Friday, July 11, 2008

...As You Believed It Would

A couple of weeks back, I felt the urge to read Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:28). I was struggling in some areas, and I felt like the Sermon on the Mount was a great place to find some answers and some reassurance for what I was dealing with. So I read the Sermon and was incredibly enlightened. However, I felt like there was more that God was wanting to show me, so I read on. That is when He led me to the passage that told of Jesus healing the centurion's servant.

I've read the story about the centurion's servant many, many times, but this time, God wanted to speak to me a particular phrase that I may not have spent enough time on. For those of you who may not know much about this particular passage, let me fill you in:

Jesus entered Capernaum, after his Sermon on the Mount, and a centurion came to Him, asking Him for help. The centurion told Jesus that his servant was at home "paralyzed and in terrible suffering." Jesus immediately told the man that He would go to his house and heal his servant. This is the point where the centurion amazed Jesus (and probably all those around them) with his faith. He told Jesus, "...just say the word, and my servant will be healed...". He says more, and if you haven't read it, you can find it in Matthew 8:5-13.
Verse 10 says, "When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following Him, 'I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with so much faith.'".

This man, this centurion, was so sure of His faith in Jesus Christ, that he knew that His servant would be healed simply by His words. That was a HUGE deal. However, the phrase that echoed in my mind after reading this story was this:

Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.

Specifically, "Go! It will be done just as you believed..." Those four words echoed in my head, "just as you believed... just as you believed... just as you believed..." I feel like God was trying to remind me that what happens around me is often a result of my faith, or lack thereof. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." And in Matthew 21:22, Jesus said, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

In other words, if I am in God's will, and if I am pursuing Him with all of my heart, I needn't worry about my worries (if that makes any sort of sense). He is in control. He knows what is on my heart. He knows the desires I have. I need to stop doubting. I have heard it said, "Believe and Receive or Doubt and Do Without", and I completely believe that, although I often lose my way. When things get hard, I sometimes pray to God, ask Him for help, but plan my own way of escape. When I do this, I usually receive exactly what I believe, just like Jesus told the centurion.

You see, Jesus sees my heart. Although He hears my words of faith and my prayer needs, my beliefs are the things fulfilled. Too many times, I believe I'm going to be left to deal with the situation. AND too many times, that's exactly what I end up with. It's based on MY OWN BELIEF, not on God's unwillingness to help me. I am not a baby Christian, and He expects more from me.

Many times, though, God has rescued me by His great mercy and compassion, and I am SO thankful for that! Where would I be without His daily mercies??? I LOVE this verse, " The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end: they are new every morning..." (Lamentations 3:23-24 RSV). Thank you, Lord!!! EVERY MORNING He showers us with new mercies. WOW! Do I shower others with new mercies every day? I'm pretty sure I don't. God, you are amazing!

Lord, you never cease to amaze me. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the new mercies that await me each and every morning. Thank you that despite my sometimes floundering attempts at faith, you don't give up on me. I pray that you will fill me with the faith that can only come from the Holy Spirit. My trust is in YOU. I offer my life as a living sacrifice. I BELIEVE IN YOU! I believe, I believe, I believe. I love you, Lord. I pray blessings over all those who are hurting right now, Lord. I pray your peace over each of them. I pray that you will encourage them and strengthen them. I pray that their youth will be renewed like the eagle's. Lord, you are awesome! In Jesus Name, Amen.

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy Name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forge
t not all His benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles. Psalm 103:1-5


Hillary Dunham said...

Amen, Sister! Preach on!
Let me tell you, God has been speaking a big word to me about this lately through the Beth Moore study Believing God. If you like this subject (as anyone should- what else is more important?), then this is an amazing, transforming study. There are SO MANY good points, but the thing that sticks with me (b/c we say it every week and it's now part of me! Halleluiah!) is the 5 part statement of faith:
1) God says who he says he is
2) God can do what he says he can do
3) I am who God says I am
4) I can do all things through Christ
5) God's word is alive and active in me
Just thought I'd share. I'm loving this study and God more for it!

annieck said...

Thanks SO much for sharing that, Hil! Channing and I took that study a few years ago and thought it was incredible. It is definitely one I want to take again...ASAP. We missed a few of the weeks, but I remember learning SO much when we were taking it. Thanks for that reminder to do it again. I am definitely going to have to do that! :)