It's almost a year ago since we sat across the table from each other. She, full of faith, me, eating soup and pretending to be brave and nonchalant.
"I just feel like God's telling me whatever you do, he's going to bless and go before you," she was so confident.
It came out of nowhere. We had just met that afternoon. I had to suppress the urge to look around me to see if she was talking about someone else, instead I smiled weakly. I might have inwardly even rolled my eyes.
"It's just yours to go and claim, he wants to bless you," she kept going.
And I shifted uncomfortably, not sure what to say. How could she have so much faith and confidence that God was speaking? That she was hearing him? How was it possible when she didn't even know me?
I realize looking back now that her words fell on doubtful soil. And the doubt came in and squelched it out.
And if I'm honest, the doubt still does its best to suffocate her words.
Almost a year later, I still hear them every time I sit down to type. They've got me thinking, they've got me dreaming.
They've got me coming face-to-face with how little faith I have in God's power to work. A year later I still barely believe that he can do anything. Because if I'm honest, the God I believe in doesn't do very much.
If faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains, does that mean mine's even smaller? The mountains in my life still loom, and I still choose not to trust his promises.
But I started thinking, how differently would I act if I actually believed God was going before me and making a way?
What would I do differently if I was confident that every time I jumped, I would fly? What does it really mean to live in resurrection power?
How differently would I act if I actually believed God was going before me and making a way?
Pastor Alan Scott, who preaches in a church along the north coast of Northern Ireland, sometimes just prays for healing over and over and over again at the same prayer meeting until the person in question is healed. When I pray for healing it's more like a hypothetical nicety
My honest prayers for healing go something like: "Dear Lord, it would be so great if maybe you healed this person, but if (and when) you choose not to, please just give us the strength to trust your will."
But what mountains could we move if we started taking God at his word?
When he says he's a healer, why does that doesn't that mean he's THE healer? When he says whoever believes in him will have the power to perform all the wonders he did while he was on earth-- and MORE?
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (John 14:14, ESV)
I want to be a miracle worker, not because I want to be a miracle worker, but because I want to believe in God. The God that he claims to be himself.
Sometimes I think we're afraid to trust these things, to trust that God is for us because it feels dangerously like some sort of prosperity gospel. But I don't think this is the same thing. Taking the things Jesus promises in his Word to be true isn't the same thing as saying "If I love Jesus I'm going to have a big house and a sports car."
I want to be a miracle worker, not because I want to be a miracle worker, but because I want to believe in God.
It's saying "I might live in a crappy house, might barely scrape by with enough food, be rejected by the world, but I have a God who rains manna down from the heavens. I have a God who has changed the hearts of all my neighbors and has healed my mother from cancer-- because he can."
And I want to believe that when he graciously chooses to say he goes before me in my writing, that he's going to make things I never could dream of happen. I want to have faith that is full. Not because my faith is validated by signs and wonders, but because I want to trust God that much. I want to know his heart so well that I pray for the things that are on it. I want to love him so deeply and trust his power so implicitly that the mountains move into the sea.
I want to take him at his word and trust his promises. So let's start with one promise to take to heart:
You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. (Joshua 23:14)