By Benjamin H. Liles
I was reading this morning, this from Lee Strobel: "Duane Miller's greatest enjoyment came from preaching at his small church and singing songs of worship...he awoke with the flu one Sunday morning, his throat like sandpaper and his voice would 'catch' on words...For all practical purposes, Miller's voice was gone." Imagine loving what you do for a living. Being able to use your voice to do what you feel is God's will. And then one day, this flu comes and suddenly...BAM! You lose your voice. It is simply rendered useless.
I received an email from biblegateway, this morning. As I've said in two previous articles I wrote that I dislike ministers who claim that faith can be had without the use of miracles or healing. I still stand behind the fact that The Bible makes it clear about faith and healing. James went so far as to say, "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? But someone will say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works" (James 2:14, 18). In other words the faith we have should produce works: healing, miracles, possibly both -- it is something the Spirit does through us according to our faith.
Three or so years after Duane lost his voice, "his former Sunday school class at First Baptist Church of Houston--in spite of his protesting--prevailed on him to speak," the article says. "A special microphone was used to amplify Miller's soft, hoarse croaky voice." You can listen to this recording here. Today Duane Miller is the pastor of Pinnacle Church in Mabank, TX.
To understand what Miller is saying in the recording is that "On the other hand, to say that since we don't have anything after the book of Acts that miracles ended at the book of Acts and they never happened again is equally as wrong. Because you have put God in a box on both ways. And He doesn't want to be in the box. So, the psalmist says, and I'm excited: 'Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy" (Psalm 103:2-4, English Standard Version).
Now it's interesting to note here that Duane stutters some here. He starts to say "Pit" a few times and then his voice starts to clear up. And when he starts to clearly speak, not so much doing it on his own, the crowd starts to clap. You will have to hear it for yourself. God also tells us in His word, "Then i will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust: My great army which I sent among you" (Joel 2:25, New American Standard).
Granted both Psalm 103 and Joel 2 are talking about God's mercy and His promise to restore Himself to the people who He called to serve Him. Here's the thing, however, that I find; Duane Miller is nothing like those Israelites who lost their faith in God and in the fullness of the power which God has. No, rather Duane faithfully served God regardless what was lost due to that flu stealing his voice.
I contend that faith and belief God will ultimately keep His word means that as long as my faith in Him endures, He will also be faithful to me. I argue the standpoint that faith in Him, who saved me from sin and death is willing and able to do all that He says He will do in His word. Does He have to restore anything more to me than my faith in Him? No. He doesn't have to make me prosperous, my salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ is secure. I am joyful, I am triumphant in Him who did this thing on my behalf.
I said this to my wife much earlier tonight, and I stand on it: "Those who are forgiven a great deal for their sins love a great deal. Those who are forgiven very little love very little." This is a Biblical statement and I remembered where it was found. Jesus is at the home of a Pharisee and ate with the man. This woman comes in, who had been in the city. This woman came in with an alabaster jar, and weeping at Jesus' feet wept and poured perfume over his feet. She wiped his feet clean with her hair. The Pharisee spoke up saying, "This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner."
Look at the stark contrast here: a woman, a sinner of great magnitude comes to anoint Jesus with her tears and a rich amount of perfume, whereas this Pharisee does nothing for Jesus. So it's no wonder Jesus replies to the Pharisee: "There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which one of them will love him more?" This Pharisee responds, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." So, Jesus' last response on the matter is found later here, where He says, "Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little" (Luke 7:36-47, New King James).
My whole point is that those who love Jesus much for what He's done on their behalf are forgiven much and healed much and forgiven much. It's not what they can get out of Jesus, but His love overrides anything we can ask, do, or even say. He forgives because of whose He is. His Father is God Almighty on High. He knew where He came from and by the power He did things. So, we can have faith in Him and that whatsoever we ask in His name, He is capable of doing.
Friend, right now, you are reading this and possibly hurting. Hurt no more in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. The sickness you are suffering from, in the name of Jesus Christ you are healed and forgiven. That divorce you're reeling from, in the name of Jesus Christ He makes you whole. I'm telling you faith has power. And with that same power in Christ Jesus, you can be made whole, forgiven, and set free. I pray this helps, heals, and gives you the strength to carry on. In Jesus Christ's name I pray this over you. Amen.