Friday, December 14, 2007

Seeking Signs or Finding Faith?

I’m reading “When Heaven Invades Earth” by Bill Johnson…again. It’s all about the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. I guess the whole subject as been on my mind lately. I have so many questions.

Is that really one of the things Christ came to show us? … how to bring Heaven to earth? I think so. If so, why aren’t we doing it in our personal lives? Perhaps we all feel like we’re not ready, not spiritual enough, don’t spend enough time in the Word to be given that gift. I read about those participating in the ushering of Heaven on earth and I hear about them fasting for months on end, spending hours a day in the Word and praying. But I can’t do that. I have a full time job and get sick when I fast past a week. Am I a weenie? Am I not willing to sacrifice? If I quit my job, sold our house and lived as a pauper—allowing me to only work part-time so I could spend the rest of the day in prayer—would that open the door for God to work through my life in miraculous ways? How do I get to the point where He is able to do through me what He did through Jesus?

Sometimes I think I use this as an excuse to not pursue God’s manifest presence through miracles. Because I’m afraid of being called a “Sign Seeker.” I’m afraid that I didn’t spend enough time in the Word this week—in fact I know I didn’t—so I know that I’m not close enough to God to be worthy of Him working through me. So I don’t pray with that person who just told me they were sick. Instead I offer my Sudafed from the medicine cabinet and tell them “I’ll pray for you.” (Why on earth do I have a medicine cabinet anyway?) Where is my faith to believe that God is big enough to work through my faith even when it’s the size of a mustard seed?

But then I have another question. What about all the people Jesus didn’t heal? The multitudes and the Pool of Bethesda, the multitudes crowding around Him in the marketplace, on the hill sides, in the temples. In each situation we read about one person or perhaps “many people” who were healed. Not even Jesus healed everyone. Why not all? Is it all because of unbelief? Is it about intimacy with the Father? How could I possibly attain the intimacy that Jesus had with the Father… He owned no home, held no job, had no spouse, raised no children, stayed up all night long to pray, and fasted for long periods of time. If I’m really convinced that it’s going to take that for God to work through me, then I’ve shot my faith in the foot. Because I can’t do all that. So what does that mean… I can’t participate in ushering in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth??

I guess what I’m saying is… as I think through these things, sometimes I get discouraged. I don’t like praying for someone and not seeing them get healed. And I don’t like praying for someone and watching them fight through it, take medicine, go to the doctor, and a week later they feel better. And then we praise God as if it were our faith that allowed God to heal them (after a week of antibiotics and two doctor’s visits). It feels fake to me. But I have to believe that God is big enough to use me. I have to believe that He is not completely bound by where I am. I am still growing spiritually, and it’s my job and heart’s desire to continue growing as much as I can, every day. I must do everything I can to seek Him and know Him better. I know God sees that. I know He’s watching me. And I know His Word is for me. So that really only leaves me standing in one place. Believing Him when He says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." ~ John 14:12 (NIV)


joey said...

Wow Hope, yes, I know what you mean! It's so frustrating sometimes. I don't know if we can attain the SAME intimacy Jesus and the Father had, they were One. But, we know we can have intimacy and are to pursue it. And yes, God does see us and He does smile, He loves us! Thanks Hope!!

Hope Clark said...

Thanks Joey. :) It's kind of a sore subject for me. I have an insatiable appetite to see God's glory. I know it's there and knowing that drives me. I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets discouraged... it's very easy to start asking yourself "What am I doing wrong?" rather than just continue to focus on His incomparable adequacy.

Gina said...

Let me remind you of the 10 lepers; they were all healed-not through their relatioship with God, they were in relationship with each other, but because of God's relationship to them (us).

We are never worthy to be counted in the Kingdom; it is the free gift of God. This is where our faith falters; we see how sinful we are and why we don't deserve but God sees his Son in our place and calls us worthy.

John 10:10 I have come that you might have life and have it to the full!