The Hope Part II
We need to take a look at "believing" in a bit more detail as it relates to man being required to believe before the results promised can follow.
An electrifying record is found in Matthew 15, where a Canaanite woman insisted on obtaining healing for her daughter. What is so amazing is the mother's persistance -- she was a Canaanite, a race of people known to worship false gods and who where often at war with Israel in the Old Testament. She was not part of the twelve tribes of Israel, quite the opposite.
Yet, she would not be deterred:
Besides being from the "wrong side of the tracks" spiritually, the woman was a concerned mother. She had decided to make the best choice of all for her daughter, and that was to go to Jesus Christ for help.
She addressed him as "Son of David", emphasizing that she acknowledged him as the Messiah, yet he did not answer her. His disciples asked him to send her away because she was crying after them.
These verses also illustrate a custom at that time, referred to as "constraining". For example, if you wanted to be polite when you saw an old friend, you would ask them over for dinner once or maybe twice. The first two times you asked they would (if they were polite) decline the invitation. If you really wanted them to come to dinner you would ask a third time. They would say "yes" to the third invitation. The Canaanite woman demanded healing for her daughter three times, and at the third request she received it.
Jesus explained that he was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, yet she would not leave and instead "worshipped him", which literally means she threw herself at his feet. Still, he said to her that it was not right to take the blessings belonging to the children of Israel and give it to unbelievers, or "dogs".
Yet this mother would not give up! She told Jesus, the son of God, "the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." She believed that Jesus Christ had the power to heal her daughter, who was possessed by a devil spirit, and she simply would not be turned away.
Jesus relented and said, "O woman, great is thy faith [pistis, believing]: be it unto thee even as thou wilt." As who willed? The woman willed. Jesus Christ's fame of teaching and healing had preceded him. The mother knew he had the power to heal, and so she came to him and demanded the same healing for her daughter.
She knew that she believed, her "will" was to obtain deliverance for her daughter. It was a question of whether Jesus Christ would heal a Canaanite, but she did will to believe and "her daughter was made whole from that very hour."
There are many other examples in the Word where people came and demanded their healing. Their "will" was not in doubt. They wanted healing and believed that God would honor that believing. Jesus Christ was on Earth doing the Father's will, and so we see him doing just that. After the resurrection of Jesus Christ we see Peter, Paul, and other disciples carrying out the healings, since the born again believers take the place of the absent Christ.
The point to focus on here is that it was as the mother willed. God's will is deliverence, therefore we must walk up and claim it. If there had been no willful believing on the part of the mother, there would have been no healing.
Most of the promises in the Word of God fall into this category, that is, we believe first and then the result follows, whether it be healing, mental wholeness, prosperity, and so forth. We believe and then we see.
Very few people have the boldness of this Canaanite mother. If the son of God did not acknowledge us, many of us would turn and go hide. If the son of God told us we were not of the lost sheep, we might go, "Ok, thank you for your time." But this wonderful mother had an "iron will". She had made up her mind and as a result her daughter was made whole.
We as sons and daughters of God, which is a greater standing than being of the lost sheep of the house of Israel, should be so determined!
Part I Part III