I saw something new the other day while reading Matthew 10. I have read this chapter several times, but never really thought about what was really going on. I saw a way of walking in faith that I do not see in my own life; I saw how little my faith actually is.
Up until chapter 10, we see Jesus teaching and healing people, while the apostles followed along, listening and watching intently. Then one day Jesus turns to them and says, “Ok, guys. Now it’s your turn. What you have seen Me do, go out and do likewise. Preach about the Kingdom of God, heal the sick, and raise the dead. It’s time to start walking in My Power and authority. You can do it … Trust Me.”
Amazingly, the disciples go off and do exactly what Jesus asked them to do – no questions, no complainants, and no hesitations.
They stepped out of their comfort zone and did the unthinkable. They simply did what they saw Jesus do; and they did it all out of faith. Simple, child-like, unhindered faith.
Like me, I’m sure you’re thinking: Cool. Nice story. But that’s just it, this is more than a simple story … this is supposed to be a way of life. This is a picture of how we are supposed to be walking – daily – as followers of Christ. Right?! I mean, seriously, is this not the same faith journey Christ calls all of us to? Does this charge not still apply to us, today?
Yeah, but that was back then, it’s different now, you may be saying; but is it really different now? Isn’t the Word of God timeless … isn’t the Spirit and Power of God timeless … isn’t Christ asking us to do the same things – to walk in the same FAITH – today, as He asked of His followers back then? I honestly think so!
What’s stopping us then? Cause, if we’re honest, we’re not walking in such faith. Have we become so “educated” about Christianity that our faith has become “too learned”? Have we schooled ourselves too much to have forgotten what it means to have “child-like-pure-faith”? Have we forgotten how to walk by faith and not by sight?
The disciples didn’t debate or hold seminars on how to heal people. They just did it. They didn’t go to school and learn how to preach well or how to witness to others. They spoke from their hearts what they simply understood to be true, which was the message and person of Christ. They didn’t read books on “Five Steps to Kingdom Building” or “Ten Things to Know Before Raising the Dead”. They just did these things, believing they had the authority from Christ to do it.
Now listen, I’m not saying that learning and studying about the Bible is wrong. I’ve received a great education from my Bible college. I learn a lot from going to church, and participating in small groups. These are all good things. However, what I am asking is this: have we built our faith around our knowledge or around the Source of all knowledge? Has our faith become tainted, and in some ways, self-empowered?
The disciples took Jesus at His word: all authority has been given to Me, and so now I give it to you … go heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, cast our demons, and preach the Kingdom of God. They didn’t question Him, they just did what He told them to do. The more they acted upon His authority, the greater results they saw, and the greater their faith grew. These men (and women) eventually turned the world upside down, all in the Name of Jesus. They lived in the power and presence of God, everyday. They feared nothing.
Their faith seems to be superior to ours, but it shouldn’t be. I’m starting to believe that Christ meant for us to walk in the same faith as the original disciples. He means for us to do the same things Peter, John, and the others once did. His mission for His followers (which today includes us) has not changed. What has changed, unfortunately, is the level of our faith. The Spirit and power of God hasn’t changed … the message and command of Christ has changed … we, the Church, have. We’ve dropped the ball. It’s not that God doesn’t work the same today as He did back then, it’s more like we’ve stopped walking in the power and faith that our spiritual forefathers once walked in.
Why doesn’t God move like He once did? Because our faith doesn’t allow Him to move in such ways anymore. Our brand of Christianity, if we are really honest with ourselves, is based on us and not Him. The Church today, walks by sight and not by faith. We live and work exactly opposite of how Jesus taught us.
So, maybe it’s time to “un-learn” how to heal people, how to raise the dead, how to witness and preach to people, how to live out the Kingdom of God. Maybe it’s time for us to lose our fears of “doing it wrong”. Maybe it’s time for the Church to just go out each day and do these things – stepping forth in the Power and authority of Christ, and not ourselves.
It’s time for me to start walking by faith, again, and not by sight. Who’s with me?