Central Truth: If we find ourselves at the bottom of life’s ladder, it is because that is all for which we have believed. When we talk right and believe right, we will climb to the top.
The four steps to faith outlined in this lesson are so simple that they almost seem foolish. But in Jesus’ ministry on earth, He talked in terms that even the uneducated could understand. He talked about vineyards and orchards, sheepfolds and shepherds. He illustrated spiritual verities in such a simple way that the common people could understand. His message was never complicated but rather clear and concise.
25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Step No. 1 – Say It
What is the first thing that this woman did? Verse 28 of the above text says, “For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be made whole.” Someone had told this woman about Jesus. She knew that He was healing people. Having this information, what was her first step in receiving healing for herself? The first thing she did was to say it.
There is a Godward side and a manward side to every battle, every victory, to everything that we receive from God. We have our part to play. There is something that we must do. God is not going to fail. If there is any failure, it has to be on our part. If we see to it that we do our part, then we can be sure that there will be an answer and a victory.
This woman could have made a negative statement or confession instead of a positive one. And that would have been what she would have received. She could have said that there wasn’t any use, that she had suffered so long and been to many doctors. She could have said that perhaps it was best for her to die. But she did not speak negatively. She spoke positively. She said, “If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.” And it came to pass, for we can have what we say.
Therefore, the first step in writing our own ticket with God is to say it. If we are defeated, we are defeated with our own lips. “Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth” (Proverbs 6:2).
Step No. 2 – Do It
It wouldn’t have done this woman any good whatsoever if when she said, “If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole,” she hadn’t acted upon it also. Our actions either defeat us or they put us over. According to our actions, we either receive or are kept from receiving. The woman with the issue of blood said it and she acted upon it. She touched His clothes.
Step No. 3 – Receive It
She felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. Jesus said, “Who touched me?” Jesus knew that virtue, or power, had gone out of Him. The woman first of all said it, she confessed her faith. Then she acted upon that faith and reached out and touched the Master. Then, step number three, she received her healing. She felt in her body that she was healed of the plague.
Notice that the feeling and the healing followed the saying and the acting. Most people want the feeling and the healing first, and then they think they will have the saying and the doing. But it doesn’t work that way. You have to have the saying and the doing first. Then you will have the feeling and healing.
Jesus perceived that power had gone out of Him. The whole world has become concerned about the nuclear bombs that have been exploded in the atmosphere because they release radioactive material into the atmosphere-power that cannot be seen or felt, but power that is deadly and dangerous. Yet there is an unseen power at work in the earth that is neither deadly nor dangerous. It is a power that is good, and that power is always present everywhere. This power can deliver from anything that binds or hurts us.
Step No. 4 – Tell It
Verse 33 tells us that the woman with the issue of blood acknowledged what she had done. She “told him all the truth.” Jesus wants us to tell it so that others might receive.
The first step in writing our own ticket is to say it; the fourth step is to tell it. There is a difference. At first the woman said what she believed. Then she told what had happened. We have to say some things in faith before we ever receive them from God. People say the wrong thing because they believe the wrong thing. When they start believing the right thing and saying the right thing, then that is what they will have.
I Samuel 17:45-47, 49, 50, 54
45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with the sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.
49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him …
54 And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem …
When David slew the giant with his shepherd’s sling, he knew he could write his own ticket with God. He knew that God would do anything he said. And in the above verses we see how David used these four steps to write his own ticket with God.
First, he said it. “This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand …” (verse 46). David had faith, not in his own strength, but in the strength of his God. David knew that in his own might he was powerless against this Philistine. But he was not trusting in his own might. He was trusting in the Lord.
Then David acted upon his faith. “And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth” (verse 49). If David had been led by his natural senses, if he had listened to human reasoning, he would have known that it would be impossible to kill a giant with a shepherd’s sling. But he was tuned to the inner voice of faith, not the outer voice of human reasoning. And the victory was his. He received victory for the Israelites over their enemies the Philistines.
Then David took step number four, and news of the day’s great victory was published throughout the land. “And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem …” (verse 54).
Too few people today know that they can write their own ticket with God. The reason God hasn’t done any more for them is that they haven’t said more. They haven’t acted more. All they have today is the result of what they said yesterday. If you are at the bottom of the ladder, it is because that is all you have believed for. If you will talk right and believe right, you will climb to the top.
Can the sinner use these four steps to write his own ticket with God? Can the sinner take these four steps to salvation?
Luke 15:18-20, 24
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
In the story which Jesus told of the prodigal son, we see that the first thing which the son did was to say it. “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him …” (verse 18). He confessed his faith and his need. Then he acted. “And he arose, and came to his father” (verse 20). He didn’t sit around wondering what kind of reception he might get at home. He picked himself up from the squalor of his sinful life and returned home.
When he did so, he received full pardon and was restored to his father. “… His father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” (verse 20). The rejoicing father was quick to tell the good news that his wandering son had come home. “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found” (verse 24).
If those who are out of fellowship with God the father will humble themselves as did the prodigal son and take these four simple steps to salvation, God will run to meet them too and bring them into full fellowship with Him.
Memory Text: “And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague” (Mark 5:34).
Faith in Action: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only ….” (James 1:22).
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