𝐁𝐲 𝐏𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫 𝐉𝐨𝐡𝐧𝐢𝐞 𝐀𝐤𝐞𝐫𝐬
It is transmitted by your mouth and by your touch. If you get too close to someone who is a carrier, they can spread it to you. You then can become a carrier and transmit it to someone else. This is person to person transmission. But if you are in a large group of people, the chances of you catching it are greatly increased. In fact, the more people that are in close proximity to one another, the greater the chances of it being spread increase, and the acceleration by which it is spread also increases.
The symptoms are very pronounced. But if you need to confirm you have it, there is a test that can be administered that will verify if you are a carrier. In fact, some people are asymptomatic until tested. Then, the test reveals if they have it.
I now have to confess that I have been tested and I have it. In fact, I have a very pronounced case of it. I am contagious. No, it’s not COVID-19—it’s FAITH!
𝟏. 𝐈𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐦𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐬.
𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝟏𝟏:𝟐𝟐, 𝟐𝟑, “And Jesus answering saith unto them, ‘Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea,’ and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith.”
Our Lord is emphatic. Literally, the expression “have faith in God” means to have “the faith of God.” What kind of faith does God have?
He steps out on nothing, and in darkness speaks: “Let there be light!” In Hebrew, the expression is two words: “Light be!” Then, BANG! The creation event occurs. Millennia later, the universe is still expanding. New galaxies and new worlds are still being discovered in the far reaches of the cosmos.
A teenage Jewish virgin is told by the angel of the Lord that she will conceive and birth the Son of God. Nine months later, that which was spoken over her womb, is birthed in a Bethlehem stable.
You and I have been created in the image of God. God honored the names of the animals Adam gave them. God honors what we speak. What you call it, God confirms the same.
The word of faith is indiscriminate. Jesus said in 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝟏𝟏:𝟐𝟑, “Whosoever shall say to this mountain . . .” Notice: “Whosoever!” God is no respecter of person or of pronouncements. 𝐉𝐨𝐡𝐧 𝟑:𝟏𝟔 says, “Whosoever believeth in him, should not perish but have, everlasting life.” Why do we so easily believe 𝐉𝐨𝐡𝐧 𝟑:𝟏𝟔, but have difficulty believing 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝟏𝟏:𝟐𝟑? It is abundantly clear; if you are a “whosoever” in 𝐉𝐨𝐡𝐧 𝟑:𝟏𝟔, you are a “whosoever” in 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝟏𝟏:𝟐𝟑!
Look further. “Whosoever shall say to this mountain . . .” The conversation is one-sided. The only one who is speaking is the believer. Why? Because mountains can’t talk! In fact, all they can do is intimidate by their presence. They cannot speak and they cannot move under their own power. The only effect the mountain has on us, is the power we give it. What is true for mountains is true for viruses, or any other object that engenders fear in our lives. We are the only ones God has given a mouth to speak the word of faith. Stop telling God about your mountain, and start telling your mountain about your God!
“Be removed and be cast into the sea!” is our mantra of faith. The mountain does not belong in your life, it belongs in the sea!
Notice: The “whosoever” can have the “whatsoever!” “. . . and shall not doubt in his heart, but believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith.”
In 𝐋𝐮𝐤𝐞 𝟏:𝟑𝟕, the angel reminded Mary, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Always remember, faith doesn’t make things easy. Faith makes them possible!
𝟐. 𝐈𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐭𝐨𝐮𝐜𝐡.
²⁵ And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
²⁶ And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
²⁷ When 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐝 of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
²⁸ For 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐢𝐝, If I may 𝐭𝐨𝐮𝐜𝐡 but his clothes, I shall be whole.
²⁹ And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐞𝐥𝐭 in her body that she was healed of that plague.
³⁰ And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
³¹ And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
³² And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
³³ But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
³⁴ And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be 𝐰𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐞 of thy plague.
Now notice the progression of her miracle:
𝐒𝐡𝐞 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐝: 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝟓:𝟐𝟕 says, “When she had heard of Jesus . . .” 𝐑𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝟏𝟎:𝟏𝟕 says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” She heard! Jesus’ fame is being spread throughout the countryside. Somehow, God will get the word to you and in you! Your miracle begins, not at the point of your need, but at the entrance of your ears. From the ears, His Word goes into your heart. Many hear with their ears. But it is not the hearing of the ears that produces faith, but the hearing of the heart.
