THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH

101 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT HEALTH AND WEALTH

part 18

35. When it comes to healing and resources, it is difficult for me to know whether to be bold and aggressive in faith, or humble and passive with accepting whatever happens as God’s will? I realize that many of God’s people are very hesitant to become strong when it comes to reaching out to God, and much of this has to do with an imbalance of understanding about His sovereignty. We often are reminded that He will do whatever He wants but it is seldom followed up His actions being within the framework of His truth. In other words, God will not contradict who He is because He is perfect. Thus, I would much rather be bold and He punish me for being too aggressive than to hide in the shadows and have Him say that my fear caused me to lose everything. It is good to realize there is a huge difference between being humble and being afraid. Perfect spiritual humility is a “correct” perception and recognition of who God is and who we are in His eyes. Fear is of the devil and is the complete opposite of faith and trust. You will never find God applauding fear or willing to compromise or look over anyone that is fearful. In fact, God is angry and insulted by anyone that is controlled by fear and many times judges harshly. In some ways, we can see that fear is associated with pride because it is choosing to support that things are the way we believe than what God says they are. It is NOT being prideful to come to God with boldness. It is prideful to avoid speaking up to God while planning our own ideas and strategies about how WE are going to live! Sometimes being passive is not true humility – but rather a lack of confidence. The poet Rudyard Kipling wrote the following words in 1897, an admonition to the British Empire against pride:

The tumult and the shouting dies; the captains and the kings depart.

Still stands thine ancient sacrifice, a humble and contrite heart.

When Kipling spoke of a contrite heart as an “ancient sacrifice,” perhaps he had in mind the words of King David in the 51st Psalm: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart” (v. 17). David’s words reveal that even in Old Testament times, the Lord’s people understood that their conscience must be given to God and that burnt offerings alone may have been legally and temporarily sufficient but not the complete fulfillment. The sacrifices mandated during the Mosaic dispensation pointed symbolically to the atoning sacrifice of the Messiah, who ultimately offered a lost world complete reconciliation with God. So, what is a broken heart and a contrite spirit and why is it considered a sacrifice? As in all things, the Savior’s life offers us the perfect example: though Jesus of Nazareth was utterly without sin, He walked through life with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, as manifested by His submission to the will of the Father. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). To His disciples He said, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29). And when the time came to pay the ultimate sacrifice entailed in the atonement, Christ did not ignore or run away from partaking of the bitter cup but submitted completely to His Father’s will. The Savior’s perfect submission to the Eternal Father is the likewise the very essence of us surrendering our will and abandoning our “homemade” blueprint. This example from Christ teaches us that a broken heart is an eternal attribute of Godliness and is the only way to truly walk with God. When our hearts are broken, we are completely open to the Holy Spirit and recognize our dependence on the Lord for all that we have and all that we are. This is a sacrifice of pride and independence that must die. Like soft clay in the hands of a skilled potter, only the brokenhearted can be molded and shaped in the hands of the Master which is the heart of redemption to become a true follower of Jesus.

When we sin and desire forgiveness, a broken heart and a contrite spirit leads us to a “Godly sorrow [that] worketh repentance” (2 Corinthians 7:10). This comes when our desire to be cleansed from sin is so consuming that our hearts ache with sorrow and we yearn to feel at peace with our Father in Heaven. Those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit are willing to do anything and everything that God asks of them, without resistance or resentment. We cease doing things our way and learn to do them God’s way instead. In such a condition of submissiveness, the atonement is activated and true repentance can occur. The penitent will then experience the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost, which will fill them with contentment of conscience and the joy of reconciliation with God. In a wondrous union of divine attributes, the same God who teaches us the beauty of brokenness invites us to rejoice and to be of good cheer. When we yield our hearts to the Lord, the attractions of the world simply lose their luster. There is yet another dimension of a broken heart; our deep gratitude for Christ’s suffering on our behalf. At Golgotha, He “poured out his soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:12), as His heart literally broke with an all-encompassing love for every child of God. When we remember the Savior and His suffering, our hearts too will break in gratitude for the Anointed One. As we make the sacrifice to Him of all that we have and all that we are, the Lord will fill our hearts with peace. He will “bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1).

