Miracles vs. Magic: What’s the Difference

miracles and magic

While the world celebrates witches and warlocks, don’t forget about the omnipotent and mystical power of God. Miracles and magic may look the same, but they are very different things.

Our God has incredible power and He specializes in the supernatural. We’re talking about the God who appeared to Moses as a burning bush and walked on water. The same God who condemns magic and sorcery.

Confused? You’re not alone. It’s not always easy to see the difference between miracles and magic. Let’s see what the Bible has to say on the subject.

Magic Is A Distraction

People define magic differently. Some people condemn everything from card tricks to ouija boards. Other people only recognize the spiritual aspects of magic like using witchcraft and voodoo. Let’s get on one accord with a clear definition of magic. Magic is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.”

Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.
1 Timothy 4:1 NLT

Some people turn to magic as a desperate attempt to control their reality. The true source of their “power” remains a mystery and allows them to take the credit. The enemy uses magic as a distraction from true supernatural power. You could miss out on supernatural acts of God if you’re focused on developing your own magical abilities. True supernatural power comes from God in the form of miracles.

Do you know the difference between miracles and magic? Put it to the test with the Miracles vs. Magic Quiz.

A Miracle Is A Demonstration of God’s Power

Again it’s good to get on one accord with clear definitions. Miracles are defined as surprising and welcome events that are not explicable by natural or scientific laws and are therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
Psalm 77:14 NIV

People toss around the term “miracle” a lot like they happen all the time, but look back to the definition. Miracles are surprising. God may be working miracles everyday, but not in your life. Think of miracles as a grand romantic gesture from God. Getting a bouquet of flowers everyday would be nice, but it would get old after awhile.

God uses the element of surprise combined with supernatural power as a sign of His great love and devotion to us. Miracles are like fireworks in the sky. They are bright, beautiful and exciting. When you see fireworks you stop what you’re doing and pay attention. Miracles have that same powerful effect.

Where do we draw the line between miracles and magic?

The main difference between magic and miracles: magic points to you; miracles point to God. So the real question is, who gets the Glory once the deed is done?

He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes.
Deuteronomy 10:21 NLT

In the case of miracles, God is praised as the greatest source of supernatural power. God is the source of our blessings. All good things come from Him. His ways are mysterious and His tools are many. His power is revealed in both the sudden healing of deadly disease and transforming water into wine.

Moment of Truth

Supernatural, mysterious events are difficult to understand and explain. Magic and miracles often look like the same thing. But when you look with spiritually discerning eyes it’s easy to see the difference. The best advice I can give to anyone walking the line between miracles and magic is to keep your eyes on the cross.


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