August 26, 2021
God's primary agenda with man is to bring us back to unwavering dependence on Him. We have wandered since the Garden. Everything since then has been designed to bring us to the end of ourselves and change the object of our faith. The singular question is this: Will you trust in God or yourself?
A STORY ABOUT US
The gospels record multiple stories, each describing us in various ways. One account tells of ten leprous men who came to Jesus. They were standing at a distance, for leprosy is contagious, and those affected in Jesus' day were outcasts. Leprosy was a death sentence, for there was no cure as it gradually destroyed lives, both physically and relationally.
The fact that all ten of these men were diseased is telling, for all of us are plagued with spiritual leprosy. No one escapes sin and its killing effects. Like these ten, we cannot cure our condition. We need an outside healer.
These men were desperate, and even from a distance, they cried out to Christ to "have mercy" on them.
THE WORD OF FAITH
When He saw them, He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." (Luke 17:14)
As they looked to Jesus, He saw them. He always looks to a desperate cry. And then He gave them a word. "Go and show yourselves to the priests" makes no sense to us. But in Jesus' day, a healed leper was to go to the priest to receive the official statement that he had been cured. He could not approach the priest unless he was clean.
The word (a promise we could say) from Jesus was this, "In my mercy, I am going to make you clean."
Has God made promises to you regarding your condition? He most certainly has. Every human condition is covered in the 7,000 promises of His Word. You may not be in close enough proximity to hear His promise. These postured themselves—even at a distance—so they could be heard and also hear Christ's word. Don't expect to hear His promises unless you are approaching Him.
THE ACT OF FAITH
And as they were going, they were cleansed. (Luke 17:14)
Like every promise God gives, it demanded a response to be personally activated. If the ten had not believed God, they would have never gone to the priests. Would they have been cleansed? Christ was ready to deliver them, but the healing demanded belief. Genuine faith, as my mentor, Manley Beasley, often said, demands that we "walk and talk as if what God said is really true."
He did not even say, 'You are cured!' He told them, leprous as they were, to go and show themselves to the priests, the normal procedure when a leper was cured. The priest acted as a health inspector to certify that the cure had taken place (Leviticus 14:2ff). Jesus put their faith to the test by asking these men to act as though they had been cured. (Leon Morris
As God makes promises to you, are you obediently responding? Are you confessing your faith in Him? "As they were going, they were cleansed," and the same will be true for you.
THE COMPLETENESS OF FAITH
Real faith is never intended to stop at its initial fulfillment. One leper demonstrated where faith is designed to go; faith that glorifies God. Notice what he did and what we must do if faith is to reach its pinnacle.
We Must TURN BACK.
Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back … (vs. 15)
This man was not as overwhelmed by his healing but by his Healer. He was not selfishly consumed with the thought of a better physical condition but by the glory of the Savior.
As it sees the results of God's work, full faith does not rest in self-absorption with faith's results but with faith's Author. Faith turns back to Christ.
We Must GLORIFY GOD!
Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice (vs. 15)
Our lives were created for one ultimate purpose: to magnify God. As this leper was cleansed, he glorified God "with a loud voice." He yelled to a watching world about God's goodness. He didn't say, "Look at the greatness of my faith which healed me," but "look at the Healer. Glorify Him!"
As you enjoy the manifest blessings of God, are you shouting? Does the world hear your praise? Are people looking at God because you are pointing to Him?
We must FALL ON OUR FACE.
And he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. (vs. 16)
The leper's faith did not end with mere proclamation but with worship. Overcome with gratitude, his knees buckled beneath him. He could do nothing but surrender his whole life to such a Savior, which led to his ultimate healing and eternal salvation.
The final posture of faith is an open mouth and bent knees. Are you there?
Father, we are overwhelmed with the height of Your mercy and convicted of the depth of our faithless ingratitude. Our worry indicates our lack of belief. Give me the wisdom to draw near today and hear Your promises. Let me instantly walk as if they're really true. As we receive Your healing in all the leprous spots of our lives, help us turn back, glorifying You with a loud voice. And may you find us on our knees in visible, unceasing worship.
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