Fireside Chat with Bob Jones
Recently I heard Bob Jones share the testimony of a revelation he received from the Lord concerning our lack of the miraculous in the Western church. His revelation was that we in the West believe that all things are possible with God. Our problem, however, is with the issue of “doubt.”
To be honest, I struggled with this insight for sometime before the Lord helped me understand it more fully. Initially, it seems that his revelation is a contradiction. After all, having faith that God is a big God and can do all things is fundamental to our belief in the nature and character of God. Therefore, how is it that we continue to have doubt?
The answer was found in Mark 11:22-23,
Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.“
Careful examination of this passage reveals that the Lord Jesus was dealing with two realms: First the realm of belief that nothing is too difficult for God and then the realm of doubt that He will do miraculous things in response to us as individuals.
Believe and Doubt Not
The lesson our Lord was teaching His disciples and us, dealt with the supernatural arena of faith; faith so great that mountains could be removed. Those could be mountains of opposition or literal mountains of dirt and stone. There will be a place in God in this coming day that both will become reality.
The Lord made the proclamation for us to “have faith in God;” He then begins to apply the principal on an individual basis declaring, “I say to you.” He is now addressing us singularly and our personal place of faith in Him. Whichever one of us as individuals says to a mountain, “be removed” and does not doubt in his heart, but also believes that the sayings will come to pass, that person will have whatsoever he says.
Here you can see both dimensions; the realm of belief and the extraction of personal doubt. When the Lord began to talk to me about this principal He made me understand that many in the Western church believe that He is an all-powerful God. We believe that if He ever raised the dead, then He will always raise the dead.
We believe that He is the God of the miraculous and the God of multiplication. However, although we believe that God does all these things, we doubt that He will do them through us.
We believe that God heals and delivers through some great healing evangelist, but we doubt he will do it, “through little ol me.” Many Western Christians believe that God still does great things; they simply doubt that he will use them as individuals to accomplish the extraordinary. Therefore, it falls into the realm of revelation for us to see our individual role in this economy and engage ourselves in the supernatural dimension of God’s nature.
Why Not Here
In the course of interviewing various ministries who have seen miraculous things in Third World nations, we discovered something interesting. They related that people in these desperate nations simply do not have doubt. Once they are convinced of the reality of the Lord Jesus, they instantly see the miraculous because they have not been acclimated to the realm of doubt as we have in the West.
They are spiritually minded people, although most often it has been misappropriated on idolatry; once their belief system is rightly aligned with our Savior, then the miraculous flows freely. When they believe, they believe wholeheartedly that God will do for them what has been articulated by the missionaries.
The prophet once said, “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for you” — Jeremiah 32:17
Let us now in this generation began to appropriate our faith in this living reality without doubting His desire to do great things for each of us as individuals. As the apostle James once said,
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind— James 1:5-6