Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Redefining God


Joel Osteen's morning message today says:

Today's Scripture

“According to Your faith, be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29).

Today's Word from Joel and Victoria

A lot of time people think that when they have a need, that if God wanted to, He could just automatically meet it. But Jesus didn’t say, according to your need be it unto you; He said, according to your faith.

Really? You mean God is limited in what He can do? He can't provide us with our needs unless we believe He can?

Going back three chapters to Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus said:

25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jesus says nothing here about having to have enough faith before God can supply your needs, although He does ask us to have faith and not to worry. He tells us to seek His kingdom and God will supply your needs. However, even the pagans would have nothing unless God permitted them to have food, clothing and housing.

As for the passage Osteen quoted, Jesus did ask the blind men if they thought Jesus could heal them, and then responded in the affirmative. Jesus healed them based on their confession. However, just a couple of verses later we read:

32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel."
There is no indication here that the demon-possessed man had any faith at all. Jesus acted out of pure grace in this case. So it is apparent that God can act independent of whether we have faith or not.

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