On Judgement Day, the Lord Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats. This is our "VIP Pass" we can wave over our heads with glee (joking) - "WE'RE IN ! . . . WE LOVED HIM HIS WAY ! "
(It says in the Bible we should live our lives in such a way that we will have confidence on that day, as we each stand before Him. . . . " so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment" - 1 John 4:17)
. . . . We can be doing a lot of "Godly" and "Good" and "Righteous" things - but are we really "working the basics" as top-priority? . . . Are we really loving Him - His Way?
It is wise to get a red-lettered Bible (Jesus's words are in red ink). This helps us then to more easily identify His direct and inferred commands . . for prayerful study, memorization, review, and prayerful doing.
Let us remember - The best in any field or sport or activity - are those that keep working and mastering the basics!
Often times we can send a prayer, or many prayers to God - HOPING, ANYTHING might happen. . . kind of like buying a lottery ticket.
I once heard a brother in church exclaim, "The more you pray, the luckier you get!" Everyone roared with laughter. There is truth to this fact, but on the other hand, people laughed knowing deep down we should not be praying like that - "Praying the Lottery." The more you pray - God might answer one of them. Maybe we will wear Him down, and we can get Him to do something?
Jesus told us not to pray with mindless repetition, as was commonly done.
Many cold-calling sales guys operate this way - sales call lottery. They know if they make 5,000 calls - 1-2% will end in a sales deal. It is a statistical numbers game. "Dialing for Dollars." This is why annoying robo-calls probably still exist.
I once heard of a church-planter would start and build churches this way - armed with only rolls of dimes and a phone book, he would call thousands of local people from a phone booth, inviting people to visit a new church he was starting in the area. It was successful!
We are not to pray this way, but Jesus set the standard, the bar:
"And whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive it all." - Matt 21
"Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you." - Mark 11
In attempting to pray with faith, according to these verses, we might find ourselves praying and asking for something big - AND THEN TRYING TO MUSTER UP ALL THE FAITH WE CAN - while really not having any faith that He will even do something.
Since God commands us to take all our burdens to Him in prayer, Fear Not, Be anxious about nothing, Ask Him, Ask Him, Ask Him, Pray at all times about everything and anything, etc. - He obviously He wants to readily answer prayers and act for His Church Family and children!
He might not fully answer a full miraculous prayer at the moment (for a number of good valid reasons) - BUT HE WILL DO SOMETHING when we ask! . . . He wants us to keep "asking" - mixed with this base level of faith THAT HE WILL DO SOMETHING.
Many times it is smart to ask God, "How far will you go in such and such request?" . . . or, "What will you do for such and such?" If He gives us understanding in this, then we can then easily agree and believe a certain thing will happen. We then have the full, deep faith on the matter, and what God will do. This is praying with believing. It all comes from Him and through Him. Even the faith to believe for something.
Jesus talked about faith to move mountains. If God shows us that he will move a mountain on a certain topic or thing or issue. Then we can believe and proclaim - with full faith - knowing in our knower - that certain thing will happen . . . and thus we find ourselves with faith to move a mountain on an issue. . . Not trying to muster something up, or crank something up.
Jesus Defines Great Faith
Jesus defined "Great Faith" as believing He Could do something. . . or that He can do anything! Jesus exclaimed to the crowd that the Roman Centurian had Great Faith- more than He had seen in all of Israel! What a compliment. (On the other hand, what a rebuke to the Jewish nation at the time.)
All the Centurian claimed - is that He knew Jesus could heal His servant. He was not claiming that his servant was healed, or that the servant was going to be healed, blah, blah, blah. The centurion said, "but just say the word, and my servant will be healed" . . . "Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, 'I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.'" - Luke 7
What? . . . What? . . . Jesus marveled at the centurion's faith, just because (deep in the centurion's heart), he knew all Jesus needed to do was just "say the word."
This incident is comforting for us, that we too, can be people of Great Faith, and perhaps have Jesus marvel at us for our trust and belief of who He is . . . That He can do anything!
