant was healed at the very hour Jesus gave the word.

A similar instance is found in John 4 when an official came to Jesus, about a day and a half away from his sick son. Jesus promised that his son would live, and the official returned home with nothing but a promise. When he got home, again about a day and a half away, he found out that his son was healed that very moment Jesus spoke.

God has mastery over distance. He does not have to be physically present for the miracle to be given. All God has to do is give the word and it will be done. Exactly how will it be done? We can’t necessarily know that. God could send an angel to do the job or due to His omnipresence, He could do it Himself right then and there.

God has mastery over distance, not just physical distance, but spiritual distance too. There’s nowhere to hide from Him. Even when it seems He is light years away, He is actually right there with you. He never lets you go through a trial completely alone. He may stay silent through the trial, but He is there. When we are in rebellion against Him, He is right there with us, either prodding us to get our act together or letting us run wild until we realize how foolish we are. When we are walking with God, He is there leading us, guiding us, protecting us, and showing His glory to us.

Paul understood how God has mastery over distance. Paul concludes Romans 8 with one of the most famous passages in the book: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God has mastery over distance. This is why we can pray for people all over the world. There is value in being physically present for the prayer, but during World War II, Rees Howells gave such a clear picture of how prayer works over distances. He could not fight in the war, however he turned his Bible college into a “war room,” following closely the details of the battles, and he prayed as though he was a soldier. He prayed for Hitler to make military blunders, for weather changes, for anything to give the allies a victory. Throughout the European front, miracles happened. There is no way we should have won many of those battles, including the Normandy invasion. We took the beach because Hitler misplaced his panzer tank divisions, a move he normally would not have made. It was the prayers of Rees Howells and others that brought us that victory.

I don’t remember who it was, but I heard a story of a missionary in the jungles of the Amazon. He had been in the city to get some medicine and came across a homeless guy. After a short interaction, he entered the jungle and camped for the night. The next day, the guy showed up. He told the missionary that he and some friends came to rob and kill him, however surrounding the camp were 26 giant men protecting him. They didn’t know what to do so they fled. The man told him what he saw that next day. Well, while on furlough, the missionary tells his home church this story and a person in the congregation stands up. He told the missionary that very night, he woke up suddenly with a desperate urge to pray for him. Then a woman stood up and said the same thing. When it was said and done, 26 people were standing saying they prayed that very night. God is a miracle worker and He is not stopped by distance.

My brother is another example. He had a significant hearing loss as a child and two of the elders of our church, who were also our family doctors, told my parents of the results of the tests indicating this loss. There was no hope, no solution. Another family overheard this statement, which was not of doubt, but simply what the medical knowledge had at the time, and they spent that afternoon praying and fasting for my brother. The next day, my mom was vacuuming and my brother loved to put his hands on the vacuum because of the vibrations. Instead he put his hands over his ears and ran out of the house screaming because of the intense volume that he could now hear. We didn’t find out they prayed until some time later.

God has mastery over distance. No matter where you are, God is always within reach. All we must do is call out to him. Next week, I’ll look at another area that God has mastery over: the weather.

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