The Big Stick Called Faith
By Jim Lynn for God's Healing Word (posted on OFW with permission)
A great mystery
I want to tell you about a great mystery that has perplexed
Christians of our generation. This mystery stirs fear and
creates unrest within the Church. What mystery do I speak
of? It is the mystery of the power of faith to heal the sick.
The mystery of the power of faith to heal the sick is not
ours alone. For despite the power and authority given to
the twelve disciples to drive out demons and heal the sick,
they, too, struggled to administer that power and authority.
In other words, twelve handpicked men of Christ struggled
with the issue of faith to heal the sick just as we do today!
Let's review some known facts:
We know Jesus sent His disciples out, two by two, to preach
the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. But before doing so,
He gave them each a huge stick to carry. That huge stick is
God's authority and power (Matthew 10:1).
Armed with this big stick, the disciples were able to drive
out demons and heal the sick of every known disease.
Without the stick, these ordinary men were powerless.
But as we shall soon learn, just because these twelve were
given God's power and authority to heal didn't mean they
would always be successful. That's because Jesus required
the twelve to possess one thing more, which only they
themselves could supply.
That one thing was their faith!
In spite of having God's power and authority to heal the sick,
the disciples were powerless without their personal belief
and faith that God would do as they asked of Him.
Mark 6:13 tells us when the disciples went out, they drove
out many demons and healed the sick (Mark 6:13). Praise
God! Imagine their joy and the great enthusiasm which
followed. They must have had many wonderful stories
to tell as a result.
On at least on one occasion, things didn't go so well.
Not everyone was healed. The disciples had tried
unsuccessfully to drive a lunatic demon from a boy
When the boy's father related this information to Jesus,
He replied, "O faithless and perverse generation...How
long shall I put up with you?" (Matthew 17:17) Obviously,
Jesus' statement was not directly pointed toward the
disciples, although it most certainly included them.
When the disciples later came to Jesus in private to ask
Him why they couldn't heal the boy, He answered them
by saying, "because you have so little faith"
That's the mystery, the great mystery called faith, which
the world fears yet today and has created division and
strife within the Church.
Faith is the keystone that empowers God's authority and
power to heal the sick. How much faith? Jesus said with
just a little faith nothing will be impossible for you
Many years later, the Apostle James would admonish
Church elders to pray over their sick in faith, and to anoint
the sick with oil for healing (James 5:14-16). James had
obviously learned the lesson of faith well from his own
failure while in training with Jesus years before. For he
was with Jesus the day the father of the lunatic boy
Faith in God's promise to heal is what separates men
of faith in God, from carnal men who cower in fear or
disbelief. This kind of faith is not intellectual or born of
doctrine. It is a soul searching conviction (born of God's
Word) which touches the very heart of God.
Church elders today, who dismiss James 5:14ff, of course
do not practice James' admonition. To make themselves
feel comfortable about their dismissal (and to be accepted
by the world) they have Church doctrines which effectively
puts God out of the healing business, and healing out of the
Body of Christ (The Church).
The real question we should be asking ourselves is not
whether God heals. The real question should be are we
willing to believe and put our faith in God's promise to
exercise His power and authority on our behalf?
That's a big question because faith to heal places God
squarely into our midst, not far off in some unseen world.
It puts Him right into our lives and world, much like our
mother, father and children are part of our lives.
I have to tell you, many Christians are not comfortable with
that thought. They fear God. They are more comfortable
with a God that is somewhere over there, not here.
You see, faith for many Christians consists of believing in
Jesus Christ as their Savior. That's good, but think about it.
Faith to save one's soul is a far cry from faith that falls
upon Jesus Christ for healing.
The former is benign and requires little beyond intellectual
acceptance, kinda like acceptance that the earth spins one
revolution every 24 hours on its axis. People accept the
earth spins and go on with their lives. No biggy. We regulate
our lives by this spinning, and that's about it.
Likewise, many people willingly conform their lives as
Christians to live a moral existence with a hope for the
resurrection. They count themselves faithful if they attend
Church regularly. That's the extent of faith for many Christians.
Unless they are forced to renounce their faith or be killed,
there is little to challenge their faith.
The latter, however, goes much farther. It actively calls
Upon God's power and authority with unwavering certainty
to restore the human body to wholeness free of disease.
That's not something the world likes or accepts.
The implications of this kind of faith goes far beyond intellectual
faith and being faithful to attend Church. This kind of faith stands
squarely against the world and medical tests that says a person
has cancer and has two months to live. It defies Church doctrine
which does not believe in divine healing. It falls with conviction
and certainty upon an unseen all powerful God that He will
fulfill His Word to us. That, friends, is the kind of faith Jesus
had in mind when he lamented, "O faithless and perverse
One of America's Presidents, Teddy Roosevelt, had a saying
about America's role in the world. He said America should
walk softly and carry a big stick. Of course, that big stick
was America's military might.
As Christians, we are to walk softly and also carry a big stick,
The big stick of faith that believes God's Word. That many
Christians have entrusted the world to the care of their
bodies at the expense of forsaking God's power and authority
to heal speaks volumes about the size of the stick they carry.
May the God of Peace fill your heart
and soul with faith.