“The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. He sighed deeply and said, ‘Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.’”
*Water baptism picture from September 2015
Do you keep asking God for a sign? For so long, I lived my life this way, a way which was counterintuitive to the comment made by Jesus in Mark 8:11-12. I’d pray immature prayers like, “God if you’ll just show me what it is you want me to do, then I’ll do it! Show me!” Other days I’d pray things like, “Lord, give me a sign, so I’ll know.”
Jesus makes it clear that God doesn’t work this way. The Bible says we are to “walk by faith” (see 2 Corinthians 5:7). Christ wants us to believe “as a little child” (see Matthew 18:3). He wants us to stop asking what we should be doing, and just do SOMETHING, just do ANYTHING! He wants us to stop asking for confirmations and signs!
However, sometimes God does give us signs, but they come randomly–when we least expect them. They happen when we feel like idiots, doing things His way, blindly, repeatedly, through complete trust in Him.
And when He does give us a sign, I call them “God Winks.” Like, God is winking at us as a loving father would while looking down at his child. I heard it called this from the name of a book, God Winks, which I never read, but that title stuck in my head.
One time, I had a God Wink, a blatant sign from God. It was a very difficult time in my life, I had driven an hour away to church on a Tuesday; this is easy to do on Sunday mornings or Saturday evenings, but not during the work week. Why was it so important I go on that particular day? Because that was the only day I could get baptized.
Everyone else had someone there supporting them and celebrating this wonderful event, but I was all alone. “You’re going to be tired for work tomorrow, this is stupid,” was a thought the devil tried to creep into my head, but I kept speaking against him. “No it’s not. I’m having a good time. I’m glad I’m here. I want to show Jesus how much I love Him by getting baptized. I want to celebrate my spiritual birth! I’ve never done that before!”
So there I was, standing in line, ready to step up the ladder to get into the water; and although I had nobody there who cared for me, I was still full of joy because of what was about to happen: my public display of my already inward change for Christ—not to earn anything—but like a wedding, to show my affection for Jesus and to make an outward spectacle of it!
The building was packed. 300+ people were getting baptized that night. On top of that, everyone’s loved ones, friends, and family were there snapping pictures.
So the line was very long. While waiting and hearing people’s names announced before they got dunked, the crowd then roaring in approvals, I opened up Facebook on my phone—and here it is, my God Wink:
The very first thing I saw was a picture of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist! Above the picture were spoken words about Jesus: “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire!” (See Luke 3:16). I immediately took a screenshot! It’s still on my phone to this day!
Oh my gosh I thought I was gonna start sprinting through the church! What a God Wink! A sign from God telling me He was paying very close attention to my life! I was not alone, at all!
Now, let me be clear about something. I was already spiritually baptized into Christ by grace through faith—which is all that is required to be saved (see Romans 6:6, Ephesians 2:8-9). My spirit had been killed off, buried, and resurrected with Christ since the time I first believed as a boy. Water doesn’t save, only faith does. Peter makes that clear, as does Paul. (1 Peter 3:21, 1 Corinthians 1:17).
Water baptism is a celebration of your spiritual birthday! Unless you first believed that day, it is not your actual day of spiritual birth, and it does not cause your spiritual birth. You can put swimming trunks on a monkey and dip him in water, saying, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!” but that won’t give him a new perfect spirit–or a spirit at all. We must stop making a law out of water baptism. Many people stay in bondage because they think it didn’t “work” the first time, but there was nothing to be worked! You celebrated! That’s all you did! Going down into a liquid and then back up didn’t achieve anything!
However, I cannot describe to you how I felt on that drive home…that warm September night, windows down, smile on my face, and a feeling of complete contentment.
Since then, I can’t say God has flagrantly given me other signs, maybe He has but I’ve not noticed. Honestly, I don’t need them. I believed before I got any sign. So if I never see another wink by God, I’ll keep doing exactly what I’m doing each and every day, which is being my spiritually perfect, unconditionally loved, child of God, self! Will you join me in walking by such faith? It’s a good life!
A prayer for you: God, I want to thank you for the little things you do. I now understand that life in itself is a wink from you! You winked at the world in person when you sent Jesus here! Thank you! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. I ask that you touch their soul on a deep level. Help them to come to know you personally, through the life of Christ. In the meantime, if you want to give them a sign or a wink, do that too. We love you. Amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 1. Get your copy here!