Imagine a person who has a serious medical condition. Let’s call him Tim for Tim Taylor. He is a real fix it kind of guy. Tim can figure out most anything and find a solution to most any problem. He is not only practical in home repair but has a master’s degree in engineering. Tim is really smart and learned.
Tim wakes up one day and has a serious pain in his abdomen. It really hurts so he knows something is wrong. He decides to go to the doctor and get checked out. The doctor says Tim has all the symptoms of appendicitis and if it isn’t corrected soon Tim is a goner. The doctor’s name is Josh and he has a really good reputation. As a matter of fact Tim is absolutely certain that Josh is the one and only physician around that knows his stuff. So Tim believes Josh’s diagnosis and realizes he definitely needs a corrective procedure. So Tim asks Josh about the procedure. The doctor describes in detail how the appendix is attached, how it can get infected and how it would be removed. Josh shows Tim pictures and x-rays from other patients. He lays out some medical journals and describes the before and after. The doctor goes so far as to show Tim what happens if the appendix is not removed. Tim decides that a procedure is in order. He asks the doctor for the details of the procedure. Tim then pledges his undying loyalty to Josh and says he will follow all the procedures that Josh has given him. Josh even says he will be available for a phone consultation if there are any complications. Then Tim leaves…He goes home, finds his sharpest knife and prepares to perform the procedure. He calls Josh and puts him on speaker before he begins…
Ludicrous, right? What should Tim have done? Lay down on the table and let Josh do what he was trained to do. Josh is the expert. Tim is the patient. Do you know that this is exactly what we tend to do in our walk with Jesus? Real faith isn’t just believing in what Jesus did to remove our sin, it is trusting and surrendering to His work inside us. He is the great physician. He is the deliverer. He is the redeemer. Are we willing to be the surrendered patient?
I was reading an article by Charles Finney. It was called “The Psychology of Faith.” I haven’t read Finney before and boy have I missed some good stuff. Here are a few quotes from this article. The link is included if you want to check it out for yourself. This first quote is where I got the idea for this post. He is talking about going to a doctor for treatment and how that is like giving our lives to Jesus.
“When I had intellectually accepted the testimony concerning him with an unwavering belief, the next and the indispensable thing would be a voluntary act of trust or confidence in his person, a committal of my life to him, and his sovereign treatment in the cure of my disease.” (C. G. Finney, Psychology of Faith)
The Bible points to and reveals the nature of God. It contains truths that the belief of which is not faith but reveals our reason to trust Jesus.
“The firmest possible persuasion that every word said in the Bible respecting God and Christ is true is not faith. These truths and doctrines reveal God in Christ only so far as they point to God in Christ, and teach the soul how to find him, by an act of trust in His person.”(C. G. Finney, Psychology of Faith)
This is Finney’s definitive on faith. Pretty good stuff.
“When we firmly trust in his person, and commit our souls to him by an unwavering act of confidence in him for all that he is affirmed to be to us in the Bible, this is faith.”(C. G. Finney, Psychology of Faith)
Jesus warned the Pharisees about how the scriptures don’t contain eternal life but point to the source of eternal life, Jesus himself.
John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. (ESV)
He also pointed out our need for a doctor but we must recognize our need for the doctor. Realize that if we are working for our own acceptance (righteousness) in our own effort we are breaking out the butter knife when we really need a surgeon with a scalpel.
Mark 2:17 And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, Those who are strong and well have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick; I came not to call the righteous ones to repentance, but sinners (the erring ones and all those not free from sin). (AMP)
Jesus makes it clear that you don’t even need a HMO to get treatment. We are all sons of Abraham. We are all positioned to receive grace. Grace is a Man, Jesus and in Him we have His righteousness. Our works are not required. We can put down the medical journal and turn to the One who was sent for the task. All we have to do is believe, trust and surrender to His treatment.
Luke 19:9 Jesus said to him, “Salvation has come to this house today, because this man also ·belongs to the family[is a son] of Abraham. 10 [For; Because] The Son of Man came to ·find[seek out] lost people and save them.” (EXB)
Romans 4:16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring (ESV)
Romans 4:4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness (ESV)
Now with a fresh perspective read this passage:
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (NKJV)
I think this is so awesome. All I do is lay down on the table and He removes the stuff that doesn’t belong. The renewing of my mind is actually brain surgery. Jesus is the word become flesh. He is the great physician. He is an expert at removing the stuff that doesn’t belong. Notice the division between soul and spirit. Our spirit is one with the Holy Spirit. Our spirit is divinely reinstated by the Holy Spirit and has a divine nature. Our spirit perfectly discerns the will and nature of God. Our soul may still be hanging on to old emotions, memories, hurts, hangups, wrong teachings, etc. The Holy Spirit can expertly remove those things from our soul that are not of Him. Likewise the joints or connections to stuff in our flesh or carnal nature that are from the world can be separated from our new nature without damaging the life-giving marrow. For example, imagine a past offense by someone. Let’s say they hurt you physically and mentally. Let’s say you have emotional scars that run deep. Guess what, Jesus forgave them too. When you release His forgiveness into that situation, He will heal the wounds. He will restore the lost time, investment, etc. He will remove the pain of the memories. You have to be willing. You have to trust. You have to surrender. Jesus does the rest.
One last point. Every procedure needs anesthesia. Here is the best kind:
Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
The word for affection here is sometimes translated mind. It is literally the midriff or place of the soul (mind, will and emotions). When you purpose your soul to focus on the things of heaven, the Kingdom of God, the nature of your Abba, the goodness of your Daddy, the plentiful provision of your Father, His love for you, His death for you and persist in His presence the Holy Spirit can go to work. There may be moments of discomfort like when the dentist says “you might feel a little pressure.” In the end you get to give up something that didn’t belong and you really didn’t need to hang on to anymore. That is amazing. That is a real doctor doing a great work. Are you ready to step into real faith and surrender to His procedure?