A Short Healing Story
I had a son who at 6 years old was diagnosed with an incurable genetic disorder, from birth. Every cell in his body did not have the ability to repair itself, and so each cell was prone to mutating and becoming cancerous. Most children with this rare condition did not make it to their thirties, succumbing to various types of cancers due to these normal cells mutating into cancer cells.
We fought for him for a total of 20 years. I believe in miracles, and God has done several to me and through me. I believe in healing, and have used it in my evangelism repertoire. (Jesus did "Word" + "Works" and modeled that for us to do.) There are many, many documented cases of miraculous healings in New Testament church history.
Nathan tagged along on a brother's doctor visit one Friday afternoon. Nathan looked pale to the doctor, and the doctor asked if he could check him, too. His hemoglobin and platelets were so low, the doctors wanted to do an emergency bone marrow transplant by the next week, so please bring all his brothers back in so we can find which ones would be a perfect bone marrow match (none would be). By the way, the odds of him living through that operation at the time, Mr. Violassi, were about 30%. But Nathan could easily die by falling on the ground and bleeding to death internally at any moment, so we need to do this procedure ASAP - it was life and death.
So I had only about 3-4 days to make a decision to "flick a switch" that could possibly result in the life or death of my dear son. I called a fast - from everyone I knew - family, friends, Christians. . . I called out to God in that dark hospital room for 3 days and nights, as I remember, and only got a vision of about 7 different doctors, with the Great Physician standing behind them, stepping in and out of each one of their bodies at different moments. I interpreted this as He - The Great Physician, Jesus Christ, was going to work through the various medical doctors - and I was to do as the doctors instructed me. This is how I was to act for Nathan's healing. I did not get that internal "knowing" that Nathan was going to be miraculously healed. I never got it for the 20 years. Nor was I going to go around confessing "He is going to be healed," because that never resided within me - that inner faith and "knowing." All I ever got was, "he lives."
We prayed daily for Nathan over the years, believing God to fully heal him. I prefer the miraculous. It is a lot cheaper, quicker, painless, and easy - than the slow medical way. The many, many trips to doctors of all types, times in-and-out of hospitals, emergency episodes, transfusions, therapy treatments, drug regimens, shots, home procedures, out-of-state visits . . . were a hassle.
The only faith or sense or "word" I could get from God for Nathan and for us was, "he lives." We fasted over the years. Took him to guys that had healing ministries. We had our home church on several occasions pray for him with fasting. We called for the elders on several occasions (Biblical directions for "is anyone sick among you?") - anointing with oil & the Prayer of Faith (James 5). Went to conferences. Did Prayer chains. Did Prayer Groups. Everything we knew to do. Believed and trusted God.
I never could get God's mind on the thing except, "he lives." (that is, Nathan was living, now). People would rebuke us after powerful group prayer times for not totally believing that Nathan was completely healed, looking down on us that we "didn't have enough faith." But God in me would not confirm this. I was not going to go around telling everybody something that I didn't know to be true. Plus, later genetic tests probed he wasn't healed. Those cells were not changed - they were never normal.
Rather, God chose human doctor "fixes" over those years that extended Nathan's life, making it overall fun and fairly normal. But those rogue cells were always lurking. . .
At 16 years old, Nathan developed leukemia (blood cancer), and when we called upon the bone marrow registry (for a pre-arranged bone marrow transplant donor in the event we ever got there) - none were now available.
These kids' and youths' bodies were so frail - this kind of procedure was a last-ditch effort; most could not survive the rigors of bone marrow transplants - the killing of their own bone marrow with caustic chemicals and radiation - and putting foreign marrow back in - to hopefully root and grow. It was just too much for most of them.
The only earthly, believably option was a completely experimental Non-Matched Bone Marrow Donor - with Nathan's older brother. (and they were even different blood types!) It worked! (for his bone marrow/blood cells, that is). This gave Nathan another 10 years of life on earth where he was able then to go to a Christian Ministry School, get a good job, get married, and serve God and have fun!
Nathan went to heaven at the age of 26, after God chose to not intervene on a brain-type cancer that came-upon him.
He was now fully healed & having fun. Finally, at full peace. The battle was won. The war over.
Nathan wouldn't come back to earth if he had a choice (I believe). Heaven is a better place.
He is well taken care of.
We will see him again soon.