Whether we are reading it off the pages of our favorite bible translation or we heard the voice of God telling us a specific thing or perhaps we happened upon a revelation that we know was heaven sent; whatever the method, when God speaks and we are lined up with ears to hear it, there is absolutely NOTHING that can stop that which has been set in motion by our faith. Outside of ourselves getting in the way, nothing stands a chance because at this point God is definitely involved. To simplify that a little, we wanted to point out that FAITH = NEED (FOR GOD), Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." At first glance our bold equation looks a bit wrong, doesn’t it? How would faith - that thing that can move an entire mountain, that thing that gives us zero gravity when atop liquid water, that thing that provokes us to take hold of the authority that God provides to us, that thing that pushes us to pull out that chair and have a meal at the table while our enemies surround us - just how would this very same faith have any connection to something as lowly, humiliating and as victimized as NEED?
Matthew 6:25-34 (NASB)
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather crops into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more important than they? And which of you by worrying can add a single day to his life’s span? And why are you worried about clothing? Notice how the lilies of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin thread for cloth, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.”
Thinking about the fact that God knows everything that has, is and will happen is akin to thinking about life with our Father after death - living and existing forever. And that was the sound of our collective minds exploding at the same time. Our little human brains are unable to pass a particular point of our reasoning and facts based scientific dissection into actual eternity, thus explosions. Yet, scriptures like Matthew 6 exist and are thrown into the mix of really encouraging teachings on the provisions of God. After all, talking about our clothes and food and how birds and flowers are set up for life is poetry and brings a large amount of peace that almost immediately kicks in once we begin reading this passage; and then Jesus calls us out and blasts us with a “you of little faith” charge. Wait, what? He then reveals a little secret that He was sent to tell us all about, “for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” Here in this one perfectly poignant chunk of scripture, God is making a connection that seems extremely un-connectable. Of course it’s not too much of a stretch to understand that when we are in need of something, we are able to obtain that which we need by way of faith. For us savvy Christians, this is what we call a no brainer. However, looking at these scriptures, which emphasize that we actually don’t have anything to be needy about because God surely takes care of us a little better than He does the wildlife; we can’t help but wonder why then faith would even be mentioned along with stuff that is ours without question?
Psalm 81:10-12 (NASB)
“I, the Lord am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. But My people did not listen to My voice; and Israel did not obey Me. So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, to walk in their own devices.”
And now it it all starts to make sense. See, we have need when one of two things happens: 1. We are off on our own agenda, trying to make things happen for ourselves, we are not going to be able to think of everything and there will be many times when we are in need of some help because WE are the ones making the moves and the decisions and somewhere off to the side, we are of course asking God to bless us along OUR way; 2. God is taking us from one place to another. We are in a ‘no man’s land’ and we are totally in need of HIM - we rely upon Him for everything and He shows up every step of the way. This method looks foolish, it looks crazy, but God is the only One in charge and we are just along for the ride of a lifetime. Out of these two options, God shows up in both - but the degrees of Him showing up in a miraculous way are staggeringly far apart. Option 1 means that we have need of things/people all the tangible stuff, but option 2 means that we are in need of God alone and all the tangible things are provided as a result. Faith is required for both that is true, but when our faith is tied to our need for Him, the impossible becomes an everyday occurrence. Our entire life then points a beaming arrow straight toward heaven because of the signs and wonders that follow us around, becoming our newest normal. Now, we understand that just by reading that, we may begin to question the sanity and/or validity of the TUP writers, due to a 'good Christian' lifetime of being taught from pulpits that this kind of stuff happening is pretty rare and very specific to primarily happen only during conferences or camp meetings or tent meetings or even on mission fields where needs are great. But we would be remissed not to find out for ourselves if what we are onto here is truly what the Bible is saying and what Jesus went around teaching and exemplifying for us.
John 14:12-14 (NIV)
"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."
