Going Out in Two’s
I was still on my vacation abroad after recently finishing my three years of service in the Israeli army. I sat in a plane over India, going from Goa to Bombay, next to a girl my age and I chatted with her during the flight. I wanted to share with her about Yeshua but I didn’t. “Why didn’t I share with her?” I asked myself after she left. The thoughts that crossed my mind were – I was timid; and that specific appointment wasn’t quite right so it didn’t happen.
Then I thought to myself how Yeshua sent the disciples out in pairs [Luke 10:1], and how in the book of Acts we see that example still followed [Peter and John in Acts 3, Paul and Barnabus in Acts 13].
It was God’s intention for us as believers to be with another and not alone [Ecclesiastes 4:9-12]. If I were with a partner I would have had the courage to speak. Also, when you’re alone you may be subject to temptation in a situation, but with a partner there is no challenge; you are supported and accountable. When you enter into “enemy territory” it is unwise to be alone.
One day we went to a group of believers in a small village where I was to preach. I knew that these people were for the most part simple and unversed in scripture. I asked God, “What can I say to these people, what can I give them?” Then I suddenly realized these were the very type of people that Yeshua ministered to and had compassion for, who followed Him around in multitudes. I found Luke 9:11 where it says
“He received them, spoke to them concerning the Kingdom, and healed their sick.”
I felt led to follow such a pattern that morning. So I did a greeting and honored them. Then I preached for a while about the Kingdom of God, and at the end we invited the sick to come for prayer. I knew I didn’t really know what I was doing. But I felt that the disciples probably didn’t know what they were doing most of the time either. It was a small gathering, but nearly everyone came for prayer, for sicknesses including leprosy, muteness, weak legs and chest pains. It took around an hour. Sometimes I asked God to heal, and sometimes I commanded the sickness to leave. While I was praying I felt both faith and lack of faith. I had faith that these people could indeed be healed. But I surely did not expect for the toddler who was mute and lame to get up and speak before my eyes. Nor did I have the faith to say “Get up, walk and talk.”
The next day an Indian brother preached about Faith and I was encouraged. He said that man must have faith to please God. He referred primarily to Hebrews 12:2 where Yeshua is characterized as the “author of faith.” We can turn to our precious Lord to give us faith, as He is the author of it.
After the meeting the woman with the lame-mute toddler walked by. I smiled warmly and touched the child. She looked at me and made a gesture as if to say “Look he’s the same,” expressing disappointment and remorse. I wanted to say “Sorry, take him to Jesus, I tried, keep praying.” I walked to the side and said, “God that’s it, I am not doing such a thing again until I know what I’m doing – I’ve given them hope in vain.” I felt like the disciples when they couldn’t heal a boy so the father brought the boy to Yeshua. I turned there – to Mark 9:14-29 and Matthew 17:14-21. The disciples ask him,
“Why could we not heal him?” He answered, “Because of your lack of faith.”
If we only had faith as a mustard seed! I once thought of our faith as a muscle; you don’t begin bench pressing a large weight but rather you start with a small weight and work your way up. We should start by exercising on smaller points where we do have the faith for power to change, and work our way up with each answer to prayer. But then Yeshua says that this kind of powerful miracle only comes by prayer and fasting. Is this the key? Must we face the truth and not deny the sacrifice required to reach God’s power? It makes sense for such miraculous power to not be at the snap of our fingers, but rather something we must press into.
“Lord I believe, help me in my lack of faith!” Mark 9:24 “Yeshua – the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2