"So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Faith Question

        Jesus said that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can make a mountain move.  I am trying to understand that faith and how we can possess it.  If I see a bald person and ask him to let me pray for him and believe that he is going to start growing hair again ~ is this the right kind of faith?  I don't think so.  This seems to me more like a blind, presumptuous faith not directed by the Holy Spirit, unless God has already given me the gift of healing.  
        When we pray to God to heal someone who's sick, in the back of our mind we often wonder if the healing is going to happen.  But one time many years ago, when my own son was attacked by a virus causing his heart to almost stop beating and the doctors to consider a heart-transplant operation should he survive, I walked to his bedside in ICU, made the sign of the cross on his forehead pronouncing "Be healed in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit" without hesitation, and he was discharged from the hospital four days later.  I said my prayer as if it was a command and afterward, did not even think about how God was going to answer me.  Looking  back, I do feel that my prayer was prompted by the Holy Spirit as it came out boldly and resolutely.  By the way, my son recovered completely in time.
        I remember when Peter was learning to walk on water, he started to sink the moment he took his eyes off Jesus, and the Lord chided him for having little faith.  So it seems that focusing our eyes on the Lord is a required condition.
        Last, we must acknowledge that we cannot create faith by forcing ourselves to believe, as faith is basically a gift from God.
        To obtain the kind of faith Jesus would like us to have, let's try to summarize.  We must (1) pray for the gift of faith, (2) be lead by the Holy Spirit to exercise this faith, and (3) focus on the Lord always to maintain this faith.  (One more thought: when we are at it, we might as well ask for faith the size of a water melon.)                       

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