The power of belief in the right things

What would you receive if everything you got in life was doled out to you according to your belief in God’s ability and willingness to do it?

I’m not being clever here, I’m asking the question implied in this passage.

Let me quickly tell you the story to get you up to speed…

Jesus had been doing lots of amazing things – teaching with authority and power, healing people with life-long diseases and conditions, etc. Pretty remarkable things.

A Roman centurion (translation: a violent, pagan man) heard the kinds of things Jesus had been doing and went looking for Him.

Why? His servant was sick and suffering. (translation: this centurion was also a man of deep emotion).

When he found Jesus, the centurion told Him why he’d come, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.”

Jesus agreed to come to his home (unheard of for a Jew to go into the home of a non-Jew) and heal the servant.

AND HERE IS WHERE IT GETS REALLY INTERESTING…

The centurion said,

“Lord, I am not worthy to have You come under my roof, but only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

Something in this account stirs me. It’s something about the simplicity and clarity of the centurion’s belief.

With all his character flaws and ungodly traits, the centurion understood a very real and simple thing: There are varying degrees of power and authority. That fact was a daily aspect of his existence as a military man.

And though the examples he gave were examples where he had power/authority over others, notice what he said, “I too am a man UNDER authority.” Even he had authorities he had to obey.

He recognized Jesus’ authority through what Jesus was doing. He obviously had authority over sickness. But the centurion believed to the degree that he not only knew Jesus to be capable of healing his servant but also to the degree that Jesus could do it on command, from a distance.

THAT brings us back to my question…

What would you receive if everything you got in life was doled out to you according to YOUR belief in God’s ability and willingness to do it?

After Jesus marveled at the perspective of faith the centurion had, He said, “Go; let it be done for you AS YOU HAVE BELIEVED.”

And the servant WAS healed – IMMEDIATELY.

So – the centurion’s explanation of his request wasn’t just theoretical or theological. He truly believed things to work exactly as he described.

And they did.

💡 My original question pushes on two potentially tender spots in the life of every Christ-follower…

  1. Do you believe God is ABLE to provide/do good things in your life?
  2. Do you believe He is WILLING?

The first one isn’t usually where we get tripped up. After all, God is God. He creates out of nothing. He spins galaxies and holds planets in place. He’s got the ability to do far more than we ask, think, or even imagine. Right? Most of us believe at least that far.

Number two is where we get derailed.

❔ Is God WILLING to do the things we ask?

Why does this one give us trouble? For a couple of reasons…

  • We aren’t convinced that he loves US that much (let’s be honest – it’s often an issue of us not feeling worthy, so our faith shrinks back).
  • OR, because we honestly DON’T know if He’s willing to do the things we ask.

If we’re going to overcome the first of those we’ll have to soak for a while in the reality of God’s love for us, personally. Romans 5:8 has to become significant to each of us on a personal level – “But God shows His love for us (YOU/ME) in that while we WERE STILL SINNERS, Christ died for us.” What more could He do to attempt to overcome our crippling self-condemnation? He’s already proven His love. We simply refuse to accept it as true. Make it a priority to ponder the depths and reality of God’s great love for YOU. If you don’t take the time to do it and do it often, you’ll continue to shrink back, unable to believe God willing to do good in your life.

If we’re going to overcome the second issue we have to take the step the centurion took – simply ask.

Our ignorance of what God intends in a situation should never hold us back from asking Him for what seems wise or good to us. The centurion didn’t know if Jesus was willing to heal his servant – UNTIL HE ASKED.

So… back to the original question…

What would you receive if everything you got in life was doled out to you according to your belief in God’s ability and willingness to do it?

We need to take a page from this centurion’s book. We must ask Jesus for good things. We must ask with confidence – in both Jesus’ ability and Jesus’ willingness to do good to us.

“…let it be done for you AS YOU HAVE BELIEVED.”

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