We have all been hearing that we are in a season of increase in supernatural signs and wonders. When I hear "signs and wonders" I usually think of corporate Kingdom signs and wonders—those that would impact and change nations. But I also believe God is giving us signs and wonders in our personal lives in a very special and individual way.
The word "sign" means:
1. A token; indication. 2. Any object, action, event, pattern, etc., that conveys a meaning. 3. A conventional or arbitrary mark, figure, or symbol used as an abbreviation for the word or words it represents. 4. A motion or gesture used to express or convey an idea, command, decision, etc.
So in summary, a sign is a symbol or token that conveys a meaning, an idea, command, or a confirmation of a thing. The word "wonder," as a verb, means:
1. To speculate curiously or be curious about; be curious to know: to wonder what happened. 2. To feel wonder at.
The word "Wonder," as a noun, means:
1. Something strange and surprising; a cause of surprise, astonishment, or admiration. 2. The emotion excited by what is strange and surprising; a feeling of surprised or puzzled interest, sometimes tinged with admiration. 3. Miraculous deed or event; remarkable phenomenon.
A simple definition of wonder is "something remarkable, strange or surprising and the emotion of puzzled interest that comes with it!" Wonder is tinged with admiration and wanting to know more!
Even though God is so huge, so Holy, and so Sovereign we can get tremendous revelation and insight into His plans and His ways; we are constantly striving to understand more of the mysteries of God. Although God is big God, He is also a very personal God. He is our Father and Friend, our Counselor and Comforter... He speaks into our lives to draw us near to Him in a very intimate way. This intimacy leads to the life changing stuff that incorporates us into the plans He has for us that brings change to our families, our regions, our cities, states and to nations. He wants us to wonder and awe in a reverential way that will lead us to seek Him more and never be satisfied with the understanding we have.
We are God's kids... so that means we have His DNA. We are creatures in His likeness who are seeing, knowing, hearing, and powerful by His destiny for us. However, we are also frail little children in many ways and are always a work in progress. God is so gentle and kind He very often kneels down on one knee to come to our level just to embrace us and love us and gently lead us to the next level—through a process of healing, refining, and instructing.
NATURAL AND SPIRITUAL SIGNS
We can relate by looking at our interactions with our own children as we raise them to be responsible adults. Some mature faster than others. But as loving parents, we continuously get on their level, explain the truth to them, forgive them when they make mistakes, and pick them up when they fall. It is an ongoing learning process. If they burn their finger on the stove, they learn not to touch the stove. We give demonstrations and signs that will convince them that we are telling them the truth. Sometimes we let them burn their finger just a bit because experience is the best teacher. Sometimes we slap their hands and say, "No! That will hurt you!" Over and over again they ask us for a sign. They continually wonder and awe for more truth. "But why mommy? Show me why! Show me how that works!" So as good parents, we give them signs... and wonders. Everything is a wonder to a child with faith! A bright star, a flower, an insect... their eyes are wide open always looking for something that makes them go "Ooohhhh! Ahhhhhhh!"
I say all this to say, in my dealings with the people of God, much too often I hear, "Well, why would God do that? Doesn't make sense to me! Why would he do something so seemingly strange? Why do we need signs?" God has always been a God of signs and wonders. Remember Moses? What about Elijah? God does not change. Many people would much sooner just give the devil credit for God's tokens of love than to simply believe God is much bigger and more complex than we can comprehend in our humanness. Do we want to embrace God for all He is and welcome all He has for us? Or just be content with stale religion?
I was raised in a dead legalistic church. It had no sign or wonder. It was just predictable with no power. I was taught to fear Him in a reverential way, but was not taught to just want Him. How would we feel if our children were terrified of us, but never wanted to be near us and never said, "I love you mama (or daddy); will you play with me?" I thank God daily that He pulled me out of that legalistic environment and showed me that the fear of the Lord should not be a fear that He will spank us if we mess up, but instead a reverential and worshipful fear that leads us into greater revelation and knowledge of Him.
