The Power of Faith – I attended a church service with almost 2000 other people on Easter Sunday. During the sermon, little mention was made about the resurrection of Jesus which surprised me. After all, when Jesus was resurrected, that single fact energized a new spiritual movement which eventually spread over the known world.
I have been thinking about the power of a resurrection. One physicist has likened Jesus’ resurrection to a small-scale nuclear fission, and the X-rays or gamma-rays left a bodily imprint on the burial shroud which has been identified as the Shroud of Turin. Plenty of power associated with nuclear fission! Although this physical power is speculative, there is no doubting the spiritual power of Jesus’ resurrection.
But Jesus also demonstrated – many times – his use of power when he walked the earth. The kicker is that Jesus promised his followers they would be able to do the same or even greater things than he did (see quote below). What on earth does this mean for us? I wish our pastor would drill into this on some Easter Sunday. Does it mean we have access to the power to do things that Jesus did? Like heal people who are sick? Or resuscitate folks who are depressed and unwilling to live anymore? Or bring forgiveness and peace to anxious or troubled people? If we do have access to this power, it sometimes seems pretty elusive!
I wonder if a key for us to access this power is the concept of a point-of-contact. When a lady who had intestinal bleeding came to Jesus, she decided that if she could just touch the hem of his robe, which she tried to secretly, she would be healed. The hem of the robe was the point-of-contact. Amazingly, Jesus was stopped in his tracks when he felt the power go out of him. And simultaneously the woman felt the power come into her. After he figured out what happened, Jesus commended her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”
Out of desperation I have tried this point-of-contact approach a few times – and with positive results:
- ## Eight years ago, I renovated the house I had just bought in ABQ. But the contractors delayed on the hardwood floor for various reasons. It was the last thing to be done, and out of complete frustration I grabbed my Bible and walked around the perimeter of the living room seven times, asking God to move away the obstacles and get the darn thing finished, and having Faith that it would happen. The workers came the next week and the flooring was soon completed.
- ## I became aware of a dancing friend who had suffered a bodily injury which led to mold allergies so bad she had to move everything in her home outside to be cleaned – a major undertaking for an ill person. In November, her business was declining, her finances were suffering, and she was having emotional meltdowns each day. With friends who wanted to do something, we helped clean the utensils, files, and furniture, and we assisted with the finances. In short we provided hope via a tangible effort to help…..what I consider to be a point-of-contact. PS: her life has turned around and is just about back to normal. All of us are rejoicing, and thankful we believed in our Faith!
- ## Last week, I was told about a book called Deadly Emotions during a Skype call to Australia. I think it was a God-thing. Next day I gave the book to a lady who had been off work for a month due to shingles pain and lost energy, depression, and a pinched nerve that wouldn’t allow her to lift one arm. The lady had told me, only the day before the Skype call, about negative emotions related to the death of her husband, and how she felt this was dragging her health down. She jumped into Deadly Emotions and found herself described in an early chapter. She later admitted that the book revealed she was stuck in some negative thought processes. She shared with enthusiasm that the new understanding of the connection between emotions and illness has helped her change her attitude. In my opinion, handing her the book was a point-of-contact, because I was praying hard at the same time for her condition, never losing the Faith PS: as a result of this and other changes she has made, the last few days she has been feeling much better and has even been laying bricks on the patio which implies a huge improvement in her physical condition.
My sense is that to tell someone you are praying for them is always helpful, especially if you check (more than once) on their progress later. However, I tend to think that doing something is a point-of-contact that strengthens faith and adds power. Even something as simple as writing out a prayer or a poem and sending it in a card. Its personal, its a point-of-contact, and it can have a powerful impact.
P.S. If you have read the book Deadly Emotions, would you please add what you think about the book to the Comment box beneath the blog.
Post-Script: A striking example of a point-of-contact.
Four guys had a friend who was paralyzed. Instead of just praying for him, they decided to take him to a healer. So they put him on a stretcher and headed out. When they reached the house where the healer was teaching, they couldn’t get through the people who packed the doorway. So they climbed up on the roof, lifted off the roofing material, and lowered the sick man by ropes. It sure got everyone’s attention….including Jesus! However, Jesus digressed into a debate with the leading religious authorities about sin, which must have dismayed the paralyzed man and his buddies. But wait……. after the debate, Jesus said to the paralyzed man “Get up and pick up your stretcher and go home”. [Book of Luke, chapter 5].
The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers……
Acknowledgements: I first heard about the point-of-contact from Oral Roberts. Thank you Sarena for the tip about Deadly Emotions.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” [Book of John, chapter 14].
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