The Gifts Part 27
Acts 3:9, “And all the people saw him walking and praising God.”
You cannot deny the undeniable, and unless the people who were present and witnessed the miracle that had just occurred covered their eyes and looked away, they couldn’t help but see what God had done for the once lame man. We do not see the hand of God in our lives, in our families, in our homes and in our churches only when we actively seek to look elsewhere, or pretend that what God did was the doing of man instead. There is no sadder predicament than believing in an uninvolved God, a God who watches, and sees, but does not intervene, does not aid, and does not help. I’ve met many a soul who carry this belief in their hearts, and it makes them hopeless and joyless creatures that fear for tomorrow, that fear for the future, and possess no peace in the present.
We serve an involved God, a God who is aware of a single strand of hair falling from our heads, a God who is aware of every hurt, of every disappointment, of every pain, of every hardship, and of every trial. I do not know what I would do, or how I would cope if for one second I believed that God doesn’t see, doesn’t hear and doesn’t get involved. It is the knowledge that come what may He will be there, that keeps me at peace, that fills me with joy, and floods me with hope.
Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”
God never promised that we would not pass through the waters, nor did He promise that we would not have to walk through the fire, what He promised is that He would be with us in the midst of the fire, and the water, and they will neither overflow us or scorch us. The notion that we will never have trials in this present life is not a scriptural one. The doctrine that once you come to Jesus this present life becomes a perpetual fairy tale wherein our teeth get straight, our aches go away, and our acne clears up, is fiction dreamed up by individuals whose purpose is to separate you from your money rather than to see you grow in God.
God’s purpose, God’s desire, God’s goal, is that we as His children be made into an image of His Son Jesus, that we walk in His will in perpetuity, and that we obey Him as He commands us. In order for these things to come about, often times God employs chastening, molding, chiseling, which are by no means comfortable or easy to bear. What we must accept however, is the truth that it is for our own good that God chastens us, it is for our own good that He molds us, and it is for our own good that He chisels us.
We always hear of those whom God has endowed with spiritual gifts, those who possess the gifts of healings, or of prophecy, of dreams or of visions, of interpretation of tongues or the discerning of spirits, but we very rarely hear of the years, and sometimes decades of chiseling and molding that they had to endure in order for them to be found ready to receive that which God had in store for them. We also very rarely hear of the thorns in the flesh that such men are allowed of God to have in order for them to remain humble, and wholly dependent on His grace, because hearing of such things takes away from the excitement of miracles, and prophecies and dreams and visions.
If we realized the purging and the sifting the testing and the chiseling that one must go through in order to be ready to receive spiritual gifts from God, I wonder if so many of us would be so eager to desire them so ardently.
I’m not saying not to desire spiritual gifts, Paul encourages us to desire them, but when you begin to desire spiritual gifts, count the cost, and be ready and willing to pay the price. When God endows us with spiritual gifts, we are held all the more accountable for how it is we operate in them, how we walk humbly before our Lord, and how we obey His commands. Contrary to a popular misconception, wherein those endowed with spiritual gifts are entitled to the honor of the brethren, the only thing that spiritual gifting entitles us to is greater accountability before God.
Acts 3:10, “Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”
When God works it is not in a vacuum, when He heals it is not in secret, and all who looked upon the once lame man and saw that he was whole were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
There are certain aspects concerning the gifts of healings that will forever remain beyond our ability to grasp or fully understand, and in these areas we must trust God in all His wisdom and sovereign grace. Why is it that some are healed and others are not? Why is it that for some healing comes instantly while for others it is a progressive experience? Why is it that some are healed upon the first prayer that is uttered while others are healed only after many tears are shed on their behalf? The answers to these questions are God territory, and though we can speculate though we can attempt to draw conclusions, in the end, all they are, is our personal opinion of why the eternal Creator of all that is acted in a certain manner. Yes, we have broad stroked answers to some of these questions relegating them under the file ‘not enough faith’ but it is more complicated than that, and blanket statements are dangerous within the house of God, and especially when attempting to understand the ways of God.
Do I have all the answers? No, I am as you are homeward bound, and only once we make it home will all the answers be revealed to us in all their complexity.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.