We live in the 21st century, a modern and enlightened age. We have developed technology that is awesome, but have lost the power of our faith in the process.
Now I am speaking to believers in the Church who have gathered to “Worship” God, yet I say we have lost our faith.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
We have developed excuses we can readily give when the prayers are not answered to “get God off the hook”, so to speak.
- you didn’t ask
- you asked amiss
- you did not pray in His name
- you didn’t have faith ( didn’t believe)
- you have sin in your life…
As we finished a study of the book of Job, we found that God never gave Job an answer except to say that the Ways of God are too high for man to understand.
Sometimes we do not know why God is silent.
I’ve studied what the Bible says about miracles and healing for years and years, and two things remain clear to me. One is that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Another is He said anyone with faith in Him would do the things He did (John 14:12).
But the results we’re experiencing in much of the Western church today are far different from those attributed to Him in the Bible. A logical mind can only conclude that something has changed. Since it can’t be Him, that leaves only us.
I’ve concluded that many of us have formed our opinions about Miracles and healing either from hearsay or personal observation rather than God’s Word, while the Bible tells us to live by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). To prove my point, count the number of times when you’ve personally witnessed someone being healed. Not heard about, but personally witnessed. If you’re like most people you won’t know of very many, maybe not any.
Maybe we don’t see people being healed because we no longer expect to. Somewhere along the way there’s been a disconnect to the point where many believers are convinced that without giving us any warning God simply stopped healing people. Some of those who promote this idea say it happened once the New Testament had been compiled. Many protestant denominations hold this view today. It should not surprise us that supernatural healing does not occur in those denominations.
Some of these folks hedge their bets by assuring us that God can heal people and sometimes does, so we can still pray for healing. But we shouldn’t be surprised it doesn’t happen. Our healing may not come until the resurrection. At least they leave the door open for God to heal someone if He decides to.
Many of us think SINCE believers have great faith, if we don’t see anyone being healed it must be that the Lord no longer heals people. But we only have those around us with which to compare ourselves, and maybe the average faith of a person today is not as strong as we think. For example, do you know anybody alive today whose faith could qualify them for inclusion in Hebrews 11, called: “The Hall of Faith” by many?
Name the mega pastor, Christian author, or televangelist whose work would qualify them if Hebrews 11 was being written today. Now think of the growing number of pastors who won’t give an altar call to their own congregation for fear of offending someone!
Do you suppose Jesus was looking at mankind’s steadily weakening faith between His day and ours when He asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Faith grows from a day by day dependence on God to fulfill his promises to us. We’ve had things so good for so long that we haven’t needed even a faith the size of a mustard seed to prosper.
Remember Who Got You Where You Are
Someone wrote that religion gives birth to prosperity and the daughter consumes the mother. I believe he meant that God has always promised abundance to those who follow Him, but eventually man will make prosperity his religion and abandon God. Here’s how God warned His people against this:
“Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God” (Deut. 8:11-14).
“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today” (Deut. 8:17-18).
As the blessings multiply and we become more secure it usually becomes harder to take the time to pray. We begin to feel that we no longer need to spend valuable time asking the Lord for direction. Also our confidence grows and we begin to believe our success is self-generated. That means we don’t spend as much time giving thanks. As I got busier and began traveling more, it was harder to devote that hour each day so I began trying to do two things at once, praying while I exercised or while I drove to work. It wasn’t the same, and I saw how easy it would be to justify stopping altogether.
It Doesn’t Take Much
The generation of Israelites who came into the promised land experienced many of the most faith building miracles of all time. But in Judges 2:10 we read this incredible statement.
After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.
Within a span of one generation the people had forgotten the Lord and the powerful miracles He had performed for them. The book of Judges records one of the lowest points in their history. It shows us that it doesn’t take much to destroy the faith of a nation. For Israel it only took one generation of neglecting the Word of God.
With individuals it happens even faster. Stop praying for a day or two and you’ll miss it. Stop for a month and you’ll forget it. Oh, you might still be going to church and may even be involved in a project or two, or serve on a committee or board. Maybe you’ll go around looking for people to minister to and pray for.
Sometimes we call this “maturing in the faith” meaning we’re not so dependent on God any more. But the most powerful believers among us never “mature” that way. They never get to the point where they don’t ask for His guidance or feel the need to express their gratitude. They never substitute works for faith. Remember, Paul said everything that was written in the past was written to teach us (Romans 15:4). If we don’t learn the lessons of Israel’s history, we’ll be doomed to repeat them.
The faith to be saved was a gift from God (Ephes. 2:8) and keeping you saved is His job (2 Cor. 1:21-22). But you can exercise your faith to make it stronger by reading your Bible daily (Romans 10:17) and talking with the Lord about what you’ve read, asking for guidance in how to apply it. Faith only gets stronger when it’s accompanied by action (James 2:17).
After praying for direction, do something you believe God is calling you to do. You can begin with something as little as talking about Him with someone, helping out in a food kitchen or a rescue mission, or visiting a sick person. He’ll point you to bigger things from there. Each time you take a step of faith, your faith will grow to prepare you for the next step. As your faith grows you’ll be more likely to witness a miracle, even a miraculous healing.
Above all, pray about everything, be fearful of nothing, and give thanks for anything. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7).
Get Hungry For the things of God again!