Faith comes by hearing, but when I first heard God speak on the inside of my head, I feared I may have experienced some mental derangement, probably from a lack of sleep. After all, any mother caring for three children under the age of three who changes a minimum of 20 pampers a day could expect a few damaged brain cells, right? Then I got an epiphany: God was always speaking—He was always there—but now I was finally listening (Is. 51:16; Heb. 13:5; Matt. 13:15).
Faith Comes By Hearing
During an afternoon young mum’s Bible study, we sat in as near a silence as one possibly could with a herd of toddlers dissembling the bedroom next door and practiced listening to whatever the Lord had to say. I was certain that the only reason God would ever speak me would be to bring correction, so I was always careful to make sure every sin was promptly confessed. I even included a blanket statement at the end of my prayers, “And please forgive me for anything else I forgot to mention. Amen.”
Because of my diligence, I was confident the Lord would have nothing to say to me. Still, I sat as requested, cleared my mind of wandering thoughts, and listened. To my surprise, thoughts began to pop into my head which seemed to come from nowhere. With one eye tightly shut and the other very slightly open, I shot a glance around the room to see if anyone present was the source of the conversation going on in my head. It was then I realized the Lord was putting thoughts into my mind!
Divine Intervention or Medicine?
I had dealt with sickness forever. It was a source of strain in my daily life, but also my spiritual life. I was reading my Bible and just couldn’t reconcile the differences I was seeing in the early church and the one I attended. I couldn’t understand how God could be described as loving and yet be responsible for much of the suffering and heartache ascribed to Him. I began to recall all the people I had seen prayed for and healed.
I had actually never seen or heard of anyone receiving healing in a spiritual way. I knew of people who thanked God for healing them, and I am sure that He had a part to play in it, but they all followed some course of medical treatment. Rather than seeing this as a matter of divine intervention, the nurse part of me concluded that medicine had done its job.
Duty or Expectation?
In my experience, Christians prayed for the sick more from duty than with any real expectancy. We always ended our prayers with, “If it be thy will Lord,” and that hardly seemed a guarantee. But how could we know if God was in a good mood? Or if the person being prayed for deserved healing? Or even if God still healed? Then I recalled reading in James 5:14-15:
“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
I noticed it wasn’t just any prayer that “saved the sick.” Healing required a prayer of faith. I thought, Well, if faith is to be sure of the things I hope for and certain of the things I cannot see (Hebrews 11:1), then praying with faith involves a level of certainty, not wonder. Apparently, when James wrote about praying for the sick he was not asking God to heal them, but expecting to see them healed.
Flip the Switch
No wonder I hadn’t seen or heard of any healings! There was clearly no shortage of sick or praying people, but there was a shortage of faith. That day I realized that faith has to be present for healing to be received. As I sat there processing these thoughts and listening, I heard something that sounded so alien to me I knew it could never have come from my flesh. I heard:
“Carlie, you have held Me outside of the epilepsy. You don’t need to. I want to take it from you, if you want me to. In two weeks’ time, you can be free from this if you choose to be. Flip the switch.”
Little did I know that this simple phrase would change the course of my life forever. Faith comes by hearing! Hearing was the first step to believing, and believing to receiving. Take time to listen and hear God today, He is trying to get good things to you that might just change your life! (Romans 10:17.)
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This world wants to place limits on you, stuff you into a box, and label you with a stereotype. But God has a good plan for you – a plan to disrupt the darkness and to make a positive impact that lasts long after you have left.
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