Mark Twain once said, “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” What a perspective! We can relate can’t we? The older we all get the more we understand the things that were once a mystery to us; translation, the older we get the simpler life truly becomes. We have an incredible Father in Heaven who has been simplifying everything within His Kingdom since Adam and Eve became separated from the original life that He designed for us all. Their’s was the life wasn’t it? Just tending to the land, producing food and being unencumbered with life’s many cumbersome things. A time when relying upon God the Father and trusting Him without even a shadow of a doubt was the ‘daily grind’ - not so much the grind part though. This was it, the dream that God had beheld in His all knowing ‘mind’s eye;’ and then came one interruption after another, one deception upon deception, one distraction and then all the rest of them up until today. From then to now we have this incredible constant in the King of Kings who has been clearing a path ahead of us so that we can finally make it back to those simple days; days of just us and Him. See, in those simple days (back in those Old Testament verses) the miraculous works that God displayed, happened in most cases with just one word or one command or one task or one TRUTH. From Abraham’s one phrase, “I will make you the father of many nations” to young David with just one stone against a rather large moving target. In the New Testament we see people who had never even met Jesus (or heard about Him) taking His one instruction all the way to their healing. The simplicity of an uncomplicated word straight from God to our hearts, naturally seems too good to be true. When Benny Hinn had people coming in droves to get a blow to the face, there were actual healings that took place - NOT because of Benny’s minty fresh breath, but rather, because of the actions that people wrapped their hearts around and by faith showed up, stood in line and somewhere along the way grabbed hold of. See, if the Bible shows us anything significant about God’s simplicity, it is that He doesn’t require much at all. Our will, yes. Our obedience, yes. Our faith, yes. Our actions, yes. Seems simple enough. So why do we make it much more complicated than this? Actually, why have we been taught of the complexities, rather than the simplicity?
2 Timothy 4:3-5 (TLV)
“For the time will come when they will not put up with sound instruction, but they will pile up for themselves teachers in keeping with their own desires, to have their ears tickled. And they will turn away from hearing the truth and wander off to myths. You, however, keep a clear mind in all things, withstand hardship, do the work of proclaiming the Good News, and fulfill your service.”
When we think about miracles, we think of the wonder and awe that we are witnessing (or reading about) on the receiving end. Moses parting the Red Sea is only increased in it’s dramatic grandeur thanks to Charleton Heston; but as we read about the lead up to this magnanimous moment, what we actually see is a series of events that took place in which God incrementally began the humbling process of Moses, in order to fulfill what would eventually become the greatest lesson that Moses would ever teach us: HOW TO GET OUT OF GOD’S WAY. Jesus spoke about it more times than He probably would have liked to as He did so in John 5:19-20 (NIV)
“Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.”
See, even Jesus understood that in order for God to show up mightily with signs, wonders and miracles - the only part in the whole deal He had (and we have), was to follow God and do only what He says to do, as He says to do it. The humility involved in this is a little more than what we humans are used to, because at the end of the day, what God does has less to do with us than we tend to think it does. We see revealed, the reasons behind why God says that we don’t and won’t know the beginning to the end. We would be famous if we knew the whole story line! We would surely be the person that claims to have all the answers - as God stands in line for a signed copy of our latest book with a few questions of His own. Honestly, in most moments of our lives we (just as those faith founders back in the Old Testament days) are most likely only going to have one thing that we KNOW 100% undoubtedly, no one can talk us out of it or convince us otherwise. That’s it, just the one! We won’t have the science to back it up, we won’t have the proof in that pudding just yet, we won’t even have the support of our fellow faith filled friends who at this point in our faith journey would be labeling us as completely off the cliff. Because sometimes, that's all we've got; just one simple word from God Almighty. And just as Peter puts it in Acts 3:6 (KJV)”Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” the little that we WILL HAVE, when it comes straight from God Himself, is in fact MORE THAN ENOUGH. Acts 3:7-9 (KJV) “And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God.”