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Going….Going…..NOT Gone!!!

Acts 9:32-43   In these scriptures we find the actions of Peter as he is presented with two huge needs from two totally different people.  He came to Lydda and found a man by the name of Aeneas who was a paralytic.  He had been bedridden for eight years.  In verse 34 Peter says, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you.  Get up and take care of  your mat.”  Guess what happened?  Aeneas get up immediately and walked off.  The next scripture in verse 35 is pretty amazing where it says, “All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.”  Now c’mon.  All is a very big word, so it means what?  ALL!!  In earlier scripture it tells of Peter preaching and 3,000 being saved and in many other places scripture records specific numbers.  Well, here’s one for the record books of Outreach!!  No numbers, just the word ALL was used to denote who turned to the Lord.  WOW!!  ALL!!!

I have been in revival services where we felt like God’s Spirit moved in an extraordinary way and five were saved.  We were doing backflips all the way home (metaphorically speaking) just to experience something like that!!  But it gets even more powerful in the days ahead in Joppa when Peter goes to a house where a disciple named Tabitha was laid to rest.  She was dead!!  Peter goes to the room where they have laid the dead body of Tabitha and finds the mourning crew doing their thing.  He orders them out of the room and  kneels beside her and prays.   Then he turns to her and says, “Tabitha, get up!”  Whoa!!

She opens her eyes and sees Peter and sits up.  She is alive!!  Wow, now some might have a problem with this scripture and the thought that she came back from the dead.  Or they might say she was just sleeping.  Truth is SHE WAS DEAD.  Deal with that!!  Those who had laid her body to rest and had prepared her for burial left the room seeing a dead person and then saw a very alive Tabitha walk out of the room.  POWERFUL!!

We might surmise from these scriptures that God’s Spirit was working in an incredible way in the city of Joppa and it was not without purpose and effect.  God was working so strong that Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with Simon the Tanner.  All of this was amazing not only to the people, as they saw God do miracles in their midst, but it had to impact Peter in an incredible way also.  Peter surely began to believe there wasn’t anything God could not do and his faith had to be so totally built up.

Which brings to mind.  What is your faith quotient like?  Do you believe God can do anything?  I would like to say, “of course.”  I doubt too.  I read a scripture like this and try to reason that it was a “different time.”  I find myself believing those who say “God doesn’t work like that anymore.” But does he?  If I can’t believe that God doesn’t work like that anymore, then it might make me believe that the salvation that was made possible by Jesus on the Cross might not save me anymore.   If I believe that, all hope is gone.  In my human reasoning I try to explain the unexplainable and deny the undeniable.  God is the same yesterday, and today, and forever, or at least that is what Hebrews 13:8 says.  It’s either true or it isn’t.  Boy, that sure shakes the apple tree when you make a statement like that, cause you never know what might fall out!  Why do we pray for God to heal someone?  Because we believe he can.  Why do we visit someone in the hospital and pray for them before they go into surgery?  Because we trust God to hear our prayers and work a great work.  Wow, our faith is so conditional.  Let me see if this scripture actually means what it says.  I looked at the Greek and the Hebrew and in that context it means “they were healed.”  Wait.  Let me check with three commentaries.  They say, “they were healed.”  Then comes my flawed “conclusion.”  Maybe that didn’t mean “healed.”  What a wimp!!

Our attitude about faith, and our faith is going….going… and it is almost nonexistent in the present day Christian.  Perhaps there is a ray of hope left to believe God is still God and that He still moves as He did in scripture.  Perhaps a believer will do what they profess….believe!!  By the way,  God does still move.  He also heals and if He wants will raise people from death to life.  The question is “Do we really believe in Him?”  That jury is still out as we have “spiritual dumbed down”  our faith factor to the point of nothing.  Of course, I have seen the charlatans that have taken the faith thing to a level for personal gain.  Those guys were mentioned in the New Testament as well.  But, we cannot let some fakes take away our basic belief that what the Bible says is true.  All of it!!  So, we cannot let our belief in the Word of God go by the way of the skeptics.  We must stand on the grounds that it is all true or none of it is true.  IT IS ALL TRUE!!  We don’t experience a lot of what we read about because our faith in it is not pure.  Our faith is conditional and is pressurized and beat down by a skeptical world of evil.  Time to believe in the purity of the gospel and believe God still reigns and begin to trust Him totally for our everything.  When that happens, God will show up and show others that He still lives and has it all under His control.  Believers will really be BELIEVERS, and the effect will be an awakening much like what happened in Joppa.  In the scriptures Tabitha came back to life when Peter prayed for her.  My hope is that believers will come back to life in their faith and that is my prayer.  We have been drifting and it seems like we are going…. going….. But we are not gone because God hasn’t gone anywhere.  He is still God!!  We must believe in His great power and recapture the heart of faith.  Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Time to kick back the coffin lid and let your faith come alive.  Just like Peter said to Tabitha.  WAKE UP!!   I’m ready!!  How bout you?

The Pilgrimage continues…..

David Warren

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