𝐒𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐚𝐢𝐝: Mark says, “She said.” Matthew said in his Gospel in 𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐰 𝟗:𝟐𝟏, “She said within herself . . .” It was more of an affirmation, than a prayer. I believe that the reason she “said within herself,” is that she did not want her faith tainted by the unbelief of others. Be very careful with whom you share what you are believing God for in your life. Many will sow tares of doubt among the wheat of faith.
𝐒𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐨𝐮𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐝: 𝐋𝐮𝐤𝐞 𝟖:𝟒𝟒 says that she touched “the border of His garment.” 𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐰 𝟗:𝟐𝟎 says “the hem of his garment.” Why the border or hem of His garment? What was on the hem that caught her eye and kept her focus?
𝐍𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝟏𝟓:𝟑𝟖, 𝟑𝟗: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribbon of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them. . .”
On the hem or border of His garment were two things: a ribbon of blue and fringes. According to the Law of Moses they were placed there to remind God’s people of His commandments and their obligation to keep those commandments. She was a woman of covenant and understood covenant, and realized as she reaches out to touch that ribbon of blue, that she was touching the very fabric of the covenant between her and God. She understood, that those who keep His commandments and ordinances have a covenant right to receive God’s blessings. She was in effect saying, “I have a covenant right to receive my healing.” Covenant people do not have to beg, they only have to receive.
𝐒𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐞𝐥𝐭: Now faith becomes sight. 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝟓:𝟐𝟗, “𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐞𝐥𝐭 in her body that she was healed of that plague.” Now according to the Law of Moses (𝐋𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐮𝐬 𝟏𝟐) if she is hemorrhaging, she is unclean. If she touches Him, He is then unclean. But she touches Him anyway, acknowledging this fact, her uncleanness could not override His virtue. Your uncleanness does not make Him unclean. His virtue makes you clean!
𝐒𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐖𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐞: 𝐋𝐮𝐤𝐞 𝟖:𝟒𝟖, “And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” First of all, He called her “daughter;” a reaffirmation of covenant. Secondly, she was not just healed but made whole. He made it just as if she had never been sick. He not only resolved the present issue, her hemorrhaging, but dealt with the root of her bleeding, and placed her in a state as if she had never been sick.
𝟑. 𝐓𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬.
The great evangelist D. L. Moody said, “Our faith must be tested. God builds no ships but what He sends to sea.”
𝐉𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝟏:𝟐-𝟒 (𝐍𝐈𝐕), “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increasing strength, tone, mass, and endurance. Carrying a load. Lifting heavy weights. Pushing or pulling against a heavy object. All are examples of resistance training. Resistance training is strength training. Muscles are not developed by sitting in your easy chair eating potato chips and drinking soda. It is the stress exhibited on muscles that causes them to develop and become stronger.
There are no shortcuts in either developing physical strength or faith. Neither of these can be developed in a passive way. Both require strong opposition to maximize development. Elevating us from where our development is now, to where it should be, is an arduous ordeal. It isn’t pleasant. We will endure pain. We will push ourselves to what may seems to be our limit. The Marine Corps has a saying: Pain is weakness leaving your body. It’s only a test. Pastor Craig Groeschel said, “A faith that is tested is a faith that can be trusted.”
But be assured of this, every weight you have to push against, and every hill you have to climb, and every sorrow you have to endure, and every angry, bitter word you have to suffer, is only making you tougher, until you reach the place where weakness if replaced with strength; and fear is replaced with faith.
Vaccines inoculate us against diseases. But did you know that all a vaccine is, is a diluted form of the virus that causes the disease? That’s right. To build up your body’s resistance against a virus, you are injected with a diluted form of the same virus.
To inoculate us against the things that would attempt to destroy our faith, we are allowed to be exposed to those issues in a measured way. Then we are able to build up faith antibodies until we like the Apostle Paul can say, “None of these things move me!”
To establish the people of Central Appalachia in the principles of the Kingdom of God, and thereby releasing them to rise above all cultural, historical, economic, and generational limitations so they may live abundantly within their privileges and covenant as sons and daughters of God.