Guest blog by Mark Hendrickson, Dwelling Place Ministries
Have you ever asked, "What is the real definition of faith"? We quote Heb 1:1, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." That verse flows fairly easily off of our lips, doesn't it? But then one wonders, "Do I really have faith"? It goes without saying that most of us would like more faith. But I think that the path to faith is much simpler than our driven-ness wants to allow. Someone has said that, "Faith isn't the product of striving, it's the product of rest."
About a month ago I had resigned myself to having a surgery (for cancer). I think I have come to terms with the possibilities—from supernatural healing, to surgery, or even to death. I will be at peace with any outcome. As I drove to the hospital recently to get the last blood test which would determine whether or not a surgery was required, I talked to the Lord. My talk with the Lord did not include making demands. I wasn't asking anything for myself. At this time the most passionate thing on my heart was what glory Jesus would get if I went through surgery.
I asked, "Jesus, where will You get Your honor? How will Your name be glorified? How will men's heart's give You praise if I go through surgery"? It was a very tender time of caring about His heart. These few minutes were probably one of my most profound connects with God in prayer since I became aware of my condition last summer. And it wasn't to get Him to change anything for me. It was really all about Him. Sometimes in prayer I am overcome with the question, "Who cares about the desires of His heart. Who prays that His joy would be made full?"
I haven't felt liberty or motivation to try to secure a healing. Rather, I have felt like I was to go to the most basic level of knowing—knowing that I am loved and that God will bring good for me; and I don't even need to know what that "good" is. "Good" may have a different definition than our societal definitions or even different than our contemporary religious definitions. You see, at that basic level, my heart can truly find and maintain peace. And from that place He can build a position of faith in my heart. Starting from any other place would give me a false hope which would eventually come crashing down.
There was a pleasant warmness and security in this time. I felt affirmed and loved. I felt a wonderful child-likeness. It was so peaceful. My heart felt whole. I was walking into uncharted territory of my personal faith and I felt strangely strengthened. And even though I felt very vulnerable, that vulnerability was accompanied by a peaceful rest. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I was in Good Hands.
Recently Bill Johnson shared an interesting insight, "You have authority over any storm you can have peace in." Remember that after Jesus was awakened from His sleep while in a storm tossed boat, He spoke to the storm to be still. His personal peace empowered Him to command peace. Having peace in a storm is nearly impossible if we have demands or expectations that are anything less than His. In that case we have something to lose and so we must protect it. And from that frame of reference exercising true spiritual authority over a storm is nearly impossible.
My journey into healing is still in process. I must continue to lean on the One who is always good. I think I can say that, not matter what the outcome, I'm happy and at peace.