Monday, January 22, 2007

Which is Easier?

Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, "Your sins are forgiven you," or to say, "Arise, take up your bed and walk?" (Mark 2:9)

I long for the miraculous as much as any charismaniac at a Benny Hinn crusade. Truly, I do. The thought of the miraculous work of God in the lives of people consumes my thoughts and fuels my dreams. When I consider the words of Isaiah, "Oh, that You would rend the heavens!That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence," I find a heart that shares my longing (Isaiah 64:1).

I am the personal recipient of a bona fide miracle, and it is this experience which began my hope of seeing it manifest in others. The miracle I have experienced is the forgiveness of sin through the power of Christ, and I have it on good authority that this is more astounding than if I had been restored from being paralyzed.

In our day of spiritual hucksters, hirelings, deceivers, displayed crutches, empty wheelchairs, and forehead slappers, one might get the idea that the greatest miracle is good health. And while I do pray for God to work wonders in the bodies of the sick, I pray far more fervently for Him to work wonders in their souls.

Jesus offended a group of men in Mark 2 by declaring the sins of the paralytic man to be forgiven. Sensing their dismay at such a pronouncement, he asked them which is easier, to forgive sins or to heal the lame? The answer is it is far, far more difficult to forgive sins. So why are we so intent to persue the lesser miracle of health for our family and friends? Why are our prayer request lists at church filled with prayers for physical healing and not with cries for God's mercy? Give me a hundred lame men with new hearts over two hundred strong legs with dead spirits any day!

So if you feel today like a "lesser" Christian because you have been duped into believing that the miraculous consists of salvation from near death experience, tongue-talking, or personal revelation from internal whisperings, think again. If you have been born-again, you are the recipient of a miracle of the highest proportion. The angels celebrate your miraculous recovery from death and your unbelievable avoidance of God's wrath...a wrath that swept away one-third of their kin without mercy. Yet you have been spared.

I hope that today you long for the miraculous. I pray that you may have the assurance that, by faith, these words have been spoken over you, "Son/daughter, your sins are forgiven you." Father, show us your glory!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good post, as I've come to expect from you. What you said about church prayer lists calls to mind a statement I heard once (and no doubt many others have heard) that today's churches spend more time praying to keep saints out of heaven, than to keep the lost out of hell.

Lisa said...

I give a hearty "amen" both to your post and st.lee's comment above! It is a privilege to pray for the sick and infirm, but I tire of praying ONLY for the physical well being of those already eternally secure (keeping saints out of heaven as stated above). I think boils down once more to an inadequate understanding of my sinfulness and God's mercy and grace. I remember listening to a radio broadcast consisting of the testimony of two believers who were radically saved out of what anyone would characterize as a totally depraved lifestyle. As I marveled over their stories, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I was just as sinful and just as radically redeemed--a genuine miracle!

Anonymous said...

Indeed...

Anonymous said...

I do agree with you eventhough I do speak in tongues and I do pray for the sick and have seen alot of healingmiracles, the greatest miracle is when someone surrenders to Christ. Its all about souls! The most important thing is that we let Gods love for the unreached fill us, otherwise nothing will happen. Godbless

Eric said...

I think maybe Baptists are still offended with Jesus for what he did in Mark 2. He announced the forgiveness of sins to the paralytic in response to the faith of his friends. Everyone knows that your parents can't believe you into heaven. Your friends and neighbors can't believe you into heaven. Your pastor can't believe you into heaven. So what was Jesus doing forgiving the sins of this man who didn't even have enough faith to ask for healing, let alone forgiveness?

Just a thought...