The Gifts Part 25
Acts 3:7, “And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.”
Peter took the lame man by the right hand and lifted him up. This was his part in this entire event; this was his contribution, because what happened after was the work of God through the Holy Spirit. The lame man’s feet and ankle bones receiving strength was not Peter’s doing, but it was the gift operating in him, that caused this man to be healed, to be made whole and to experience something which he had never experienced since he had been lame from birth.
The work of God is a visible thing, it is not hidden in shadows, it is not secretive, it is not something that we have to guess at, but when the power and presence of God are present, you know it, you see it, and you feel it. There was no doubting the power of God in that instant, when this man who lay in the dust day after day, this man that many knew because he had been a beggar for a very long time, received strength in his feet and his ankle bones. God wills a thing, and it comes to pass. God speaks a thing, and it is created, not from other matter, not from other substance, but from nothingness God can create life, from brokenness He can create wholeness. This is the God that we serve, this is the God that we worship, and it is this God that we must see before us in our trials, in our hardships, in our tribulations and in our need. We serve a God who spoke creation into being, a God who can do the impossible, beyond what man may conceive, and this selfsame God loves you and me as His own.
The work of God is also complete. The lame man was made whole completely, and not partially. God does nothing in half measure, He will not heal you halfway, He will not save you halfway, nor will He comfort you halfway, when God sets about performing a work, He does so completely. The lame man didn’t just feel his feet and ankle bones receiving strength, then fall back into the dust a few minutes later, he did not return to Peter and John for more prayer, or another dose of the gifts of healings, he was made whole, complete, from head to toe.
We’ve talked about doubt often enough wherein by now I hope we all understand that doubt impedes God’s work in our lives more often than we would like to contemplate. In this case however, Peter never asked the lame man if he believed he would be healed, or if he had faith that he would be healed, he simply looked at the man and told him that though he had no gold or silver, he would give him what he possessed. Although no faith was required of the lame man, Peter did believe, Peter did have faith, Peter knew what he possessed, and so even in this case faith was required in order to bring about healing.
God knows the measure of faith we possess, He knows how much faith is in our hearts, and far too often there is a great chasm between the faith we claim to have, and the faith we have indeed. Unlike man God is not impressed with our bombastic proclamations, He is not impressed with our assertions that if we really wanted to we could move that mountain so we could have a better view from our kitchen table, He sees the hearts of men, and how much faith lays therein.
When blind Bartimaeus began to cry out to Jesus, and was subsequently called to come to Him, Jesus didn’t ask him how much faith he had, He asked Bartimaeus what he wanted, Bartimaeus replied, ‘my sight’ and Jesus said to him, ‘your faith has made you well.’ Jesus knew how much faith Bartimaeus possessed without ever having to ask him, and just as He knew then, He knows now, and when we come before Him for healing, or when we pray for others for healing, we must have faith in our hearts that God will act, and do a great and mighty work.
Mark 10:51-52, “And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘what do you want Me to do for you?’ The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.”
As Jesus once said to a heartbroken father whose son had a mute spirit, ‘if you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ That word ‘all’ has wide ranging implications, and if we believe Jesus at His word, then all things are possible to him who believes. Not some, not few, not most, but all things are possible.
So the question that begs to be asked is, do we believe that God is able? Do we believe that He is able to heal, to restore, to endow, to comfort, to redeem, to make whole, and to do everything He promised He would do in His word? Do we believe that He remains ever faithful, ever true, ever just, ever righteous and ever holy? Do we believe that He is the same yesterday, and forevermore? Do we believe? That is the question, and there is no shame in answering as that pained father once answered, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’
Rather than pretend at being juggernauts of faith, rather than pretend at having vast quantities of faith that we just don’t feel like tapping into, may we humble ourselves, may we look into our hearts, may we look in the mirror of God’s word and assess whether or not we possess that faith that is able to speak to the lame man, and take him by the hand and lift him up.
Peter possessed the faith to not only speak to the lame man and tell him to rise up and walk in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, but he went one step further in his faith, and took the man by the hand and lifted him up.
May we be steadfast in our faith, and walk in the full measure thereof. May we not only speak to the lame that they might walk, but stretch our faith and take them by the hand and lift them up!
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.