James: A question to ponder that is related to comments from Richard last night. There are relatively few comments about physical healing and financial prosperity in the Epistles compared to the Gospels and Acts. Have you ever wondered why?
I just started reading C. S. Lewis’s anthology of George MacDonald. His first quote from MacDonald is something which it seems Christians forgot long ago.
Today the primary emphasis in relationships with God seems to be what we need from Him – healing, prosperity, power, our needs meet, etc. It’s unfortunate because the greatest thing God gives us is Himself. That is the whole theme of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1 – that we would know the Who (Jesus) of what God has done. The word translated “what” can also be translated “who” yet no one ever does. That is sad. It so often seems that believers are more interested in what God gives rather than Who.
I pray for you and the rest of the guys, that you will believe what God is revealing to you about Himself so that you can know the Who of life… Jesus. According to Paul, He is our life and our expectation of God’s glory in our lives. That means Jesus is the complete fulfillment of every need including health, prosperity, joy, peace, wisdom… and I can keep going. We are so important to God that He sent His Son to make the great Exchange (usually translated as redemption). We are God’s treasure, so valuable to Him that He gave the thing most precious to him, His Son.
Oh, here’s that quote from C. S. Lewis’s book: “He who seeks the Father more than anything He can give, is likely to have what he asks, for he is not likely to ask amiss.”
We don’t hear this sort of thing in meetings these days. Christians seem to only be interested in getting their needs met or maybe someone else’s needs met. Those are not wrong things to desire. It’s just that if those are the focus of our lives we end up missing Him who IS the answer. When we seek to know God more than what He can give us, everything that belongs to Jesus comes with Him. When we come to know Jesus, we get so much more than just healing and money. Oh that Christians could hear such words as they pour from God’s heart until Christ fills their thoughts.
I hope this word ignites something in your heart. Jesus Himself is the answer to every prayer. When we pray we may be thinking about what we want from God. Little do we realize He will be giving us Himself.
I pray that the way I have written has made sense to you.
The Lord, bless you.