I praise the Lord for all of his benefits. He saves, heals, delivers and restores. He speaks peace and promises to never leave us. Jesus determines the outcome which always leads to freedom: from sin, from sickness, from death. I determine if I will come close and rest in his love.
I’ve noticed a story in Luke which has gripped my heart by how determined Jesus was to heal and how determined a woman was to not leave the way she came.
Luke 13: 10-17 ESV
10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.11 And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
He saw the desperate woman who made it to the synagogue on the Sabbath in Luke who couldn’t stand up straight and called her to him. She came and heard the words that freed her from her crippling condition. He determined that she needed his touch and she believed by faith that He could restore her body. Her spine literally changed. Her body became new and able to walk without bending over. She could leave without a disabling condition and walk in her new found freedom. Can you imagine her joy?
Like this woman, I have a choice. I can determine to get close to Jesus and be ready to experience him changing my perspective. She had only been able to look down for 18 years but after he touched her, she could look at others straight in the eye and see the One who had delivered her from her condition.
I determine that I am drawing closer to God so He is drawing close to me. As I am near him, like the precious woman whom he healed that day in the synagogue in Luke, I know that he determines what happens next. His Word speaks life and truth into my heart which heals my mind. By faith, I determine that I am looking for his miracles and expecting a change as I bring my needs to him in prayer.
I have determined that I must walk in faith, stand in faith and have ever increasing faith. I know that Hebrews 11:1-2 shares what faith is so I believe like my ancestors did who won God’s approval that faith is the reality of what is not seen, the proof of what is not visible. If we can’t see how things will turn out, it is not always easy to have faith. Faith requires action and requires a deep longing for what is not seen, yet.
One action that leads me close to Jesus is reading the Bible and praying every morning. I crave my filling from His Word and know that he is waiting for me to join him for holy time together. I love that he always shows me something in his Word and meets me at my point of need. He is determined to be present, to be faithful and to be good to me.
I have decided to follow Jesus, not my feelings, and trust that He paid the price for my sin. He imputes or attributes his righteousness to me which justifies my heart. He sanctifies me daily with his Word and in prayer. Like the woman at the synagogue, I determine that it is worth it to worship, to pray, to read his Word and to be faithful to him.
If we ever needed faith, it is now. Not the faith in ourselves, but the faith that we can trust Jesus to see us, to call us over to him and rest as we wait. He gives strength to those who wait on him and will do immeasurably more than we could ask or think according to His power that works in us.
Abraham’s faith allowed the righteousness of God to be attributed to him. Faith in Jesus means that he approves me with his righteousness now. He determines that I am his and that his blessings are mine. I go to Jesus in prayer and cast my cares on him because he cares for me. His Holy Spirit ministers peace and comfort while I am waiting on how he will answer my prayer. I know he will provide like he provided the ram in the bushes for Abraham and Issac. He always makes a way where there seems to be no way.
Friend, have you determined to trust Jesus? To value time spent with him? Set aside 10 minutes over the next few days to read His Word and see what happens next. Be determined to have faith, the kind that keeps believing when we can’t see the outcome yet. If you are a Believer in Jesus, what does your determination look like in faith?