Thursday, September 23, 2010

There Is No Room For "Ifs" In A Relationship Of Trust

Some times our thinking toward God can border on the idiotic. Whether it is riches or happiness, people try so hard to find a pattern or formula for getting what they want from our Father. Often we miss the point that the thing that does not change about him is his character but the methods he uses to cause his will to be implemented is as varied as the snowflakes that fall on a winter day. There is no formula for his methodology, in fact, there is no methodology at all. Our Father uses whatever is at hand and there are no magic words and special things we must do. We are required to have only one thing; the one thing many of us lack.

We saw this in yesterday's devotions concerning the woman who reached out to Jesus for healing. We find it again with the incident of the two blind men who refused to give up. They followed Jesus through the streets, in the crowd, calling out for healing. They followed him all the way to the house where Jesus was staying. They wanted this healing badly and they saw that Jesus was their only hope of receiving it. This is what is recorded:

When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" "Yes, Lord," they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith will it be done to you"; and their sight was restored. (Matthew 9:28-30)

Sounds like a Sunday School lesson, right? Then we need to go back to Sunday School because we are failing to learn the lesson. It's a simple one to see and to know but it takes desperation to live. Jesus asked them a simple question: "Do you believe I am able to do this?" He was looking for a statement of faith from them. They declared their faith and Jesus told them it would be done to them according to this faith. Now I ask you, what part are we failing to understand here?

Our entire relationship with Jesus rests on the answer to that question, "Do you believe I am able to do this?" Whether we are talking about forgiveness, eternal life, or daily bread, it all comes down to how we answer that question. There can't be any "if's" in the relationship; if you are real Jesus, help me; if you love me, rescue me; if I am forgiven, give me peace; if you want to, use me; if you are able, heal me. So many "if's" that we live with and that we allow to weaken the power of God's love in us. So many "if's" that keep us anchored to a world that cares nothing about us and that considers us just another mouth to feed. So many "if's" that keep us married to our sin and that keep us under the enemy's thumb. Sometimes we border on the idiotic.

Throughout his ministry Jesus taught that faith was key to living the life we have been called to live. He said in very plain language to these two blind men, "According to your faith will it be done to you". To the woman we read about yesterday he said, "Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you". Even, James, the brother of Jesus, gave it to us in plain language:

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. (James 1:6-8)

Perhaps you don't doubt his ability but you do doubt his willingness because you doubt his forgiveness. It still all comes down to the fact that you don't believe, whether it is in his ability or in his will. You don't have because you are doubting even as you are asking. How he does it should not matter to you. The fact that he will do it is all that should be in your heart. We can't serve him even for a minute if our relationship is going to be ruled by doubt. Jesus said that if we repent we will be forgiven. Believe! Jesus said if we need anything we can ask and receive. Believe! Jesus said that he would never leave us or forsake us. Believe! Jesus said that he is coming back so that he can take us to be with him in the place he has prepared for us. Believe!

We will have it done to us according to our faith. Unfortunately for a large number of people this means they will continue to live according to their own strength and ability. This is a real shame considering the love and power that is available to them. The fact is, even the blind could see better than we can see in this current age. We need to stop trying to dig our own way out of the hole we are in and seek Jesus' help. We need to stop suffering in our own weakness and receive the power to overcome as Jesus has promised us. We need to stop living weak and small lives that do not honour the reality of who Jesus is and step into the real Kingdom of promise. There is no place for "ifs" in this relationship of trust. Believe and it will be done to you according to your faith.

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