Faith; January 28, 2019

Mark 5:34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

There is no question that the power that healed the woman came through Jesus, because He Himself was aware of it happening, as it says in verse 30. However, it was this woman’s faith that allowed her to lay hold of that power, so Jesus’ statement was not inaccurate. We get all tied in knots sometimes when it comes to faith, often enough devolving into faith in faith, rather than faith in God. I was talking to someone just yesterday about the incredible things we are capable of at times, if doubt doesn’t get in the way. That’s the whole principle behind hypnosis, and some amazing things can be done with that. However, the object of our faith actually makes a huge difference. There is a Japanese proverb that says that even a sardine head can be an object of worship. That is meant to say that it doesn’t matter what you believe, so long as you believe something. Many people would like that to be true, and effectively proclaim it to be so, but it is a lie from the pit of hell. We are designed for faith, but if we believe the wrong things we just get into trouble and end up destroyed. That’s a big reason why fathers are so important, because our image of Father God is greatly shaped by our experience of our human fathers. That’s why the devil is so viciously attacking the whole idea of fatherhood in society today, telling women they don’t need a father for their children and telling men they have no responsibility to the children they have sired. Paul stated clearly, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) When we have faith in faith, we misinterpret what Jesus said to the woman and take pride in our faith. We need to realize that God alone is the source of all power, and place our faith firmly in Him.

I got involved in hypnotism in high school and continued through college, but not really after that. I know from experience some of the remarkable things that can be done with it, but I now wouldn’t go near it because I realize that it makes a plaything of human will, and our free will has got to be one of the most valuable things in the universe, because Jesus died to preserve it. God could have ordered us to obedience, but instead He arranged it so that we choose to obey or not. If human free will is that important, I must not play with it! Since being involved in the Charismatic Movement I have been exposed to all sorts of teaching on faith, some of it good and some of it, as I said, encouraging faith in faith. As Paul said, we are to walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) However, I’ve got to be careful that my focus is on Christ and not on myself, or any human instrument. There is quite literally no limit to what God can do, but it is all too easy for me to try to dictate what He does, and dress it up with claims of “faith.” If I am to walk in all that God has planned for me, my focus has got to be on Him and not on what my imagination comes up with.

Father, I’m still learning about faith. Thank You for teaching me! Thank You for all that You are doing in and around and through us in these days. May I not interfere with any of that through unbelief, but trust You totally, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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