The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline (Proverbs 1:7).
So even in the midst of the legalistic church I got the revelation that God loves it when we revere Him, but what He really wants is for us to be more like what we see in our own children: full of faith... always believing and always wanting to spend as much time with Him as possible. Waiting on Him to instruct us and lead us and give us the "Ohhhhh's and Ahhhhh's!" So I learned early on to ask Him for a Sign and for wonders... all to bring us into an understanding of that choice part of knowledge that will take us to the next level in the Lord and in greater understanding of Him.
So what about Matthew 16:4?
A wicked and morally unfaithful generation craves a sign, but now sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah (Matthew 16:4).
The Pharisees and Sadducees were demanding Jesus give them a sign as proof of who He was. They weren't asking for Him out of hunger and desire. Their unbelieving spirits demanded that He continually prove who He was, but when He did, by healing and miracles, they still doubted Him. Jesus goes on to say in verse 6, "Be careful and on your guard against the leaven (ferment) of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
People ask me all the time, "How do I see angels like you do? How do I have encounters? Is there something I can do to have God give me gold dust, gemstones, feathers, etc.? Is there a special formula?"
There is no special formula for bringing signs and wonders into your midst. But I believe the first step is to be aware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees and remove all doubt and unbelief from your mind, heart, and spirit. When we always question God, "Why would God do that?" spirits of doubt and fear come into us that keeps us from getting the revelation of WHAT God is really doing or trying to say! Doubt is a spirit! Unbelief is a spirit! We must hang onto our child-like faith and not allow these doubting spirits to overtake our ability to receive from God like little children!
The realities of the spiritual realm and the Kingdom of God are quite complicated, and quite simple. The simple part is to just believe. The complicated part is that God is just so huge and so complex, we will never on this earth understand all of the mysteries of God. But the simplicity of it is if our heart is like that of a small child, if our belief system is open, then we are open to all that He is! I have heard Jeff say several times, "God is much more capable of protecting us from deception than the enemy is of leading us into it." We give the enemy way too much credit and often push away God because we fear it is not God!
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] or power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).
Our daughter is only four, but she seems to have a very high level of spiritual understanding and discernment. She can sense that which is heavenly and angelic and that which is not from the Kingdom of God. Some of this has never been taught to her on high levels because she is only four, but because she is just completely open to truth, God has given her a very big understanding of things beyond her years. The same is available to all of us, regardless of our age, if we are simply open to the truth, open to believe and open to all God is and has, even if we don't initially understand. If the Holy Spirit is within us, then He will give us discernment and the understanding: "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13).
Also read I Corinthians 2: 10-16.
CHILD LIKE FAITH
Now about signs and wonders. I thank God I have always had a child-like expectancy for the special ways God confirms His words, His plans, and His heart towards us. Several years ago I had made a special petition to the Lord that was very close to my heart. He had already spoken to me several times about it and I accepted that, but I just needed a confirmation. Sometimes we become weary in waiting and just like a child who is on their way to somewhere fun, they know they are going to be there eventually, but they also continue to ask, "Where are we? Are we there yet? Are you sure we're going to get there?"
Being human we tend to be the same way with our Heavenly Father, but this hunger just leads us to lean on Him more, so that is a wonderful opportunity to ask Him to give us a confirmation and ask Him for a sign.
So, I said, "God, if you are really going to do this thing for me, give me a sign!" I wasn't asking the way the Pharisees and Sadducees asked in Matthew 16, but I was asking like David in Psalm 86:17: "Show me a sign of Your evident goodwill and favor..."
God had also given me Isaiah 7:11 and Matthew 7:11. I constantly saw 711's everywhere I went. License plates, the clock, signs—you name it!
Ask for yourself a sign (a toke or proof) of the Lord your God - One that will convince you that God HAS spoken and WILL keep His word); ask it either in the depth below or in the height above (Let it be as deep as Sheol or as high as heaven) (Isaiah 7:11).
If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven (perfect as He is), give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him (Matthew 7:11)!
