By Andrew Wommack
Which would you rather have, a blessing or a miracle? What is the difference between the two? The answers to these questions are much more important than most people realize.
Blessings and miracles are like two different delivery systems from the Lord. It is possible to be so expectant of a miracle that you miss the blessing!
Many of you have heard the story of the woman who was trapped on the roof of her house during a flood. She was in a desperate situation, with the waters rising. Without the Lord's help, she looked doomed; but she was a believer and prayed in faith that the Lord would rescue her. Just as she finished praying, a big log floated by. She thought of jumping on it and riding it to safety, but no, she was believing God for a miracle. Someone then came by in a boat and offered to rescue her, but she steadfastly refused, saying God was going to miraculously save her.
Just before the waters swept her away, a rescue helicopter came and lowered a ladder to her. She still refused, knowing that the Lord would supernaturally save her. Shortly thereafter, she was drowned as the waters prevailed. In heaven, she was perplexed and asked the Lord why He didn't answer her prayer. He said, "I sent you a log, a boat, and a helicopter, but you wouldn't receive My help."
The woman in this story missed God's provision because she was committed to receiving help from the Lord in only one way. She didn't realize that these other, natural things, albeit less spectacular, were God's provision too. Likewise, many Christians only know how to receive from God through a miracle, and are unaware of the power and superiority of a blessing.
First, here are some definitions. The dictionary defines a miracle as, "an event that appears unexplainable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God." In contrast, a blessing is also supernatural in origin but utilizes natural means. In other words, a miracle supersedes or suspends natural laws, while a blessing is God's divine power working through natural laws.
Since miracles are much more spectacular than blessings and relatively much easier to come by, many Christians are only looking for their needs to be supplied through a miracle; but here are some reasons why having God meet your needs through a blessing is much better. First, before you can receive a miracle you have to be in a crisis. For God to suspend or supersede His natural laws, there has to be a very good reason. Physical laws aren't bad. God created them and said that everything He created was good. He's not going to stop the rain that thousands of farmers have been praying for, just so you can have a picnic. No! You have to be in a crisis situation before the Lord will grant you a miracle.
Therefore, those who live from miracle to miracle, live from crisis to crisis. In contrast, the blessings of God will prevent crisis in your life. Which would you rather have -- a desperate situation where you received the miracle of a new car; or would you rather be so blessed that if you wanted a new car, you could just go buy one with the cash you have. I think most of us would choose the blessing of just being able to buy a new car at any time.
Secondly, a miracle differs from a blessing in that a blessing is always more abundant. Take the example of manna. The Lord fed the children of Israel for 40 years in the wilderness by raining down what the Bible calls "angels' food" (Ps. 78:25), round about their camp six days a week. This was a miracle. If any of the manna was kept into the heat of the day it would breed worms and stink (Ex. 16:20). On the sixth day, they could gather a two-day supply of the manna to keep until the seventh day without it rotting. This wasn't normal. It was a miracle.
Miraculous as it was, the children of Israel loathed the manna. They ate manna three times a day for 40 years. There were only so many ways one could prepare manna. They longed for something more. Miracles may beat starvation, but they are never God's best. Once the children of Israel entered into the promised land, they had the blessing of eating the abundance of the land that flowed with milk and honey. Both the manna and the fruit of the land of Canaan were God's provision, but which would you rather have?
This leads us to a third difference between blessings and miracles: Miracles are always temporary, while blessings are eternal. The miraculous supply of manna is the longest, recorded miracle in the Bible. Most miracles are momentary, but the manna lasted 40 years. However, there was an end to the manna.
In Joshua 5:10-12, the scripture says, And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day. And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more: but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
The manna ceased because miracles are always temporary. I can just see some of those Israelites going out the next morning to gather manna. After all, they knew nothing else. This was the generation that had been raised on manna for 40 years. I suspect some of them refused to dig in the dirt to get their food. They would receive it directly from God through a miracle, but the time for the miracle was over. Some of them could have gone hungry waiting for the miracle of the manna, when the blessings of the promised land were abundant all around them.
Likewise, many Christians are looking for a miraculous provision when God has provided something better for them through His blessing.
Jamie and I learned some of this the hard way. When we first started in ministry, I somehow got the idea that it would be sin for me to work a secular job. I was called to the ministry, and praise God, that would be the only way I would get my needs met. This went against the laws of the kingdom of God that say if you don't work, you don't eat (2 Th. 3:10). Until I worked in ministry full time, I shouldn't have expected it to support me full time. My heart was right, but my head was wrong. Because of this, Jamie and I had some severe financial problems.
We were sincerely believing God the best we knew how, and because of God's mercy and love for us, He did provide for us miraculously. We had miracles nearly every day to keep us and our children from starving. We went from one crisis to another with the miracles being only temporary and never a full abundance. When my lightning-fast mind finally began to cooperate with the spiritual and natural laws of God, the blessings started to come, and I can personally testify that the blessings are better.
Not too long ago, I was remembering those old days of lack and miraculous supply. Every day, we had to have a miracle, or we wouldn't have eaten. All our furniture was just given to us. We drove our old car after it ran out of gas and with impossible mechanical problems. I was beginning to feel a little condemned because I hadn't seen any of those miraculous provisions lately.
The Lord then spoke to me and said, "Would you really like to go back to those days of lack and miraculous supply, or would you rather be so blessed that none of those things are issues? If you want to eat, go get something to eat. If your car needs repairs, just fix it or go buy another one. Which would you rather have?" Well, I quickly repented for longing for the old days and told the Lord I was very grateful that the blessings had overtaken me in my life.
There are times when all of us make unwise choices, or we just don't know how God's kingdom works, and we get in a crisis situation. If that's the case, then a miracle might be the best and only way out at the moment; but make no mistake-the blessing of God is the superior way to receive from God. We need to reach a place where we are praying for miracles for others, but walking in the blessings ourselves. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you were so blessed that you never needed another miracle from God!
Another concept that needs to be corrected about blessings is that "things" aren't blessings. When the scripture says that Abraham's blessing is mine (Gal. 3:14), I don't want his 4,000- year-old rotten tents or the bleached bones of his animals. No! The blessing is God's spoken favor that causes tangible "things." The physical things that Abraham had were the result of the blessing, not the blessing itself.
If you can understand that, then you can begin to appropriate the blessing of the Lord regardless of the amount of "things" you possess. If your stash of "things" fluctuates, which it inevitably will do, then your faith doesn't falter because God's blessing isn't things-it's His favor that has been spoken over you. That will never change.
Once the blessing is given, it cannot be reversed. Hallelujah! God spoke this through Balaam. In Numbers 23:19-20, Balaam said, God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
The blessing of God isn't conditional on our holiness either. In the next verse Balaam said, He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel. This certainly wasn't because there wasn't any perverseness or iniquity in Israel. This is saying that the blessing of God isn't conditional on our performance. Praise the Lord! That is good news!