  1. Can you give an example of someone being bold and aggressive in order to gain the attention of God and receive miracles of health and financial prosperity? Absolutely! When it comes to knowing the message of God, where else can we turn but to His Word? We can argue philosophy until the cows come home, but it is crucial to in order to know truth – to be able to see truth and we have examples along with His directions in the Bible. A wonderful illustration of how boldness resulted in physical healing is found in Mark 10:46-52. Jesus is coming down the street and the word has spread all over the area that He has performed many instantaneous miracles. Bartimeus is a blind beggar that lives on the street and becomes excited screaming for Jesus to have mercy on Him. Jesus hears him and calls for him to come. Jesus asked him what we wanted and he said that he wanted to see. Jesus said, “thy faith hath made thee whole” and immediately he received his sight.” Now, let us notice that this man was bold and aggressive and even when he was told to stop screaming, he called out even louder. We must consider the powerful question of what would have happened if he had been afraid to speak up? How easy it would have been to “listen” to the negative and unbelieving voices that were trying to discourage him. I am confident that Jesus would have walked past him and no miracle would have been given if he had doubted and I also believe that Jesus operates in the same way today.

Tithing is the most popular illustration of the principal of sowing and reaping and I believe we can receive this in a personal context of our covenant relationship with God, but I also have 2 specific examples of how being boldly obedient along with exercising strong faith concluded with receiving a financial blessing. In II Kings chapter 4 and verses 1-7 we read about a widow woman that has children and is facing foreclosure. She cries out to Elisha the prophet and tells him what is about to happen and he wants to know how he can help? He asked her what she had in the house and she tells him that she only has a pot of oil. He then tells her to borrow from her neighbors every container she can find, and then go into her house and begin to FILL the pots with oil. She did as he said and began to pour and fill every container from that same little original pot of oil. This took BIG faith! How many of us would have believed this was possible and actually borrowed all those containers? The oil was valuable and when she sold it, she was able to pay not only her debts – but had money to live and continue to support her family. What would have happened if she had laughed and said, “Get real – that is crazy!” She would have NOT received her miracle. Giving releases blessings both natural and spiritual as we trust and obey.

The second illustration for finances is found in Matthew 25. We see there are several spiritual types and shadows associated with this parable and much of it centers on responsibility and stewardship. It is taught this is referring to our abilities and that we should use the gifts that God has given with all of our heart and this is absolutely true. In addition to this example we also cannot deny that the literal description of the story is focused on financial affairs. We do not have time to go through these all of these connections but we can just take a practical approach and through the simplicity of the story, we can notice the basic meaning which is the contrast of faith and fear. We see here that faith boldly has the confidence to INVEST the money and is rewarded with increase. Fear, is trying not to LOSE the original amount by hiding what they have and it is the reaction of the master toward these 2 ways of thinking that is worth noticing. To the ones that increased the finances, Jesus is saying that the master was very pleased with their faithfulness and will promote them into a higher position of authority. (It also did not hurt the situation with the 5 talents gaining an earned PROFIT of $26,100). To the one who buried the money in the ground, the master is very angry and accuses the person of being lazy and wicked. This servant is stripped of everything and cast out of the kingdom. Why? Because we can only live within the nature and character of God and fulfill our divine blueprint when we are listening and following His voice. When we study God’s Word, we notice that FEAR is something that God HATES for anyone to have in any type of situation. This is not to be confused with the reverential fear of God. I am talking about the lack of boldness and confidence to trust the Lord even when all hell is against us. The reason why people do not trust Him is because they do not really know Him and that is the central issue of why we are called to be a minister. Walking in God’s Spirit allows Him to manifest Himself through us as we reach out to the world in love. Being filled with God’s nature is exactly what will DRAW everyone to us which will give us the opportunity to explain the gospel. God has always been eager to reward the boldness and aggressiveness of our faith as confidence IN HIM and this is the key that unlocks His storehouse of blessings. “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38).

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