As Christians, we believe that God is All Powerful, and there is nothing that He cannot do. Then there are those pesky teachings by Jesus Himself;
"15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;" Mark 16:15-17 KJV
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." John 14:12 KJV
Now, it's one thing to believe that Jesus could do powerful things, but it's another thing entirely to believe that the things He did not only Can happen through our lives, but they Should Be Happening Through Our Live, according to Jesus. WHAT?!?
These are conditional statements, meaning that these things don't happen in just anyone's life, but only in the lives of those people who Believe in Jesus and His Gospel. The words "Believeth, and Believe" are from the same original Greek word, "Pisteuo"; which means "to believe in, to be persuaded of, to place Confidence in" (Vines Dictionary).
We'll come back to this later.
Now To Our Story
There was a woman who suffered from a continual discharge of blood. She believed that if she could only touch the hem of Jesus garment that she would be healed. You'll find this in Luke 8 (It's also told by Matthew, and Mark). Let's look at her story and see if we can learn why she saw Christ's power on display.
From her story we see that she had three characteristics that contributed to her receiving her miracle. She was;
Conscious; Convinced; & Committed
First she was "Conscious" of the prophecies and promises regarding the Messiah, specifically the one by Malachi (it's found in Malachi 4). Conscious has a two pronged meaning for this discussion. First, by conscious, I mean she was informed regarding the prophecies and promises regarding the Messiah. Another way of saying this is to say that she knew God's Word on more than a superficial level.
Jewish people wear a prayer shawl they call it a "Tallit". It's fairly long, rectangular, woven fabric that is pulled over the head during prayer. "Wings" comes from the Hebrew word "kanaph", which means "end, edge, extremity". On the four corners, or edges of the Tallit is a tassle. The prophecy says literally that when Jesus came he would come with healing in the extreme edge of His Tallit, or garment.
The first thing we see about this woman is that she was informed regarding God's Word. She knew the prophecies about the Messiah from the prophets. She'd also heard about Jesus' exploits and believed Him to be the promised Messiah.
Secondly, we find not only that the woman was Informed about the prophecies of the Messiah, she was conscious of them, in that she kept them in the forefront of her mind. In other words she thought about, or, pondered these promises, keeping them fresh in her mind. She meditated on, mulled over, or thought about these promises for the purpose of receiving them into her life.
Not only was she Conscious of these promises, she was obviously convinced of their veracity, or truth. They were more than just interesting stories to her. We know this because she knew, or was convinced, that she would be healed just by touching the edge, or hem, of his garment.
Further proof that she was convinced is seen in the fact that she put action to her belief and went and found Jesus, fully intending to get close enough to touch him so that she would be healed. Her belief moved her to action; that's a very important distinction between this woman's belief and the belief most of we Christian's today regarding the power of God in and through our lives.
Next we see that she was committed to receiving her miracle promise. This commitment is evidenced by what she did to get close to Jesus.
The text says that Jesus was surrounded by people, all of whom wanted Him to do something for them. The King James version of the Bible uses the word "throng"; which refers to a crowd of people who are packed tightly together, pushing against one another, and Jesus. There were probably hundreds of people pressing in trying to get close to Jesus. We know that she made it to Jesus, because she touched Him and was healed. Can you imagine the determination and commitment she had about receiving her promise. Yes, Her Promise. She took that prophecy of the healing Messiah as her own. She had to press through hundreds of people to get near Jesus. Some say that at some point she was on all fours on the ground, between the legs of the other people, so she could reach out and touch the edge of his garment.
She wasn't polite, and docile about things. She was not going to be denied. She was determined and committed to receive her miracle, whatever it took.
The power of God in our lives is not given to us to wield as we see fit, the power of God is in His control and is released only according to His will. Remember in Mark 15:17 where Jesus says "in My Name"? This doesn't mean the tag line at the end of our prayers (in Jesus name I pray, Amen!), it means according to and as He has authorized.
But how wonderful it is to know that God trusts us enough to let His power operate in and through us.
Now, we're a lot like the man that brought his son to Jesus' disciples so that they could cast the demon out of his son, but they couldn't because Jesus said they had "little Faith". This father, when Jesus asked him if he believed that Jesus could heal his son, candidly confessed saying "Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief". We too believe, but if we're honest we're willing to explain away these clear teachings of Jesus because we really Don't believe. Not to worry, ours is to contend for these things through our unbelief by believing more in Jesus than in our unbelief.
"By Believing More in Jesus Than In Our Unbelief"
I believe that our best chance to see Jesus' power on display as the Bible indicates is possible, is for us to take a lesson from this woman.
We need to be Informed and Conscious of the Word of God, through continual study and meditation on it. As we commit ourselves to the study and meditation on God's Word we'll find that our faith will grow; "for faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17).
Strong faith is what will lead us to being completely Convinced that God can not only do miracles, but that He Will. Our belief needs to grow to match the Bible's description of belief; belief that draws the Power of Christ into our lives as we draw near to Him and touch Him.
We will need strong faith, and conviction to commit to do whatever it takes to see the power of God on display in and through our lives.
A casual approach to ones faith will not get us close enough to touch Jesus, neither produce sufficient faith to cause His virtue to flow from Him to us if we did.
God's ready! He's just waiting on us to become Conscious, Convinced, and Committed to seeing His power working in and through our lives.