‘By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days’
We must be strong and be strengthened, but there’s a trust element too. We must be strengthened by faith. Recently I was at a meeting where I was praying for people to be filled with the Spirit. Afterwards a girl came to me and said, ‘I’ve been filled with the Spirit but it doesn’t seem to have changed my life a lot.’ I thought that she was godly, zealous and very honest and I genuinely wanted to get some answers. I began to question why the gospel healings were so instructive.
What we can learn from gospel healings
Not only do they teach me God’s compassion and power, they also demonstrate how salvation gives us ability to do what can’t be done. What do I mean? Frequently Jesus operated in a crowd. People often watched to see if He’d heal on the Sabbath. In that context He told the man with the withered arm, ‘Stretch forth.’ He could have replied, ‘That’s a cruel thing to say to me because I can’t!’ It’s cruel, unless in the saying of the words there’s power. There’s power when Jesus says to you, ‘Be strong in the strength of God.’
Salvation power must come to meet us. Surely that’s what the healings and the miracles of the kingdom are all about. They demonstrate Jesus’ salvation. He gives you power to do what you couldn’t do. You may say, ‘I can’t walk away from pornography. I can’t do it. I’m locked in. ’Be loosed! ‘Yes I’m trying to be.’ No, no, ‘Be loosed. Be set free.’ Jesus saves doesn’t He?
Walk into salvation
He told the ten lepers, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priest.’ They could have said, ‘Why do that?’ But ‘as they went on their way they were made whole.’ ‘As they went on their way …’ You see, they walked into salvation, into a supernatural dimension. God didn’t find a lot of strong, extrovert people and say, ‘Be the light of the world.’ He came to weak people like you and me, some of us captivated by dark, evil habits, ruining other people’s lives. But He saved us. And He says, ‘You used to be darkness, now you’re light. Walk into the light.’ Come on, walk into it. It’s the miracle, the engagement place where the kingdom breaks in. When we believe Him we step into the freedom that he provides. We respond with active faith.
This post was adapted from the 1st of three sermons on the Armour of God preached at Together on a Mission 2010