First the Blade
© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven
Building Mustard-Seed Faith (d)
In the early 1990′s, I was a part of home group, which held some special meetings in the city building of a small Iowa town. Local business people and others were invited. I gave some teachings. Afterward, I prayed for those people who wanted prayer.
A friend brought an eighty-five year old female resident from a nearby nursing home to the last night. She was small, slightly stooped over, and wore thick glasses. She had been a Christian from her youth.
I felt the anointing of the Holy Spirit was stronger than normal as I approached her. The little lady asked for her eyes to be healed. I prayed and she fell over backward onto the floor. I continued praying for the other people. They all fell on the floor.
When I finished, I was the only person standing in the room. Everyone else lay on the floor, and to be honest, I rather enjoyed the moment.
Everyone soon revived and the little lady came over to me. She testified how her eyes had been healed. She could now see clearly without the blurriness, which had bothered her for years.
“Really?” I said.
She nodded and explained how the Holy Spirit had never touched her like that in her whole life. She was so excited.
“I want to pray for you and have God use me to touch you,” she said.
“Really?” I said, knowing she was a life-long Lutheran and probably would pray a stiff, formal prayer.
She laid her hand on my shoulder and uttered a prayer with lots of stiff phrases scattered here and there throughout her meanderings. Then she added, “Lord, I just want to be used to touch him like he touched me tonight.”
I hit the floor with a thud and laid there for a half hour or so.
What do you think the little lady did while I lay on the floor?
She jumped up and down and screamed, “I did it! I did it! God used me! God used me!”
I can teach faith, explain about the power of fasting, and the importance of praying in the Spirit, but still it often comes down to how much Daddy loves His children and loves to see His children excited about Him.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly, I say to you unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-4)
We often read the Bible and fail to visualize the scene in which the words were spoken. It is easy to miss the meat of the message by doing this.
In the above verses of Matthew, we learn by looking at Mark’s account of the same event that Jesus was in His hometown of Capernaum. The disciples had been arguing over which of the twelve was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. They were probably filled with pride from their successful ministry exploits on their recent journeys into the surrounding villages. They asked Jesus to settle the argument for them.
The home was filled with people. A curious child squeezed through the crowd to get to the front, near where Jesus sat.
Jesus did not immediately answer the disciples’ question, but instead, He looked at the child standing there. All Bible translations state He called the child to Him. The Greek word proskaleō, which is translated into the English word call, really has two meanings: to call or to bid.
Because of the to bid meaning of proskaleō, I like to think Jesus looked at the child, winked His eye at him, and motioned with his forefinger in a “come hither” fashion. The child without even looking to his parents instantly walked to Jesus, allowing Him to use him as a model for His message.
Jesus then said, “Whoever humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Think about it for a moment, okay?
Jesus did not say a person with the greatest amount of faith or the greatest amount of knowledge would be the greatest in the kingdom of God. He said the one who would be like “this child” would be the greatest. Why? Because the child totally trusted Jesus and obeyed His promptings without thinking about the possible consequences of his obedience.
That is true faith.
(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)