Peter told the lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the temple (Acts 3) that he had no silver or gold, but what he did have he would give to him, and then said, “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene – walk.” Peter then grabbed the man by the hand and lifted him up and the man walked for the first time in his life.
In verse 16 Peter went on to say to the crowd that gathered that the man was healed through faith in Jesus’ name, and that it was His name which strengthened the man, and the faith which comes through Him had given the man perfect health. It all began and ended with the name – faith in the name — strength through the name – perfect health through the name. It all came through the name, and Peter’s faith in that name.
The kingdom of God has come; we were born into it. The veil of the temple has been torn in two; we can now all go before the throne of grace and be greeted with the embrace of our loving Father. He will listen to our requests, and if we have good motives and faith in Him through Jesus, and if what we ask is according to His will, He will give us our requests.
He does this, not because we have authority, or because we have a right to the things we ask; He does it because we believe in Jesus; we believe that every knee will bow to His name, and that His name is above all other names. We believe that He loves us and that we have been raised up with Him into the kingdom of His Father and our Father. He will give us our requests for the same reason He healed the lame man at the Gate Beautiful, because we, like Peter, have faith in the name of Jesus.
Many people think they have to use a combination of faith and authority to rebuke the devil and make him run from them. They have been taught this and similar things by preachers who give them what they want to hear. People don’t want to endure fiery trials; they want to walk in power and authority. They want to be able to command finances to come their way; they want to heal people with a word. They don’t want to wait on God; they want to be God. And in comes a boat load of preachers who tell them they actually have the authority of God. And they will follow these preachers to the moon because their words are so pleasing to their ears.
These preachers tell them they don’t have to put up with anything. All they need do is use their authority in Jesus and whatever they want will be done for them. It seems that every generation has had a formula to pass this attitude off as the truth. The last generation added to the Scripture that said if we ask for something, believe that we receive it, and we will have it, and, taking it out of context, came up with name it and claim it. This generation is using the Scripture where four people spoke of things they didn’t understand (Job 42:3) and, taking Job 22:28 out of context, they are passing it off as truth; thus declare it and decree it.
Dear friends, the truth is – the Lord leaves us in our trials that we might learn endurance and strengthen our faith. We must run from formulas and from preachers who tickle our ears. We must run from the desire to have authority, and, instead, rest in the arms of Jesus, the One who loves us beyond comprehension; the One who gave Himself up for us; the One who is interceding for us at this very moment; the One for whom and through whom all things were made and exist. We must run to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. We must love Him and appreciate Him, not use Him. We must look to Him and follow wherever He leads, without question.
Rather than looking for a way out of, or around, trials that come our way, we should submit to the Lord and endure each one, knowing that hidden within the process of learning endurance is the melting away of dross, dross that hinders our faith. And, as this dross is melting away, our faith will gradually begin to shine forth as pure, unblemished gold. There will be no need for authority; our faith in His name will sustain us, as it did Peter and the lame man at the Gate Beautiful.
Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant