An article, surprisingly currently trending, is about Pat Robertson’s recent televised response to why more miracles are seen in Africa than in the United States … to which Pat alludes to the simple, ignorant faith prevalent in the poorer third world. Many are irritated that they will not have the best of both worlds … the best schools, hospitals and social safety nets and higher incidence of God’s miraculous intervention. Does faith flourish better in more difficult terrain? Most preachers have always agreed that it does and more than a few will point out … “woe to them that are at ease in Zion…”
Not surprisingly, in Africa, I also observe a much higher incidence of miracles with the less educated class of believers. Examine the scenario below and you will understand the link between hunger for God, despair with status quo, more common with the less advantaged and a faith that produces the miraculous.
Mat 15:26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
God is no respecter of class or persons. He responds to hunger for Him and faith that will not easily be put off. Imagine the response of the woman, if she had been a Harvard Law graduate …perhaps Jesus would have been sued for verbal abuse or even worse … she is more likely to walk off irritated because she would not understand the sheer inferiority of her status to the great Healer who can change her life forever in seconds. The perfect logic that God is God and always good … that this good God created her for His own pleasure and not vice-versa is likely to elude her. Bottom line is that she arrives at her apartment … angry, rushes to social media to share the story of her insult to her online community and the discussion grows … but no miracle … and God remains God whose image cannot be dented by any… the supreme and sole deity who does not need to be marketed. He markets Himself in all His creation.
In Africa, the story would be different … she would weigh her alternatives and quickly conclude that her miracle is worth enduring the open humiliation … after all she can no more afford the expensive medical consultations, she has no insurance … and worse, no social security! Faith would be an easier theme to grasp.
When Christ said it is more difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom - comparing them to going through the eye of a needle, He does not discourage wealth, education, decency, human rights or civilization nor is any abuser remotely ever free from His perfect judgments, but rather Jesus speaks of the demand (that equally applies to all classes, peoples and nations ) for humility and child-like obedience that causes many (especially the elite) to turn back from true life-saving faith and creation of novel brands of Christianity … brands which eventually look more like country clubs than the Christianity of the New Testament. We also often forget that the first Christians were so called in a derogatory fashion i.e. ”the ones who believe and follow the strange Galilean and claim He died and resurrected”. These days we want to carry the Christian brand like “Louis Vuitton” loaded baggage waiting on the first class queue ….and I emphasize “baggage” . Pat Robertson hits the nail squarely on the head in this interview. Stay on your high horse and you will miss God’s miraculous best. Lord, teach me to be humble. Amen