I love it when my time with God turns into true conversation. There’s nothing more “cool” than when I ask Him a question and He immediately answers me!
This morning, though, a particular answer that I received grieved my spirit. I had been praying for a particular need that had been brought to my attention, and in the midst of it, I started asking questions. “Jesus, you healed so many lame people. Why are our churches full of them?” While I already had an idea of what He would say, it still startled me to hear it straight from Him. “They deny My power. They only want a surface part of Me. They don’t want to go deep.”
Ouch, God. That one hurt! Merriam-Webster defines “deny” this way: to declare untrue; to refuse to admit or acknowledge; to give a negative answer to; to refuse to grant; to restrain (oneself) from gratification of desires; decline; to refuse the acceptance, truth, or validity of. “Wait, God! You’re saying that your people deny your power. That means that we refuse to acknowledge Your power; we refuse to grant permission for your power to work in our lives; we restrain ourselves from allowing You to touch us; we refuse to accept that Your power is real.” Bottom line? If we don’t think that God’s power is real, how can we truly believe that He is real?
I know that the “book of Acts” God still operates today. Time doesn’t permit me to talk about the miracles I’ve personally seen take place (backs once bent with scoliosis made straight, tumors disappearing, depression healed, a person speaking in tongues for the first time as His Spirit moved upon them and doused them with His power, and more). What makes those people different from you or me? They didn’t deny Him.
At times, I must admit that my faith is stronger for others needs than it appears to be for my own. Why is that? What I am denying myself? Why do we deny His power? Why would we want to? To deny His power is to deny Him. Yes, God is love, and He offers that to us “free of charge.” But, there are perks to being His child! Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a prosperity sort of person. And, I also know that there are definitely trials that happen when one decides to “take up his cross and follow Jesus.” That’s a whole different topic. I think it comes down to this. He is an all-encompassing God who wants to do so much for His children, which includes filling us with His Spirit, blessing us with good things, and healing our bodies. His statement holds the key. “They deny My power.”
“But they could not deny what had happened. The man who had been healed was standing there with the apostles. The officials commanded them to leave the council room. Then the officials said to each other, “What can we do with these men? Everyone in Jerusalem knows about this miracle, and we cannot say it didn’t happen. But to keep this thing from spreading, we will warn them never again to speak to anyone about the name of Jesus.” (Acts 4:14-17, CEV)
“Here is a true message: “If we died with Christ, we will live with him. If we don’t give up, we will rule with him. If we deny that we know him, he will deny that he knows us. If we are not faithful, he will still be faithful. Christ cannot deny who he is.” (2Timothy 2:11-13, CEV)
Have you denied Him lately?