I asked for a sign that was very special to me. I asked for a four leaf clover. When I was a child, I would spend hours looking for four leaf clovers. I always seemed to have a special gift for finding them. So when I asked for one as a sign, I didn't want just any four leaf clover, I asked for one in a really unexpected place.
So just like a child, I expected that He would give me what I asked! And He did! An hour later when I least expected it, my eyes were drawn to an area of dirt that had no grass, no clovers, just dry, dusty dirt. And in the middle of it was one huge single four leaf clover! Tears ran down my face... I knew this was the confirmation I had asked for. Again you may ask, "Now why would God do that?" He did it because He loved me enough to show me an evident sign of His goodwill and favor... just as David had asked. I found over 150 four leaf clovers that summer. Then I began finding five leaf clovers! They appeared everywhere I went, just out of nowhere. I even found a six leaf clover! We called it the Year of the Clover. I am not saying I am the only person who has ever found a four leaf clover. I have other friends who seem to also have the gift. But God uses them to speak to me. Although I always find quite a few of them, never since the Year of the Clover have I found so many.
But this season I began finding them in incredible numbers again. I went for a walk the other day and found ten in about three minutes. I have also found several five leaf clovers, a six leaf clover and my first ever seven leaf clover. The Lord spoke and said, "This is a time of escalated signs and wonders on the earth. Ask Me for a sign!"
A SEASON OF ASKING AND RECEIVING
People, this is a season of asking and receiving where it pertains to our position as children of the King! He is bestowing unexpected gifts, confirmations, and signs right now to His kids that will bring about wonder. Wonder should lead to "More God, More!" The ultimate goal is always to be brought into that place of the choice part of knowledge and wisdom that will bring us to the new level of understanding that God needs for us to be to always be changing us from Glory to Glory! (see 2 Corinthians 3:18)
Proverbs 25:2says, "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search out a thing." Also Deuteronomy 29:29: "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the thing which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all of the words of this law." Signs and wonders are the manifestation of the secret things and the mysteries of the Lord! He is graciously bringing that aspect of Himself into the earth so that they belong to us! What a great Daddy He is!
I have a friend in Michigan who wrote to me the other day to tell me that she was in the shower praying, and like me, asking God for a sign of a promise He made to her. She got out of the shower and there was a bright rainbow on the wall of her bathroom. She checked to make sure there was no way in the natural for this rainbow to appear, and she found no possible way for a rainbow to be on her wall in a scientific or natural way. It had to be supernatural. So do you think she stopped to say, "Well, now why would God do that?" No, I assure you she praised Him and that tears flowed from her face. She even made a photo and sent it to me! She took a gift God gave her and did something with it! It sure ministered to me that day!
When God first told us to adopt, we had a lot of confirmation in many ways, but God knew I needed something special from Him so I would know it was He who wanted us to adopt! So I asked Him for a sign. I was awakened that night and above my bed was a waving banner that was right over my head. On this banner was written, "ADOPT SO YOU MAY GROW IN GRACE AND IT MAY GO WELL WITH YOU IN YOUR OLD AGE." You can imagine, I needed no further confirmation. Our daughter Mercy is the fruit of that confirmation!
Yes, we are to test the spirits. But don't test them to the point of throwing the Lord out in the process. We test the spirits to prove them not to disprove them!
In this season of increased signs and wonders, ask for an increase in your personal life and your personal situation. I could tell so many other stories and testimonies of how God has so often given me signs as a form of confirmation. I have no doubt He will continue to do so because like a child I have my eyes wide open and my hands wide open saying, "Daddy, what do you have for me today?" And I just receive!
Father, I pray an increased understanding for those who hunger and thirst for more. I rebuke the spirits of unbelief and doubt that would keep us from an intimate relationship with you and from being led to a higher level of understanding of You and Your kingdom! Use us for your Glory, God, and constantly reveal Your nature to us, in any way You choose to do so! We thank you that you are a personal God and that you enjoy blessing your children and speaking to us! We say "More Lord, More!"