This past week I announced that I have been diagnosed with cancer and since that time have heard many remarks about “walking by faith” and needing to “trust in God’s promises.” Just to make it clear that is fully my goal in all of this; I want to be a man of faith! Yet what does that really mean?
Back to the coaching analogy… remember that first as a coach I realize the need to “prepare my team for competition.” I know they are getting ready to face obstacles and trials and I need to make sure they have the skill set, endurance, and understanding of the game to meet those challenges. Then when it is game time and I give them instructions, they are equipped to follow through. Even if the game starts going poorly, I want them to come to huddles and trust the instruction I give them… I want them to rely on their training throughout the game. And sometimes, when facing a lesser opponent, I even have to pull them back to their training to keep bad habits from developing… In a nut shell, faith in me as a coach is rooted in what I have trained and prepared them to do beforehand; not just in if they like me.
So what does faith in God look like in these types of situations? One view is that I simply need to trust God to heal me and not rely on anything else; another that God has given man the knowledge of medicine and that route is appropriate. And, again to make sure I am clear, I believe that God can and may totally heal my cancer with His spoken Word; I could show up at my PET scan and show totally clear. (And there are thousands of prayers that have been lifted asking for such… I know because I have lifted many of them.) Yet we also see within Scripture that at times God allows His children to face the trials and promises to be their “hiding place” in the midst. (See Psalm 119:114) We see physical difficulties in guys like Paul with bad eyes (which may be his “thorn in the flesh” that he prayed to be removed and God didn’t. We see Timothy with a stomach problem and treating it medicinally with wine. Yet of course we see other times of complete and instantaneous healings…
Bottom line: If I want to walk by faith I must trust not only the power of God but also the process of God. Many of God’s promises are predicated on His principles, the process…
I’ll use my cancer as an example. I do not know what the root cause of the cancer is, yet we know it is a result of living in a fallen world that has problems. But we do know that certain things can be triggers of getting cancer. The only things that seem to be logical triggers in my life are diet and stress… each of which the “Coach” has warned to keep watch over…
1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us that our bodies are the “temple of the Holy Spirit…”
Romans 12:1 tells us, “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Therefore if I am trusting God, walking by faith, I will take care of the temple… which is reasonable to do. Yet I have stayed overweight and eating poorly. Thus, the adverse is that in that area of life I have been walking not by faith, but instead in disobedience.
So one response for me to walk by faith in this situation is to be obedient to the Word, the training that preceded this part of the “game” that I am in. That is me trusting the Coach! As a result, I have dramatically changed and improved my diet in the hope of healing, but more so in the conviction of what it means to walk by faith.
At the point of writing this I do not know the extent or even exact locations of the cancer that is in me; but I am sure of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit that is in me and I want to honor Him!
So here it is again… the bottom line: If I want to walk by faith I must trust not only the power of God but also the process of God. Many of God’s promises are predicated on His principles, the process…
Study the Word and live accordingly!
And in studying you will see at times that God chooses to show up through the living out of His process and other times in an instantaneous and miraculous way.
We do appreciate all the prayers that have come our family’s way!