DayBreaks for 10/23/05: Flirting With Unbelief
From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:
Faith is such an intriguing topic. We pray for it. We practice it (to varying levels of success depending on the severity of the circumstances.) When not much is truly at stake, it’s easier to say, “Yes, Lord, I trust you with this.” But when life itself is on the line and we stand on the precipice of the great divide between this world and the next, how then does faith respond? Chances are, that unless we’ve stood on that tiny shelf and looked down into the chasm of death ourselves, we really can’t answer that question very well. It is an intriguing thing for me, as a pastor who has access to people who are looking into the grave, to observe their faith as it passes through the ultimate test. With the very next step, they may plunge into the pit – and what then?
We pray for healings. Sometimes no healing comes. Well meaning people may say that the only reason healing wasn’t granted is because the faith faltered – that is wasn’t really faith, but at most, wishful thinking or hoping. Such well meaning people may have destroyed the faith of many who needed to be helped to grow in faith. Shame on us when we think we know the reasons why God does or doesn’t do anything in a given situation.
But what about the times when healing DOES come? We have another problem, then. We live in a scientific age where it’s easy to explain how bacteria, viruses or tumors divide, grow and, sometimes, die. And when that happens, we tend to not really exhibit faith too well, either. Sometimes, there’s a diagnosis by a doctor that says there is a shadow on the lung or in the breast or contained in the cranium. So we pray, our prayer chains light up like a blazing fire, and when a second opinion is sought or when the specialist is called in, the shadow is gone. What happened?
In a recent article in World Magazine, Andre Seu wrote about a diagnosis that filled her with dread, but when the second doctor ran the tests, nothing was found. Here’s what she had to say: Now when do you have a certifiable miracle? Well, never, if you claim a priori that miracles have ceased. And never if, like me, your mind leaps like a duck on a June bug to naturalistic explanation: Doctor A blew it. The latter theory is possible, of course, but on the other hand, what would it take, and how much proof, before I acknowledged the supernatural in my life? (Father Abraham says even raising a corpse wouldn’t do it for folks of a certain ilk. Luke 16:31.) Francis Schaeffer draws the line precisely here between the Christian mind and the non-Christian mind: “I am not a Bible-believing Christian in the fullest sense simply by believing the right doctrines, but as I live in practice in this supernatural world.” (True Spirituality)
“My violent intercessor seems to think that since we prayed watchfully (Colossians 4:2), and since the request we sought was granted, it’s a no-brainer that I need to give public glory to God. There are precedents, of course: The leper is healed and forthwith told by Jesus to go show himself to the priest (Matthew 8:4). Still I protested vainly: “Many godly people pray and are not healed.” Violent replied, “You were. Shout it from the housetops”—plus words to the effect that it’s a dangerous thing to ask the Almighty for something, and then, having received it, to flirt with unbelief. There was no gainsaying that, and in the end I saw the truth of it, and yielded doubt to faith, and that is why I tell you this.” (Andre Seu, World Magazine, Oct. 1, 2005)
Have you received from God something you prayed diligently for, but when you received it, you gave the glory to medicine instead of God? When will we learn that all healing truly does come from God – even when it is administered through the hands of a physician? And rather than explain away such things as healings as a mere reversal or outworking of body chemistry, let’s climb to the top of the roof and there sing His praises for yet another miracle!
TODAY’S PRAYER: Father, we are so prone to rational explanations for all that happens in this world that we fail to give you the glory for what You do. Open our eyes to see Your greatness and Your hand even in the tiniest things and teach us to sing Your praises! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2015 Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>