The woman mentioned briefly in Luke 8 knew the importance of waiting
for Jesus. Somehow she heard that Jesus was passing through her
area, and she made a decision that would ultimately change her life.
She planned her own deliverance!
The people came close
to her, all crowding around Jesus. No one wanted to miss the next
miracle. They were with the Miracle Worker.
On the fringe was the
woman. I imagine that she had a speech all prepared in which she
would share the most intimate details of a disease that was destroying
her. Yet when Jesus passed by, there was no time for a presentation
or speech. All she could do was press through the throng and touch
the hem of His garment. And when she touched Him, His strength became
her strength. His power became her power. His presence became her
presence. In that moment she was made whole. She was healed!
Jesus stopped and asked
this incredible question: “Who touched Me?”
You’ve got to understand
the culture in the Middle East. People in that area are hardly standoffish.
They crowd and touch matter-of-factly. They cling to each other.
With all the excitement, Jesus stops the crowd and asks, “Who
The disciples were incredulous:
“How can You ask that?”
Jesus continues, talking
about someone with a special need who had touched Him. When the
woman came forward, the Lord said something that flew in the face
of so much of today’s religious teaching: “Daughter,
be of good cheer, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
Why is that statement
as remarkable today as it was when Jesus said it? He pointed to
the woman’s faith as the active ingredient in the miracle
she received. If we could only understand this story — and
the points Jesus taught — we could revolutionize our world.
One of the greatest needs
today is to realize what God has provided for us through Christ
Jesus. When we understand true faith, we can take our faith and
change the circumstances! That’s called planning your own
DELIVERANCE FOR ANYONE
The story recorded in chapter 8 of Luke tells us many things. For
starters, as mentioned previously, life hurts. It hurts for everyone
— the woman who had the issue of blood, as well as you and
me. You see, God is no respecter of people. Jairus was a powerful,
key man, but even he had a daughter who was dying. The woman with
the issue of blood, by contrast, was just another faceless, nameless
person who had a life-threatening problem. Talk about contrasts!
God loves the powerful
and the weak, as well as all in between. He is willing to heal the
significant people, but He also loves healing the “little”
Believe it or not, we
all have problems. The disciples faced challenges. The apostle Paul,
even after he had written much of the New Testament, ran headlong
into problems that would make most of us quit. Run down any list
of the heroes of the faith: Martin Luther, John Calvin, the Wesley
brothers, Fanny Crosby, Billy Sunday, even Billy Graham. They all
Likewise, as with all
the heroes, all of us have access to the Problem Solver. Too often
we spend time thinking, Oh, if I was only a minister like that person,
or If I had his job, or her money — then everything would
be wonderful and I wouldn’t have any problems. Wrong! All
of us have challenges. Remember, life hurts for both Jairus and
the woman with the issue of blood.
Jairus knew that Jesus
was the Problem Solver, because he came and begged Jesus to come
with him. Jesus went. Then, in the midst of the procession, He stopped
to minister to the woman with the issue of blood.
Jesus doesn’t go
with you or stop for you because of your position in life, nor is
He impressed because of your education, nor does He judge you because
of where you come from. He receives you just as you are. He receives
you even if you have failed miserably as a young person. He receives
you with one failed marriage, many failed marriages or if you have
never been married. He receives the drug addict, the murderer and
the innocent child. He receives each of us just as we are.
Our families don’t
always do that.
The church doesn’t
But Jesus does. When
we come to Him with an honest heart, He receives us just as we are.
Either God’s Word is true or it isn’t. God will either
do what He has promised, or He will not do it. The promises of God
are either reliable or they aren’t.
The sad fact is that
unbelief is keeping back God’s richest blessing on His people
today. Unbelief holds back God’s miracles. Can you imagine
what would happen if His own people would stop holding back revival?
Doubtless there would be more people saved than ever before, since
the Lord only manifests himself to faith and not to unbelief. He
refuses to work unless people believe Him first. He will not work
for us when we make Him out to be a liar by not believing His Word.
Unbelief is the opposite
of faith. If you desire to move forward in faith and plan your own
deliverance, you cannot continue in unbelief. It is only where God
finds the exercise of living faith that He can work.
Now it’s time to
do something about it. You must plan your deliverance, just as the
dying woman said, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall
be made well” (Matthew 9:21).
Are you facing a financial
crisis? Do you need healing in your body? Are there unsaved loved
ones? Remember faith is the active ingredient that opens the windows
of heaven. Jesus said so. You and I determine deep down inside.
That’s where faith begins.
“For she said to
herself. … ” That’s where it starts. Press through
and touch Jesus and be made whole!
Sam Johnson assists the
missionaries and nationals of Eastern Europe in establishing Bible
schools and training centers. He serves as the vice president of
Mission of Mercy, serving Europe and Africa in cooperation with
the Assemblies of God.
Adapted with permission
from Trusting God: Strength and Encouragement for Troubled Times,
compiled and edited by George O. Wood, Hal Donaldson and Ken Horn
(Springfield, Mo.: Onward Books, 2003).
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