Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where’s The Love?

A high school friend who is now a pastor in Seattle posed this question on Facebook yesterday:

“As we pray for God to intervene, why do some seem to be healed and others not? Is God indifferent or selective? What is up with that?”

Being someone who has been praying & believing for my own healing for nearly 23 years, the question interested me greatly.  In fact, I have asked some form of it myself through the years.  Since Jesus healed all who came to him (Matt. 12:15 & Acts 10:38) & said that if we have faith in Him, we would do the same & greater (John 14:11-14), why isn’t everyone healed?

First, I must say that I don’t think it’s really a question of why so many people aren’t healed as it is an amazement that so many people are healed.  I mean, we deserve nothing.  Every good thing we have has nothing to do with us – our works – but is purely because of God’s love. And since most Christians are, if we’re being honest, such a mess at being Christians, it is only by God’s great compassion that, when we pray for people, we see the miracles we do see.  Yes, it’s always by Him, but He likes using His earthly body – The Church – to accomplish His will.  And because of this, He has shown us in His word how we might be used.  And I think that’s the question my friend was asking…why aren’t we used more?

I was sitting in the warm, beautiful sunshine this morning & my friend’s question came back to me, so I started reflecting on it & talking it over with God.  I asked Him, “Lord, since Your word is true & always works, why aren’t more people healed?  Why isn’t everybody who is prayed for healed?  You’re word says it, so it can’t be You.  Yes, Lord, You are sovereign, but You said that if we have faith, we would do what You did & greater…that You would do it through us.”  As I sat there listening, I felt these words in my spirit:

Where’s the love?”

The bible says that faith works by love (Gal. 5:6).  So where is the love?  Jesus taught that all of the commandments were summed up by love (Matt. 22:36-40) & that love is the most important thing (John 15).  God is love (1 John 4:8).  Jesus came because of this love – that we might be saved.  He came so that we might see God in the flesh (John 14:9)…so that we could see love.  Yet what do we do?  What do we, the body of Christ, do?  Do we truly love?  Not often.  Too many times the body of Christ, instead of loving one another, is ripping itself apart.  “Arms” cut off “legs”.  “Legs” gouge out “eyes”.  “Eyes” cut out “tongues”.  And all the parts stab the “hearts”.  If the Church can’t even walk in love with our own body, how can people be healed?  How can we ask in faith expecting when faith works by a love in which we aren’t walking?

Jesus said,

"5I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:5-8 NIV)

Do we reap strawberries from the branches of a grape vine?  Do we reap tomatoes from the branches of a squash vine?  Of course not!  If we’re reaping strawberries, it’s not a grape vine & if we’re reaping tomatoes, it’s not a squash vine.  So the question is, what are we reaping?  Are we reaping hatred, anger, depression, cruelty, meanness, doubt, harshness &/or selfish desires?  If so, then we are not a branch of the True Vine.  If we are not reaping the fruit of the True Vine, then we are not truly abiding in Him – allowing Him to prune us to make us productive (John 15:1-2).

“22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control.” (Gal. 5:22-23)

God’s word is always true & always works, so if we aren’t seeing & doing the miracles Jesus did, perhaps it’s because we aren’t walking in the fruit of the Spirit…we aren’t walking in true love.  Perhaps we haven’t allowed Him to have His full work in us.  I know I haven’t.  I am not a horrible person, but I can be unkind & selfish & mean & judgmental.  I can blow up in anger & be cruel at times.  In fact, these things come far too easily!  But I don’t want to be that way any longer – ever!  I want to obey Jesus’ command & LOVE!  I want to let go of all of me…all of my selfish desires…& let Him transform me into His “Love Machine”.  That is what will bring Him the greatest joy, and after everything He’s done for me, I want to give Him great joy!  I am not saved by works, but I want my works to give Him glory!

And if we allow Him to transform us…if we truly start loving…,I believe, as an added bonus, we will see our prayers for healing answered!

Those are my thoughts.  As always, your comments are welcome & encouraged!

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