• Lisette Verri

God Responds to our Faith, not our Need

Not too long ago, during some personal scripture study, the Lord had brought something really interesting to my attention that I wanted to share with you. The insight that He gave me was regarding the subject of faith and God’s desire for us to have an interactive relationship with Him. The two are very connected and what I am about to present to you may not be a new revelation to everybody that’s reading this, but it was an added emphasis that I needed at that point in my spiritual transformation that I hope blesses you, too.

I was reading through the gospels, and I’ve read through the gospels countless times, but, during this particular period of study I started to see a pattern emerging. The pattern that was emerging was regarding Jesus’ miracles and healings that He performed during the years of His ministry. What really stood out to me was the response that the Lord had to the faith of the people who were receiving their healing miracle. What also stood out to me was this interactive exchange between the Lord and the believer through their faith to such a point that He responded to each one in an interesting and profound way.

God knows all of our needs. Every human soul has a long and continual list of needs. The message that I am now presenting to you is not suggesting that God does not respond to our needs. We know through scripture that God not only knew us before we were born, but knows every need we will ever have, and that He goes ahead of us to meet needs, some that we may not even realize exist. God definitely meets the needs of His people.

We know through scripture that God not only knew us before we were born, but knows every need we will ever have, and that He goes ahead of us to meet needs, some that we may not even realize exist. God definitely meets the needs of His people.

What God was bringing to my attention was the role faith plays in this interactive exchange between God and the believer. While reading through Jesus’ miracles I noticed that Jesus responded dramatically to the faith of the believer. It was not so much about the need, (the need was a given because everyone has needs), but about the faith response of the individual who with no uncertainty, without a shadow of a doubt, believed that Jesus could do exactly for which they sought Him. And, not only did Jesus heal these people, but He was sure to point out their level of faith in the interaction.

For example, let’s look at the faith of the centurion (Luke 7:1-10; Mathew 8:5-13; John 4:43-54). Jesus finished speaking to a group of followers and entered into Capernaum. The centurion’s servant was very sick and close to death, a servant who was very dear to the centurion. When the centurion realized Jesus was in town, he asked the elders of the Jews to beseech Jesus to come and heal his beloved servant (The elders advocated for the centurion because they said the centurion loved their nation and built a synagogue for them.) So, they all set off with Jesus to go to the centurion’s house.

The centurion sends friends to meet Jesus before He arrives saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But, say the word and my servant will be healed.” (Luke 7: 6-7)

He goes on to explain that he is a man who not only has authority figures over him, but that he is an authority over men. The centurion further explains that when he tells one to “go” they go, and to another “come” and he comes, he tells his servant to do something, and he does it. All Jesus had to do, the centurion contends, is to say the word and his servant will be healed (Luke 7:8).

The real mind blower here is that Jesus, when he heard the words of the centurion, marveled!

Not only did he marvel at the level of understanding of the centurion regarding the authority of Jesus, but at his level of faith believing that Jesus could and would do what was asked of Him.

Jesus turned to the crowd and proclaimed, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” And in that moment, the servant was healed (Luke 7:9-10). By turning to the crowd, Jesus saw an opportunity for a teaching moment and used it. And, you will find this with every miracle He performed.

The centurion gets it.

This pagan, Roman centurion understood the authority of Jesus and realized, without a doubt, that He was the source for healing. He knew exactly what was needed and went to the right One that could provide it for him. Jesus pointed out that the centurion seemed to get it easier than the followers in Israel. Spend a minute with that.

Another example can be found with the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:25-34; Matthew 9:20-22; Luke 8:43-48) There was a woman who had an illness causing her to bleed for twelve years. This woman spent every dollar she had on doctors and nobody could heal her. She knew Jesus was in town and sought Him for a healing miracle.

Now, try and picture this – Jesus is being thronged on all sides by a massive crowd. He’s being pressed against and crushed by a multitude of people all seeking something from Him. They all had needs and were desperate to receive something from Jesus that day. Then this sick woman, in order to get to Jesus to get her need met, squeezed her way through the crush of people until she could reach the hem of his garment.

Scripture doesn’t specifically point this out, but in my mind I’m thinking that in order to get to Jesus in that thick crush of people, she probably had to get down on the ground, crawl on hands and knees and really work her way through, then stretch her arm until she could just barely reach the hem of his clothes, the only part of Him she could reach.

Jesus immediately asked, “Who touched Me?"

There were droves of people touching Jesus. Not just touching him but thronging and pressing against Him. Peter was scratching his head wondering how Jesus could ask such a crazy question. But, Jesus felt power come out of Him with her touch, and He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” (v 48)

Tell me… what was different about this woman’s touch from all the other people touching, thronging and pressing against Jesus that day? It certainly wasn't "need." Every person there had a need.

The difference was her level of faith. Jesus could tell the difference instantly, and healed her in that very moment. There was an important and incredible interaction between the Lord, this believer, and her level of faith.

