In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, ‘Stand up on your feet!’ At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
Acts 14:8-10, NIV*
Paul was spreading the good news of Jesus: Emmanuel, God with us. He saw this crippled man – really saw him, and saw he had faith to be healed.
This reminds me of Jesus teaching in his home town: “… he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” (Matthew 13:58, NIV) And of the way He had to first deal with the father’s faith issue before healing the tortured son:
“O unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
Mark 9:19-25, NIV*
God is all-wise, and if He chooses not to heal someone, no amount of manufactured faith can make it happen. But if He offers healing, or deliverance, or salvation… it seems to me like we need faith to receive it.
The good news here is it’s God who gives us the faith: “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, NIV)
The gift of God: but we still need to receive it.
For the people on my prayer list, this adds to my prayers. I’m praying for God to give them faith to receive the salvation, healing, and/or deliverance they need.
For me, I need to pray for faith to receive whatever God wants to give me. He’s still growing and shaping me, and I don’t want to miss anything because I couldn’t receive it.
I wanted to share a link to Robin Mark’s “With All Faith,” but couldn’t find it on YouTube. Instead, here is a song the LORD and I shared yesterday as part of my prayer for a young man who doesn’t know Jesus. I’m playing it now in anticipation of the day when he can sing it himself. This is the David Crowder Band’s rendition of “Heaven Came Down” from the Illuminate CD. I prefer the simpler version on their Lime CD, but this is still great – and check out the pictures with it.