Updated: Feb 5, 2022
Mark 5:25-34 (TLB)
“In the crowd was a woman who had been sick for twelve years with a hemorrhage. She had suffered much from many doctors through the years and had become poor from paying them, and was no better but, in fact, was worse. She had heard all about the wonderful miracles Jesus did, and that is why she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his clothes. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his clothing, I will be healed.” And sure enough, as soon as she had touched him, the bleeding stopped and she knew she was well! Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples said to him, “All this crowd pressing around you, and you ask who touched you?” But he kept on looking around to see who it was who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, healed of your disease.”
As we see above, the woman who had been battling a disease for at least a decade found herself in a physical location that lined her up with Jesus, she found herself in a need situation that lined her up with faith and she found herself the subject of an appropriation of something that she grabbed hold of without anyone’s permission. We can’t even imagine what it must have been like for her after she had extracted her healing from Jesus, after all according to the current customs of her day, her actions were scandalous and very inappropriate. She couldn’t have possibly imagined that her touching of His robe would cause Him to stop, demand to know who had touched Him and then refuse to move along until the culprit came clean and identified themself. The last thing that someone in her condition would have wanted was to be singled out, and yet the level of her faith provoked her into owning that moment and coming forward to take responsibility for a miracle that she fought for. Hebrews 10:24 (KJV) is one of the only times that the word ‘provoke’ is used in a positive way, typically reserved for anger and wrath or jealously, the Apostle Paul uses this very same word to encourage the people of God to help each other out. “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to do good works.” Essentially, these scriptures in Hebrews 10 are focusing on how we are to live as a follower of Jesus; this of course is a 'how to' for us as we get closer to the end of days, all pointing toward us becoming faith provocateurs. The good works that are being touted as the provocation point is directly tied to walking by faith and not by sight, the same faith that only comes by way of works, and good works at that. Not so much works that get us brownie points for being a good little scout, more so the works that cause our faith to spring into action, even if it means appropriating something that we don’t have yet and that we didn’t necessarily get permission (human permission) to call our own.
See, having to fight for a miracle (as a Christian) can sound pretty negative, why would God's chosen people have to claw our way to obtain what is rightfully ours? Ahh, that question comes from someone who has never caught lightning in a bottle. Not an easy thing to do, nor is it impossible. In fact to catch lightning in a bottle, we need a negative charge. Seems to us that it looks real negative when we are denying ourselves and feeling a little foolish in the process because we KNOW without a doubt that something is definitely going to happen if we simply and by faith MAKE the connection.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NASB) “He has made everything appropriate in it’s time. He has also set eternity in their hearts, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.”
That word ‘appropriate’ as is used in Ecclesiastes has a few different meanings, all within the same spelling. As we all know, this book and specific to chapter 3 is all about time (just ask The Byrds), giving us a basic comprehension of timing and the times we experience. And then it hits verse 11 and it trumps all of the back and forth of a time for this and a time for that, simplifying the whole shebang with a neon arrow pointing to the ultimate TRUTH, that God is the One in control of all things. In fact, as we read over and over again from Jesus’ own words, the only appropriate approach to God is through faith. The woman with the chronic issue instinctively used her faith to appropriate her healing, she saw that Jesus had what she needed and so she tapped into it right then and there. After all, the fact that she was even there in the first place was truly a miracle in and of itself. She was a woman (not a highly regarded gender in those days), she was ‘diseased’ and considered ‘unclean,’ she reached out to touch a man who was not her husband as she pushed her way through a crowd of men; to say that she was appropriating a position that she wasn’t allowed to have would be an understatement. This example to us is a tale of timing, of how (and in accordance with Ecclesiastes 3) we are able to jump into God’s flow and claim the promises that Jesus made available to us, just as this nameless woman did.
God making everything appropriate, we finally see, is less about us getting that promotion at work (although it’s possible) or about us getting the bonus to take that extended vacation (although this too, is possible); what Ecclesiastes is speaking about here is how when we begin to appropriate the culture, lifestyle, practices of the Kingdom of God (our Kingdom), in like form all things in the world around us begin to appropriate to that which we are setting in motion as God directs us and guides us and helps us with and originates and lines up for us. When Abraham and his wife Sarah received the word from God that all of the nations would be blessed in him, the thought that in the year A.D. 2021 we would be walking within that very blessing was probably not too fathomable.
Galatians 3:8-9 (NASB)
“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS SHALL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.”
The power of God’s ways do not simply end with us getting a big house, a few top of the line vehicles and a wardrobe that proclaims the amount of money we’ve got rolling in. There is a drawing in effect that happens when we live our lives as though Jesus is lifted up high above (John 12:32) what we look like or the circles we run with. As we begin to appropriate the Kingdom lifestyle and we draw close the blessings bestowed upon Abraham’s household (this includes us) we will begin to see the things that are intertwined within the world; themselves appropriating to the only way, TRUTH and life; as a result of our influence of faith, power and authority, all done through the love of God through Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 4:17 (NASB), "So I tell you and encourage you in the Lord’s name not to live any longer like other people in the world. Their minds are set on worthless things."
As we can see from this scripture, what He requires is for all of His followers to adopt a new mindset. The point in all of this is to get our thoughts and our ways as lined up with His thoughts and His ways as best as we humanly can. Now wait a minute, don't think for a split second that this is "easy," it sounds too simple, so anyone can do this, right? Hold on now, it sounds simple because it is meant to be; unfortunately for us humans though, we need the grace of God to help us push out of the way our limited human mindsets in order for us to take on an entirely new paradigm of thinking (Romans 8:5-6).
Especially now, we need to understand that when God says that ALL THINGS are APPROPRIATE(d) in it’s time - He is talking about so much more than a proper or suitable outcome, He is equally saying that when we accept that He is in control (because we’ve given it to Him) by faith we have now taken upon us a culture (Kingdom culture) that is not our own; He is saying that we have also been given a bottomless account in His appropriations department. In other words, when God is FINALLY given what He has desired all along, for us to be His children and allow Him to be our God and all that this entails, we will make it from beginning to end. For us there are too many blindspots to count which is why we will never know how it ends unless we TRUST HIM to bring it to an end. So in the off chance that we have forgotten - GOD ALWAYS COMES THROUGH. No matter what it looks like, no matter what is being told to us, no matter what legal binding may be happening, no matter if we have been granted a stay of execution & no matter if we haven’t, no matter if we aren’t allowed to have a say, no matter if we are told to go away, no matter if the cities are burning, no matter if life as we knew it is over, no matter what the doctor has told us, no matter if it seems like evil is prevailing - NO MATTER WHAT, ALL THINGS are appropriate & appropriated when we allow the appropriations of God to take over and complete that which we KNOW is ours through faith. And THAT is most certainly always ON TIME.