Funny how you can read something (something you have read many times before), a story, a devotion, a simple phrase and suddenly you look at a group of words that you just “skipped over” in order to get to the next point and it dawns on you that there is a story within the story. Case in point; my Portals of Prayer a few weeks back reviewed “Jesus Heals the Ten Men with Leprosy”. Okay, I think to myself I’ll read the account [Luke 17: 11-17] the accompanying Psalm and then hit the author’s take on being thankful. It was a good reminder. The one who was thankful was a foreigner – a Samaritan – looked down and avoided by the Jews. He was the lone man who returned and expressed his gratefulness.
Here’s where God stopped me. I finished the prayer and proceeded to close my bible when my eyes fell on the phrase, “And as they went, they were cleansed”. You see, this group of men saw Jesus at a distance yet they recognized Him as the one healing solution to their physical disease. So they cried out. Jesus did not avoid them. He saw beyond the cries of helplessness. He spoke to them. Simply spoke the words, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” No laying on of hands; no touching, just the words which held compassion, healing and forgiveness and the command, “Go”. And they went. Wow! What faith!
Those few words, “and as they went” spoke volumes to me. They didn’t question. They did not ask for a written scroll or a complete breakdown as to how all of this would transpire. They went. The word was spoken. The healing occurred, but not before they moved their feet in the direction of Jerusalem priests. Jesus did not ask for their acknowledgement, but He did wait for the thank you and it came not from His fellow Jews, but from an outcast who fell down in joy at Jesus’ feet.
How many times have I talked with my Lord, asking for His guidance, requesting His strength, asking for His healing either for myself or a friend and waited for a sign. “Just give me a thought Lord, some indication, maybe not writing on the wall, but a feeling Lord that You hear what’s on my heart.”
Oh, me of little faith. All I have to do is look at my past history. It is a story of my Father’s love, deliverance, guidance, protection and grace. Why do I doubt? Why focus on what the challenge is? Why not step out in action rather than sitting in wait? I’m certainly no Moses, no Abraham, but when they stepped out in faith it was credited to them as righteousness. God provided manna to his desert people, but they first had to go out and gather it. Action. Yes, God is the provision, but He requires me to act.
It is a mindset really; a spiritual mindset. Charles Swindoll said, “We become what we think we are” and Proverbs 23:7 tells us “For as a man thinks within himself, so he is”. It is not hopeless because I already have the answer! What faith to step out knowing (hello!) ahead of time that I am healed! I am forgiven! I am loved and I am thankful!
My challenge to you is grab that promise and make it yours – because it already is! God has given you everything you need. He’s just waiting for you to join Him on the journey. And in the words of Pastor Elliott on Sunday, “I don’t want to miss out!”
Blessings as you claim our Lord’s love for you and share it with others! Doneta