Mountjoy Forest East. A lovely walk through a ...

Some Christian teachers present faith as some sort of special power that is there at our beckon call.  If we can just tap into that faith, that God would give us anything we could ever desire—health, wealth and prosperity.  They teach that any sickness or financial problem we face is all the result of our lack of faith.

I have a friend who has been a practicing Buddhist for 30 years.  Recently he shared with me why he turned his back on Christianity to become a Buddhist.  When he was younger a Christian friend took his paralyzed son to a “faith healer” and my friend went along.  This “faith healer’ laid hands on the young boy in his wheelchair and commanded him by the power of Jesus Christ to walk.  When the boy was not healed, this “faith healer” said to the young man “You cannot walk because of your  lack of faith!”  My friend decided then and there that if that was true Christianity he wanted nothing to do with it!

Now with God, certainly all things are possible.  Jesus did heal the sick, gave sight to the blind and even raised the dead.  But if all it takes is “enough faith” to

overcome sickness and death, then why was the Apostle Paul not healed from his “thorn in the flesh” when he asked God three times to heal him?  Would we dare charge that Paul did not have enough faith?   If it is God’s will within his perfect design that a person not be healed, is there anything man can do to override God’s will?  Believe it or not, some would say that yes, with enough faith, even the will of God can be overridden.

Faith is crucial—essential—to our walk as Christians.  Scripture teaches that without faith it is impossible to please God.  But too many Christians are being taught a warped perception of what real faith is.  It has become a magical formula where God can become our own personal genie in the bottle, there to fulfill every desire of our flesh.  Send in $129 and a certain preacher says he will send you a prayer cloth you can pray over to receive special blessings.  Another, a mainline evangelical, says if you sew your “best financial seed” into his ministry, he will send a special oil for you to ward off sickness and financial problems.

Real faith is not a belief that God will give you whatever you desire.  Real faith is believing God can do the impossible for you—but accepting his answer to our prayers regardless of what that answer is.  Faith is knowing he is God—and I am just Mike.  In my flesh, I am only capable of seeing things in the light of this life.  But God sees things in the light of eternity—and he alone knows how my prayers and requests should be answered.  God is fully capable of any healing we need—financial, health and spiritual.  And our faith in Him is crucial.  But he alone decides who will be healed and who will not.

Just like my Buddhist friend who walked away from Christianity because of a disgusting display from a fake healer, how many young, naïve Christians will turn their backs on God this day because some Christian teacher misrepresented what faith is, all to help line his pockets with earthly wealth?  Sadly, the “Sons of Sceva” are alive and active within the church these days.  And yes, they need to be called out for the dangerous false teachers that they are, because as economic times worsen many more will be vulnerable to their perverted, selfish presentation of their view of “faith”.  They are nothing more than the money changers that Jesus chastised and chased from the temple grounds.  I pray He will do the same again for the sake of His bride—the true church.