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It's our heart
- Jacob Ninan
When the women with the bleeding touched the helm of Jesus' garment and was healed, it didn't prove that the helm had magic power (Mt.9:20,21). When people sent out napkins that had touched Paul and some got healed was it because the napkins had an anointing (Ac.19:12)? If people believed that they would get healed if the shadow of Peter fell on them does that make it a fact (Ac.5:15)? Yet some try to teach how the Jews made the helm of their garments in a special way to explain how the woman got healed. So they sell special prayer shawls, anointed handkerchiefs, bottles of holy water, etc., and unsuspecting Christians just lap it all up! Some teach that since there were 12 tribes of Israel and 12 apostles of Jesus, we need to ensure 12 members in every church board or Christian committee to receive God's special blessing. It's astonishing how many Christians follow these 'Christian superstitions' even while deriding those of other religions!
But doesn't it say that God actually did miraculous healings when napkins from Paul were passed around? It does. How can we explain that? In the same way how some people genuinely get healed when they go to a mass meeting with a crooked healer, and some get a genuine touch from the Holy Spirit when they go to a meeting where weird manifestations are taking place. While we denounce manipulations by stage performers and weird manifestations that are advertised as works of the Holy Spirit, we cannot at the same time deny that here and there some genuine things are also taking place. We need to understand how God deals with different people at different levels.
Think of a man longing after the power of the Holy Spirit to be a witness for Jesus Christ in every place (Ac.1:8). He wants to be a witness in his personal life (the fruit of the Spirit) and in his ministry (the gifts of the Spirit). He hears that in a certain place there is a movement of the Spirit and believes that this would be an opportunity for him to receive his filling. He goes with that faith and meets with the Lord just as the woman with the bleeding. His longing is genuine, and so also his faith. What are absent are deeper knowledge of Scripture and discernment of things that are going on. He meets with the Lord and the Lord touches him because the Lord is delighted with what He sees in the man's heart. The Lord looks at our heart more than what is in our understanding. In the final analysis, it is the pure in heart who will see God and not the scholars of the Bible. When Jesus was here on earth, the Bible scholars of the day could not recognise Him, but ordinary people who were genuine in their heart met with Him and were blessed.
When we seek God out of love for Him, seeking to love Him more, to serve Him better and to hallow His name above all, He will certainly meet with us. Then if we ask for a fish, He will not give us a snake. Not if we are just seeking for thrills. It's our heart that makes the difference.