24 September, 2010

Where Is the Faith?

This is something that has bothered me for a long time, but it really came to a head this morning.  I was reading on a message board where people were criticizing miracles that have been reported. OK, let's be clear, there are charlatans out there... even in the church world. No one is doubting that. But in a discussion criticizing those who had claimed a miracle of God filling teeth, (again, yes, sometimes there are frauds) a man who is himself today a pastor shared how that many years ago, in his younger days, at a time when he was straying from God, his father (who was the pastor) had begged him to come to a revival service. In that service, he felt a burning in his jaw, and then the evangelist said that someone was experiencing a burning in their jaw, and that God was filling a tooth. This man testified on this board that God did in fact fill his tooth miraculously that night, and because of that miracle he had returned to serving God.  Now, I don't know this man, but I do know two of his brothers and have met his father. I do not doubt the story one bit.  But people on this board began to criticize and question, "why did God not just give him a new tooth instead of filling it?"  Others had other harsh words.  People I know basically said they do not believe God would do such a thing. Some of these people are pastors. I read and hear things like this and I begin to understand just why the church is so powerless and not making the impact on the world that it should. The church is faithless, full of skeptics and (I believe) is so self-righteous that we would dare tell God how to do things. 

Why did God choose to fill a tooth rather restore it? 
I have not got a clue.
But I also have no clue why Jesus chose to put a coin in the mouth of a fish. 
Not the way I would do it... but I'm not God.
Why did God part the waters rather than just pick them up and move them to the other side?
Why did God tell the prophet to tell a man to go dip 7 times in muddy water?
Why did God's prophet stretch himself over a dead boy to restore life into his body?
I could go on and on with examples and say of each, "that's not how I would do it>'
But you know what?
God did not ask for my opinion!
When the Holy Spirit first spoke to me at a time when my life was controlled by alcohol and drugs, and my mind was tormented with a spirit of suicide...  He spoke to me through a Beatles song.
I've had countless "know it all" preachers and church bosses tell me, "God would not use the words from a heathen rock group to do his work."
Look, I really don't give a flying flip what you believe... but I know that the Holy Spirit spoke to me through that song, and 3 days later I met Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and I've been serving him ever since. 

Why would God choose to fill a tooth? I don't know. I just thank God He did it and this man came home to Jesus and is preaching the Gospel because of it.
Let me share a personal one. I have a messed up left knee that I injured in 1981. Since October of 1981 I have had no cartilage left in that knee since 1983. In 1987 a doctor showed me my xrays and the damage that was done from walking bone on bone and how the bone surface was eaten away and I had a spot the size of a nickel where I was into soft tissue. The doctor told me that I'd need a knee replacement by the time I reached my  mid to late thirties. We prayed for healing.  The strange thing is, I was never healed, but here I am at age 51 and the spot on my knee has never gotten any larger, no more damage at all.
I could question God as to why he did not heal me completely rather than stop the damage. Others have told me that they don't believe God would do that. 
Well... explain it any other way. Believe what you want. But I choose faith.

I'm praying for a renewal of faith to come upon the Body of Christ. 

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