Monday, July 30, 2012

JUST AS I AM

The following is my paraphrase of Joseph Prince's July 22, 2012 Devotional "Imperfect Faith Not A Barrier To God's Grace".

There are those who teach that because you have doubt in your heart you can't receive from God, but that is not true.  I will admit, we are creatures which have hearts that believe easily, but a head or thinking process challenges our hearts and gets in the way of our faith sometimes.  However, this does not stop God!

Take for example the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:24-34).  She did not seek to know Jesus.  Her faith was selfish, desperate, and ignorant.  Selfish and desperate because she had been in her bleeding condition for twelve years and was ready to try anything.  Ignorant because healing power flowed from Jesus not the garment of Jesus.  But if you read the story you will see that Jesus did not mock the woman's faith.  He did not give her a lesson on where the true power of healing comes from.  No!  Instead Jesus met the woman where her imperfect faith was at in her life and dealt with her there.

There is a song that is called He Came Down To My Level and the chorus goes like this.......

He came down to my level
When I couldn't get up to His
With a strong arm He lifted me up, to show me what livin' is
He'll come down to your level
If you'll open up the door
He wants to make your life worth livin', that's what He came down for

Another example that Mr. Prince does not mention in his devotional that I feel applies is found in Mark 9:24-29.  A father brings his possessed son before Jesus quite distraught because His disciples can not heal his boy. Jesus finds out the situation, status of faith, gives a word of instruction on faith, then heals the boy.  The Scripture reads like this - "Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?" "From childhood," he answered. 22 "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." 23 " 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." 24 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." 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out."

Jesus did not say, "Well, my disciples should have taken care of this matter, sorry, I can't help you."  No!  Jesus was very interested in the details of this parent's need.  This healing was a great package deal - it meant glory for God, healing for the boy, and increase in the father's belief in God's power through Jesus.

The answer to our imperfect faith is just to simply come before God despite our misgivings, lack of faith, or lack of anything.  He is a God that will forgive the doubt and answer the Faith.  Never be afraid to come to God.  The greatest mistake or the greatest opportunity missed is not to come to God.......imperfect faith and all.  So, if you are a True Believer in Christ, don't allow anyone to condemn you for your lack of faith, remember - "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus," - Romans 8:1  God may require persistent faith, but you are a child of the living God through Christ Jesus and condemnation comes from another source.

Remember also.......
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin." - Hebrews 4:15

Here is part of the Devotional if you would like to view it.......