THE CHALLENGE OF FAITH
by Pam Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org)
God has challenged me (again) with this verse: John 9: 2-5 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Now if you are going to take that as a passage, you realize there is a lot connected with this! Read the whole chapter. Jesus used this man as a set up to confront not only the Pharisees, but the man himself, challenging his faith one on one.
This lets me know that God has plans in our lives that are not just all about us but about Him claiming a witness, even of confrontation with others for the sake of the faith! It’s not even always pleasant!
Too often our society judges our “Christianity” by how “well” we are doing! And that may not be God’s agenda at all… God used this “man born blind” to do a big work! Even the song lyrics we sing in “Amazing Grace” saying “I once was blind, but now I see,” come from this event.
God wants us to see His Spirit, I believe, a lot more than I think we do. There is a grace that we fail to recognize sometimes, and that is for the seemingly “not perfect.” There is a greatness and there is a meekness that we really can’t divorce.
We need to have the humility of Job when he declared, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the Name of the Lord.” When we divorce the greatness and the meekness (or humility which is not humiliation) we can set ourselves up for a humiliation but in repentance, God can even redeem that.
The world is hooked on the greatness, even to the point of lying about things in a big way. That is really the spirit of Babylon “the great.” But that Babylon falls. They have great wealth and power and even adoration, but it all implodes. We need to know the things that make for the Kingdom of God that stands, that Kingdom that cannot be shaken.
God can be glorified in big ways through natural nature and through man. The honor is in the eye and heart of the beholder. We are all impressed with a first class act, and we should be. It is the glory of a thing done well. But God still uses the blind beggars to do His works!
John 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”
God can (and will) challenge our faith! This was AFTER the miracle. Is God only interested in a parade? Possibly not (and I love pageantry!). But this man was also used to challenge his parents!
Verses 19-23: And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.” His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
We have all been intimidated, but Jesus is making a point here – what is the basis for your faith? The Pharisees and the man’s parents had trouble seeing the goodness and the witness of the Spirit. The innocent will just declare what they see. And I will say that learning God’s Spirit is also something we have to (and get to) learn! And it is a good thing to teach our children.
But there is a famine when so few understand it that there is little or no agreement. Today strife and contention is fed – a lot more than the Spirit of God is fed – and it is going to raise up a monster. But the fires of God will deal with it.
I would say prophetically to prepare to be intimidated because so much of our natural world system is involved in our daily lives and it is at emnity with God. But we are to be the salt (preservative) and light, and Jesus’ light – in us – is still in the world! Therefore we must do His works while we can – and His followers will.