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Is your faith free enough to receive your miracle?

But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
Luke 4:25-26

Jesus really knew how to bust up a party.

One moment everyone was marveling at Him for His gracious words, and the next moment they were furious and ready to push Him off a cliff!


Why did they get so angry?

Let's look at the verse 24 which came right before it, . He told them that no prophet was accepted in his own country. And then He told them that there were plenty of widows in need in Israel during the time of famine, but the prophet wasn't sent to any of them. Ouch. Why not?

He also said that there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha, but none of them got healed except one, Naaman, a Syrian.

Again, why not?

What are some possibilities?

Does God base His interventions on who is the sickest?

Or who has the greatest need?

Who He likes better?

No, He doesn't. His Word says that He is unchanging (Hebrews 13:8) and that He doesn't play favorites (Acts 10:34). He loves people equally and offered Himself up equally for all.

Then what is it?

How about good behavior? Well, the scripture says that Naaman got angry about the prophet's instruction to dip seven times into the Jordan River. Although in the end, he submitted himself to the instructions and got completely healed. His skin became soft as a child's!

The widow who fixed her last little cake of bread and gave it to Elijah was terrified, saying, "I'm going to prepare a little bread for myself and my son. We will eat it, then die." That doesn't sound like tremendous faith. But she submitted to the word that the prophet spoke.

Our clue is in Luke 4:24, when Jesus said that the prophet is not accepted in his own country. The people's angry response was good confirmation that it was true. They became so full of wrath they wanted to kill Him! Who does He think He is? (God?)

There were other examples of outsiders receiving miracles from Jesus. There was a Syrophoenician woman who said she'd be fine with the crumbs under the table (Matt. 15:27) and the Centurion who told Jesus to "Just say the word and his servant would be healed." (Matt. 8:8) . Jesus commended both of them for their great faith. And they were both outsiders to Jewish system of religion.

So why is it easier to receive a miracle from a total stranger than the prophet that dwells in your midst?

One reason is because our faith can become "systemized."

Our faith can only grow only as far as the system that has been feeding it. When Jesus visited His hometown, He wanted to heal the sick. But it says in Mark 6:5-6 that He could only heal a few people due to their unbelief. Unbelief is a system. He wanted to heal more. He wanted to heal them all. Sadly, they only knew Jesus in the common way, as Joseph and Mary's kid. Because of the way they regarded Him, they couldn't receive His word for a miracle.

If His hometown had to build a doctrine based around the results they got, it would sound something like an explanation as to why so few people get healed. That's a system.

We can stay in grief , depression, or anxiety for too long. We can stay in disappointment at not seeing our prayers answered the way we had hoped. That can become a system. A system of sadness. The system we live under can be the result of many things--the type of teaching we've received, the culture around us; our family, as well as our own emotions and past experiences. We need to be able to recognize this, and get free from anything (system) that diminishes our excitement and belief in God's word.

That's all Elijah came with. Just a word. He told the widow to make him a small cake of bread. He told Naaman to dip in the Jordan 7 times. And their response didn't have to perfect. But in both cases, their faith was free enough to receive their miracle. In the end, they simply submitted to the word, and look how it paid off!

There are seasons when signs and wonders flow. Like when Jesus was in His hometown. But Jesus, Himself, could not make someone receive a miracle. He still can't. In fact, the miracle is the ability to receive it with uncontaminated faith.

Jesus is always looking for people whose faith is free to receive from Him.


Lord, please show me any areas where my faith has been complicated or systemized. Free my faith so that it is in Your Word alone. Help me to hear and submit to Your Word, and receive my miracle.

In Jesus Name. Amen.

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