By Patrick Hawthorne
I’m feeling a bit country this morning, so I’m going to lay aside the formalities of proper writing and tell it to you straight. Are you fine with that? Good…after all, there ain’t no time for jabber-jawing when there’s work to be done. Now, let’s get right to the point.
Have you ever got a thought stuck in your craw that you knew wasn’t right but ya pondered on it anyhow? What I mean by that is, have you ever set you mind on something that you knew to be a lie but you just couldn’t help yourself from believing it? Let me give you a prime example with a common thought amongst us Christian folk.
“If I’m good enough…If I pray enough…If I read the Word enough, maybe – just maybe – God will answer my prayers.” Have you ever thought like that? I’m sure you have; we all have. Yet, to think in such a manner is just plain wrong and is one of the surest ways of not receiving an answer to your prayer. Why? It is because our Heavenly Father moves by faith…our faith in accordance with His Word.
Let’s think about this a second. Who redeemed who? Did you redeem Jesus or did He redeem you? Of course, Jesus redeemed you and me. What did we bring to the table? That’s right… absolutely nothing.
You see, for us to think our Lord will answer prayers according to our deeds is to consider our own selves as having more redeeming qualities than the redemptive sacrifice of our Lord Jesus. He is the redeemer, not us. After all, our own righteousness is no better than a pile of filthy rags worthy of a burn pile.
No matter how good we think we are, we will never be good enough. Likewise, no matter how bad we think we have behaved, we will never be bad enough to out-bad the goodness of God’s redeeming grace. Only Jesus checked all the right boxes on the redeemer survey.
Was it you or Jesus who was anointed to preach the Gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, to restore sight to the blind, and to set at liberty those who are oppressed? He is the Redeemer. He is the anointed one…not us.
So, just what is God looking for? That is simple. It is faith. Or, should I say, simple faith.
Think about it for a second. How was the demon possessed daughter of the woman from Canaan healed (Matthew 15:22)? It was by the “ain’t nothing going to stop me,” faith of the mother. How was the servant healed in Matthew 8:5? It was by the “I’m not worthy but I got the faith,” attitude of the Centurion. How was the woman with the issue of blood healed (Luke 8:43)? It was by her, “Damn the torpedo’s…full steam ahead,” faith. In all three cases Jesus made it clear that the healing came about because of their faith. None of them had anything other than faith to offer.
If you are struggling with the thought that you are not good enough or have not done enough to receive from God, then good… that’s what you need to think. It ain’t about you. However, take heart by acknowledging that Jesus became good enough for you. Your part is to walk in faith according to His word and to work out your own salvation. It is a marathon in which you stumble sometimes, fall sometimes, but always get back up. Now, get to work and be blessed.