Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us! So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. Luke 17: 12-14
Ten leprous men stood at a distance, afar off (because the Law required them to keep distance) begging Jesus to have mercy on them. The Lord did have mercy on them and instructed them to show themselves to the priests. The priests would have to inspect them and pronounce the disease as healed or not.
In most other instances, we see Jesus healing the sick instantly, on the spot. Not in this instance. The lepers were being invited to exercise faith, as none of them were yet "clean" when Jesus instructed them to show themselves to the priests. Picture these lepers for a moment. They were probably limping along, some with decaying limbs, going to show themselves to the priests because they were supposedly healed, when in fact they weren't yet.
That's why it's called FAITH. But as they "hoped" to get well, simply obeyed and went, the limping became less and less noticeable. The decayed limbs began to grow back. The skin began to heal and renew itself. The Power of God marvelously regenerated their bodies.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Friends, have you been praying and waiting on God for something? You know in your spirit, it is what God is calling you to do. You are now waiting on God to show you a sign. You are probably waiting on God for an open invitation, which will let you comfortably slide in without too much uncertainty. I submit to you, the Lord is inviting you to personally experience FAITH, an invitation to join God in a miracle. As you step out in FAITH, rest assured He will meet with you. Talking about FAITH and personally experiencing FAITH are two completely different things. In the book of James, we read "Faith without works is dead". Your work arising out of your faith in Him is powerful. It will transform you and impact those around you tremendously.
Your situation is an open invitation from God to personally experience faith and join with Him for a miracle.
A word of caution: Only be sure you have indeed heard from the Lord. Discuss with a few trustworthy brothers and sisters. The bible says in Proverbs 15:22, Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established.
Many a time I've seen people mistake personal desires and seemingly great ideas to be the Lord's calling. Wrong motives. I have done it too....more than once. Most often, this leads to disappointment, discouragement and depression. A clever ploy of the enemy. I've learnt to seek counsel from trustworthy friends.
But when it is indeed an invitation from the Lord, step out in faith and experience faith in its fullness, miracle and all.
Food for thought: Why is it that most miracles happen in third world countries where often times people have no choice but to trust in the Lord? Stories of food multiplying, demons being cast out, healings, rain stopping and miraculous protection during violent protests are all quite common out there in the mission fields isn't it? Why? Because there is no other option except to trust in the Lord. These hardships are all the more reason they believe and cling to the Lord. They don't have a plan B. What would you do in such a situation?
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: (1 Peter 2:21)
A real Christ Follower is someone following in His footsteps.
There are some of us who really desire to preach the gospel and see lives and communities transformed, but we think we don't have the opportunity given to us. We tend to blame family commitments, church leaders and pastors for this. We think we are called of God and this is affirmed by some friends and relatives who prophecy over you and say things such as "You are anointed to be a preacher brother" or "I see you planting churches", and some others even address you as "Pastor" and so on. Such words only make things worse because you hope and wait and hope and wait....and the years and months go by.
Often times, this is because we have the wrong picture of what a Christ Follower looks like. We think preaching the gospel from a pulpit to hundreds and thousands of people, being somebody recognized, being a guest speaker at a conference, etc is doing something significant for God. We think a real Christ Follower must be someone popular, who has written a few books and who does nothing else but spends time preparing sermons, traveling around and preaching to large congregations. The attention and the life style seems more appealing than the simple fulfilment of serving God.
But following in Christ's footsteps looks a lot different. He spent more time with the lost, the poor and the rejected. He was rejected Himself.
Look at the world around you. Statistics reveal the vast majority of the lost world live in poverty. Its a small minority that actually live in affluence. The vast majority of unreached and lost people in this world (for whom the Lord Jesus laid down His life) actually live in poverty. Millions live on less than 60 cents to a dollar a day. You want to be a real Christ Follower? You want to really make your life significant? You want to really preach the gospel and see lives and communities transformed? Then know these things...
When your faith in God is all about your healing, your financial blessings, your comfort, your relationships, your spouse, your job, your prosperity.....then you probably are following someone pretending to be Christ. Christ's footsteps look very different. He embraced suffering because He knew He was not of this world after all. He spent most of His time with the poor, with sinners and the rejected one's. He rebuked those who appeared to know everything and did nothing. He rebuked those who held their head high because of how much they knew or how popular they were. He rebuked those who thought they were somebody and went around thinking they were doing God's will, whilst having no love towards the poor.
The success of a church is measured by the visible and tangible transformations in communities. Not by the size of crowds. We as Christians are being transformed into His likeness. We all believe that. But if we are being transformed into His likeness, shouldn't we also be living like He did? Else...the transformation isn't working.
A real Christ follower follows in Christ's footsteps. We are truly blessed to have a beautiful church with awesome worship and great facilities to go to. Not many do. But don't be deceived into thinking that by lights, music, smoke machines and inspiring messages, the people are being transformed friends. Spend time in His word. The Bible. Know Him for yourselves. Be a Christ follower because that's how you became a child of God. Remain one.
Knowing God : This has almost been made something which only a few elite Christians can accomplish. Often times most church going Christians have been led to believe that "Knowing God" isn't for normal people who go to work to make a living, provide for their families and lead a busy life because knowing God calls for spending a huge amount of time just reading the bible and being in prayer, fasting, being alone with God and so on. One small problem though. Most church going Christians simply cannot afford that life style even if they deeply desired to.
Most commonly seen life styles are something like this. Waking up early every weekday morning, get kids ready, drop them off to school, go to work, return home after work often times quite late, rest a bit, have dinner, off to bed and the whole routine repeats itself all through the week. Yes we do include a time of prayer everyday. That's fine. But that leaves most people with maybe a couple of hours in traffic and maybe a Saturday to actually spend long chunks of time alone with God. Sunday is church day. There goes the week. Next day is back to the usual routine again.
But we are led to believe that Knowing God takes much more than that. That life style unfortunately does not help if we want to "Know God". Almost seems out of reach for most of us.
What does the bible say? Read through the following verses.
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
If you are a Christ follower, a disciple of Jesus Christ, then the above verses must make a lot of sense to you. And it has nothing to do with your occupation. Knowing God has nothing to do with whether you are a full time minister at church or a business person or a busy employee.
Examine yourselves against the above verses. If you are able to identify yourself in the above verses or even know that you are progressively identifying with them, then rest assured you know God.
On the contrary if you felt convicted after reading the above verses, then my dear friend, I pray you will seek God and ask Him in prayer to reveal Himself to you. Receive the Lordship of Jesus over your life and you WILL BE transformed. There is absolutely nothing more powerful than His love and His grace.
> What does “knowing God” mean to you?
> How can we know Him?
> If we know Him the way we should, how would that transform our lives?
Blessings in abundance
I was radically transformed by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ back in 1997 in a most unusual way and unusual place. Read my testimony here. Over the years I have come to realize a few basic truths that have altered my life.
True freedom is freedom from self-centeredness. Dying to yourself, your wants, your desires and to what gives you pleasure for the sake of others is more liberating than you think.