I have never seen any fel- low who refused to enter the bus until he has examined the driver’s driving license, so as to assure himself that he would be safe if he entered that bus. He even struggles to enter, especially, at the busy hour of the day. That is faith! The same thing applies when we ride the okada of some-one we had never met before. We have confidence in him, without considering if he knows how to ride it or whether he is even in- sane. Faith!
Imagine what will happen at the airport if we insist on crosschecking the pilots’ flying record before boarding the airplane. Would they oblige us? We still enter. What is the guarantee that the two pilots had flown an airplane before? Do we not enter and sit down comfortably, calling our spouses and telling them that we have boarded? When our Pastor tells us in the Church to close our eyes for prayers, do we insist that we must search him first, to ensure that he is not carrying a gun to rob us when we close our eyes? Faith!
A man has a fracture on his left leg and he has been in the orthopedic hospital for some months. If after examining the x-ray of his leg, and his doctor, with smiles on his face, announces to him that he would be discharged the following day, though he is still in pains, will he not believe him, though it is on April Fool’s day? Will he not be calling his wife, and friends that his leg has healed? How is he sure? Why should he believe the doctor, who may be drunk? Faith!
If God, on the other hand, tells us that by His stripes we are healed, we find it difficult to believe Him, but we can believe a doctor, an ordinary human being. This is the problem. Of a truth, “The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, the word of faith” – Rome 10:7. In the natural, we do not have any problem with faith. It is all over us, but when the Almighty God tells us something, we rationalize it. This is unfortunate.
My friend, Dike, visited me and found me very sick. He took me to the hospital, where the doctor found out that it was acute typhoid, which would kill me in our days, if not treated. He recommended some drugs. Dike then took me to a pharmacy, where he bought the drugs. At home, that night, I called my first daughter, telling her to thank Dike for taking me to the doctor and also to the pharmacy, where he paid for the drugs. The next day, I called my first son, telling him to appreciate medical doctors for their dedication in identifying sicknesses such as the typhoid that would have killed me.
The third day, I called my second son and told him to join me in praising God for pharmacists because of the type of wis- dom God has given them in making drugs, especially the ones for typhoid. The fourth day, I called my second daughter, telling her, how Dike came to our house and took me to the doctor for treatment. Mind you that I have never swallowed any of the drugs. The next morning, at 5 am, our usual time for the family morning devotion, my wife tried to wake me up, but I could not wakeup, I have passed on!
What killed me? What was I doing during those four days, after collecting the drugs? Talking but not acting! The truth was that I did not have faith in those drugs. If I did, I would have swallowed them. What I did was not faith but hope. In hope, you express a desire. There is nothing wrong with it, except that the expected result will not happen. I will be the next Governor of Lagos State. I hope to buy two plots of land at the Banana Island. That is where the desire ends. Faith is different. Faith without works isdead.IfIwanttobethe next Governor of Lagos State or to buy two plots of land at the Banana Island, I must start doing something in that direction.
“If I will touch His garment, I will be healed,” would have ended in hope had the woman stopped at that. She did not. “And she touched it, and was healed”. Faith! – Mark 5:27-29. “Go and show yourself to your Pastors as evidence of your healing,” Jesus told the ten lepers. If they had remained there, worshipping Him, their situation would have remained the same, but, “As they were going, they were healed” – Luke 17:14. Faith! “Silver and gold I do not have. In the name of Jesus Christ, rise and walk,” Peter told a lame man, and stretched his hand to raise him up – Acts 3:6-7. Raising his hand was an act of faith. The lame man stood up and walked.
“I will arise and go to my father,” said the prodigal son – Luke 15:18. That was a great decision, unexpected from a youth, who lived the type of life he was living. It is very commendable. The bad news, however, is that nothing good comes out of such, because it was nothing but hope. That was what he might do, today or one day. We thank God that he did not end there. “And he went” – v.20! Faith!
Faith is acting on what we believe. In the natural, as I pointed out above, we demonstrate action, by en- tering buses, okadas, air- planes, et cetera. We do not stop at telling people that we shall use these means of transportation. We use them. That is God’s expectation from us in exercising our faith.
Hope, as we must know, is important, so long as we know that it has its limits. Expression of faith begins by hope, confessing God’s word on an issue. The Roman Centurion told Jesus that it was not necessary for him to come to his house, that he should just say the word only, concerning the healing of his servant. The Lord agreed. He spoke the word and the servant was healed immediately. We should be doing the same, by speak- ing God’s word concerning our situation, but we should not end there. We must act on the declaration we have made, not considering whether it will happen or not.
Apostle Paul said that the word of faith is in our mouth and we have seen it in the natural. Nobody taught us how to exer- cise our faith in the okada rider or the bus driver. We should be applying it in spiritual issues. If God said that He would do something, why should we doubt Him? If our Governor says that the first 1000 people to arrive in his of- fice the next day will buy a bag of rice at N1, 000, over ten thousand people sleep there tonight! If God makes such a declaration, only a few people will oblige Him!
On that great March 25, 1978, I declared openly, before a teeming congregation at Enugu, ‘For better and for worse’ to take Ify to be my wife. Imagine, a lady I did not know if she knew how to cook food or not, or if she could bear children or not. Faith! Why can I not extend it to God Almighty?
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002- 471; [email protected] yahoo.com