I believe that the truly faithful Christian is one that fully embraces the fact that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Tears were flowing down from my eyes as I commanded that the tree be moved to the other side of the yard. I read the scriptures. If I could command a mountain to be removed then surely a tree wouldn’t be a problem. When my prayer for tree moving didn’t work, I started praying that the house move – even a few inches. I just wanted to prove that I had faith… at least as a grain of mustard seed. But nothing was moving. I felt weak and powerless. Something was wrong with my faith. Then I started playing with my dog and forgot all about the need for faith. You do strange things when you’re 10-12 years old.
Still I remember that day. I remember challenging the scriptures and testing to see if things would happen according to my reading of the text and my accepting the literal translation. When it didn’t happen, I had a question in my mind that lasted for several years.
I remember needing a job. I found out that this one place was hiring. I decided that I wanted to work there. I didn’t go looking anywhere else. I filled out only that one application. I didn’t need to look for an alternative. And, yes, I got that job.
I remember praying for my father who was an amazing man of God. He had served God faithfully for more than 30 years. He’d been a deacon turned elder in the church. He had built houses of worship with his bare hands. He had mentored pastors and preachers. Then, in the twilight of his life, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer disease, and more. He was beginning to suffer. This was no way for a diligent Christian to die. My dad had more to do for God. He shouldn’t be facing death yet… and definitely not like this. I prayed and prayed. Several Christians prayed and prayed. But my dad died a painful death, eventually succumbing to the grip of cancer. I could dress it up and say that he slipped away, he fell asleep, he was taken away on the sweet chariot. But the truth is, my dad suffered. He was in pain, and then he died.
I remember God saying that He was going to give my wife and me our home. We didn’t have money for a down payment for a house. We had horrible credit. We didn’t think we were ready. But God spoke to our hearts and told us to look for a house. God then connected us with a mortgage broker that was able to get us approved. Then we found a house that we liked and put in a bid. We loved it! We lost the bid. Feeling very disappointed, of course I wondered if I was hearing God correctly. But, He told us to find a home. So we looked again. Then we found another home, being sold by the owner. We were dissatisfied with our realtor and the homeowners were dissatisfied with their realtor. As we sat and talked we discovered that we were all Christians and we could feel God at work. The homeowners told us later that night that after we left, they talked and felt God telling them to put us in their home. So, they drew up the contract for us. We didn’t know how. They had offers for more than their asking price but they sold it to us at the asking price. The mortgage came through. God blessed us to get the down-payment. We moved in and are living in that house today.
So, what’s the deal? Did I have more faith for my house than I did for my father’s healing? Did I have more faith for that job than I did for moving the tree? What did Jesus mean when He said that we could have whatsoever we say? Why are so many people claiming that they are millionaires in Jesus’ name but are still in the same economic position, if not worse?
I believe that it comes down to three major factors: Motive, Greed and Purpose.