Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 36 : Ask in Faith | Day 248

Understand a Source of Great Faith!

When Jesus marvels at the faith of a person, we should sit up and take notice, and when He exclaims that a person's faith is greater than any faith He has found in all Israel, we should really stop to find out what kind of faith He is talking about!

Faith recognizes God's ability to accomplish His will through human authorities.

Let's look carefully at the passage that explains the faith that caused Jesus to marvel: "And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. ... Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.

"For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick" (Luke 7:2-10; see also Matthew 8:5-13).

The centurion not only believed that Jesus was God and that Jesus had power to heal, but he also understood the principle of authority. He lived and worked within a chain of command. He was under higher authorities, and he was in authority over other men. He was accustomed to getting things done by receiving and giving orders.

The centurion recognized that Jesus operated within a structure of authority just as he did.

The word also is a key part of this passage: "I also am a man set under authority." The centurion believed that Jesus was the Son of God, and recognized through the fact that Jesus was coming to his house that God had directed Jesus to heal his servant. Because of this, he knew that Jesus could give the order and it would be done. Therefore, he said, "Say in a word, and my servant shall be healed."

God's pattern of working through structures of authority is well established throughout Scripture. He works with children through their parents (see Ephesians 6:1), citizens through His ministers in government (see Romans 13:1-6), believers through church leaders (see I Thessalonians 5:12-13), and employees through their employers (see Colossians 3:22-23). Within these structures of authority and responsibility, God gives direction, provision, and protection.

Human authorities can also misuse their position and become abusive, unwise, and irresponsible. It is in these difficult cases that we need to ask God for wisdom to make wise appeals, trust God to direct their hearts, and ultimately refuse to do evil regardless of who tells us to do it.

How big is your God? Do you believe that God is using the authorities in your life to accomplish His will? While human authorities may fail and disappoint us, let's continue to place our full confidence in the Lord, Who has authority over all (see Ephesians 1:19-23 and Colossians 1:16-20).

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard