the anecdotal christian

Day 5

Okay folks… This one’s a little longer, but God put it on my heart for you today. If you’ll give it that extra minute, I believe you’ll be blessed! Thank you so much for following this journey, we are blessed and encouraged by you!!

Kaboom! Another “faith-grenade” explodes in your life!

You fall to your face, desperately pleading with God to rescue you “Father, help me in my time of trouble! Deliver me Lord and reveal your glory!” Any believer who has suffered even a little, has prayed this kind of prayer. Sound familiar? – Tears, begging, saying things like “just this once”– you know!

And the Psalms are filled with them as David sought the Lord in earnest. So what could possibly please God more than this humble and intense desire for His help? Well let’s take a look at the healing of the two blind men in Matthew 9 to find out.

Matthew 9:27-29

27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
28 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.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”(NIV)

Verse 27 tells us that two blind men were following Jesus. Now stop and think about that for a moment…BLIND men FOLLOWING Jesus? Can you picture it? – arms in the air, groping around, running into each other? What motivator would cause two blind guys to partner up and chase down Jesus? Sure they wanted to be healed, but what were their real expectations? Was it their faith?

To find out for sure we have look at how Jesus addressed the situation. He started by asking them “do you believe that I am able to do this?” Most of us would jump in and say “of course they believe you can do it – why else would they be so persistent?” They have faith! Right?…Wrong? Jesus would not agree with most of us. He did not begin by commending their faith, instead He questioned it. This leaves us with one conclusion, their desire was intense but their faith was questionable. Jesus was efficient, he never wasted time. He dealt with people’s immediate need up front. And in this case the immediate need was to activate their faith beyond desire.

The blind men did answer “yes” when asked, but Jesus wouldn’t have asked if they had already demonstrated faith by just following Him. He knew their hearts and asked the question up front that would force them to either deny or confess their faith in Jesus. That very moment real faith was activated in their heart and they were healed. The good news is that once he confronted the real issue they chose to receive it!

Are David’s prayers of desperation above missing something? Does this mean that David’s prayers were flawed? No way! When taken in context the Psalms are impeccably faithful. The difference is we don’t typically pray through an entire psalm when we are in pain, we just tell God it how bad it hurts and plead for help. We demonstrate humility and desire, but not faith. A humble desire for God to help us definitely honors Him, but only faith moves Him.

The blind men honored Jesus with their desire to be healed by Him, but what moved Him was the activation of their faith. If desire alone could do it Jesus never would have asked that question. We can know this for sure, because asking that question up front is not standard practice for Him. These guys needed faith, then they needed physical healing.

Without the influence of the Holy Spirit, desire and faith can be easily confused with one another. The definition of desire is to wish, want crave, or to have a longing for. Alternatively, faith is defined in Hebrews as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (NASV). Simply put… desire is “the want” and faith is the absolute expectation.

Desire leads us toward human effort and stress. Faith leads to us toward resting in Him and the peace that passes all understanding – Shalom. Desire is a powerful motivator and works well with faith, but all by itself it can only die on the vine of futility.

Faith runs from self confidence into the arms of supreme confidence. So the next time we get swacked by fiery darts of the enemy, lets pray in the peace of faith and not the panic-filled stress of desire for help.

Prayer of Faith:

“Lord, this is a tough situation for me and it hurts my heart, but you are the one who provides for me, you are the reason I have victory over the temporary trials of this life. I rejoice in you and your promise that no weapon formed against shall prosper. But give me strength to endure while I wait that I may grow in faith and power for your mission. Lord let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I praise you for victory over my enemies and I bless them in Jesus name. Soften their hearts and draw them into your grace. I forgive those who hurt me and ask forgiveness for my thoughtless ways toward some. Encourage me through your spirit – the comforter, and when the time is just right your favor will restore me to the work you made me to do. Father I praise you and ask that you give me more of you and your wisdom. By faith I decree that I am already delivered and hold victory in my hand. In Jesus name, I receive you and all that you are to me. Amen.

On a personal note,

I was confused for years about faith and desire but God has renewed my mind through the scripture above – it makes so much sense now. Thank you Lord!! Desire is focused squarely on us, but real faith is focused absolutely on Him. It seems so obvious now.

Perhaps you already see it clearly, or have never been confused, but be on alert when praying because that’s where the enemy tries to connect these two mind sets and defeat your prayer. I challenge you to double check your prayers today and trade your desires for faith, if need be. It may surprise you!

Our faith continues to grow daily by inches. Let me say that I’m so proud of my wife to see her when the buffer is gone look away in faith from God’s providing hand in order to more clearly see His face. She is becoming a home schooling tornado and a woman of real and passionate faith – Praise you Lord!

I’m getting positive feedback on my writing and pray God will allow it to continue until it will cover the cost of our basic needs. Until then, I’ve been looking for work in new and adventurous ways that are so un-corporate and fresh. I’m tired of the corporate world and honestly so glad God has not asked me to go back there, in spite of our tremendous need. Yesterday I applied to be a pest control guy – that would the coolest thing ever! Let’s just wait and see what Jehova-Jireh does in all of our lives when we live a life of faith instead of desire!!

Be encouraged and begin looking harder at your prayers to see if they are filled with faith or left empty by desire. God bless you!!!

Please alert me if I can be of any encouragement to you!

Kevin

Wakeupmyfaith@att.net

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