Yet another example, Jesus heals the paralytic man (Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26; Matthew 9:1-8). Now, on this day, Jesus was teaching probably in Peter’s house. The man needing the healing was being carried in on a stretcher, so-to-speak, by a few men and they could not find a way to get him through the crowd and before the Lord. There were throngs of people on all sides of Jesus and they could not find a way to get the man on the stretcher to Jesus in order to receive his healing miracle. So, they climbed up on the roof of Peter’s house, tore a hole and lowered the man down through it.

These guys did what they had to do to get the paralytic man in front of Jesus, even to the point of breaking a hole in the roof. When Jesus saw this level of their faith, he forgave the man’s sins and healed him in that instant.

What is different about this man’s faith, and the faith of the men who helped him, that was different from everyone else nearby? When we compare the three examples provided here, there are certain elements that stand out strongly. One, these people were absolutely hopeless without Jesus. Two, they 100% without a doubt believed that Jesus would heal them, and three, they were desperate enough to do anything to get there.

The bottom line is, these people had a level of faith that most people do not exercise. And, Jesus responded to it in a profound way.

And yet another example can be found where Jesus meets the ten lepers (Mark 1:40-45; Luke 17:11-17; Matthew 8:2-4). Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem after traveling through Samaria and Galilee. Jesus is going into a village and there were ten men there with leprosy. They stood off at a distance and called out to Jesus, “Master, have mercy on us!”

As was the norm in those days, when you were sick, you went to the priests to be cleansed, and Jesus told them to do just that. The men go to the priests to be cleansed. Now, one man, when he realized that he was healed, returned to Jesus, fell down at His feet, and gave thanks and praise, glorifying God.

Jesus is looking around and asks where the other nine men were. They all went to the priests, the priests did what they were supposed to do to all ten men, and only one returns healed. And, what’s even more interesting is that the only one who returned healed was a foreigner, a Samaritan man. Here is this Samaritan man returning to Jesus healed and throwing himself down at His feet to give thanks and praise and Jesus told him that his faith has made him well.

What I’m getting from this is that ten men asked Jesus to heal them, ten men were sent to the priests to be cleansed, one man (a foreigner) gets healed and returns to give thanks to the Lord. What was different about this one man that the other men did not share? It was his level of faith, and not only that, but his enormous gratitude (which speaks to his level of desperation) for being made whole.

Spend a minute with this. There is really something to this and we all need to wrap our heads around it because I think it’s very important. This really speaks to our relationship with God on this level of interactive faith.

The amount of faith you have is irrelevant. The issue is, whatever measure of faith you have, you better bring it with you when you seek God with your need.

If we’re approaching God with a petition (a need), we need to be bringing our faith with it. How bad do you want it and what length are you willing to go to get it? God will reward our faith. Everybody has faith of some portion or another. Every single soul on this earth has been assigned a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). There are people out there with enormous, great faith and people with little, itty-bitty faith. It’s not really about how much faith you have. The amount of faith you have is irrelevant. The issue is, whatever measure of faith you have, you better bring it with you when you seek God with your need. Bringing your faith with your prayers honors God, He will reward it and your faith will increase. Boom. Simple.

“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” ~Matthew 17:20

If you’ve ever seen a mustard seed, you realize that it is tiny, like a speck. That’s all you need to approach God. Faith is like a muscle: the more you use it, the bigger and stronger it gets. Now, does this mean that every prayer you send to God is going to get you what you want? No. But, it will get a response from the Lord – Every. Single. Time.

You will come across people who claim that they have zero faith, that the world has destroyed their faith, and while they can ask God for stuff, they don’t believe anything anymore until they see it.

Well, I don’t believe that. God has given every person a measure of faith. Every person. And, there is not one scripture that tells us that it has an expiration date. There is nothing that can take it away. The problem is, people just refuse to use it. So, if you feel like your faith is gone, you’re wrong, my friend. Your faith is there, you just have to be willing to use it, even in the face of fear or rebellion because the world has done you wrong. Prayer, in itself, is an act of faith. If you can send up a simple prayer, you have a measure of faith. Period.

The more you use and practice your faith, the bigger it gets, and you will instantly start seeing the fruit of that in your life. God wants us to really trust Him, to really believe that He is there with us and paying attention to what is going on in our lives. You can see this repeatedly in scripture that the big issue that Jesus kept driving home was our level of faith.

Our relationship with the Lord is a beautifully interactive one. The Lord wants you to be active in this relationship. He wants you to be part of the divine exchange that takes place when He is loving, ministering, teaching, maturing and correcting you. We don't just sit there and expect God to do everything. We have a role to play. That role is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength - and to exercise our faith, with thanksgiving and gratitude, acknowledging how desperate we truly are for Him.

Video: God responds to our FAITH, not our NEED

More Scriptures....

Matthew 8:10 Now when Jesus heard {this,} He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. Matthew 9:2 And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.” Matthew 9:22 But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well. Matthew 9:29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.” Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once. Matthew 17:20 And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. Matthew 21:21 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. Mark 2:5 And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 4:40 And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 5:34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 10:52 And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and {began} following Him on the road. Mark 11:22 And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. Luke 5:20 Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” Luke 7:9 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.” Luke 7:50 And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 8:25 And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?” Luke 8:48 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” Luke 17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you. Luke 17:19 And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”

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