Let me begin this true story by saying on Friday, June 11, 2021, I went to my Dentist, in Cleveland, TN, to have four implants replaced. I must say that Dr. Beard and his Assistant Denise are very patient people. I am NOT a good dental patient. Dr. Beard did an excellent job replacing the implants. He numbed me up really good, so I didn’t feel a thing, I couldn’t even feel my nose. HOWEVER, on the 3 ½ hour drive back home the numbing started wearing off and pain quickly replaced the numbness. I quickly took Ibuprofen and Tylenol, but they didn’t even touch it. I took more when I got home, and more when I went to bed. I couldn’t remember when I had pain like this, and as I woke up the next morning the pain was no better and seemed worse. As I lay in bed God began to talk to me.
Now is when God starts teaching me something, or I should say reminded me of something. Back when I was pastoring a church in Southaven, MS, I studied hard and preached what I learned in God’s Word. I often preached and taught that in order to be the most effective Christian that we can be, we need RADICAL, FANATICAL FAITH. It’s easy to have faith when everything is going good, but when things go bad, faith doesn’t come so easy. Now as I lay there in immense pain God reminded me of this.
The reason He had me preach radical, fanatical faith is because when you believe that God not only can do anything, but will do anything is because that kind of faith gets way past you mind and into your heart. You see those implants went all the way through my gums and into the bones in my face. My wife reminded me that bone cancer is the most painful Cancer there is. I’m sure that my pain was not as severe as someone with bone cancer, but I can’t remember when I had ever had such extreme pain on my life. I am trying to tell you that when I woke up the next day, I couldn’t find my faith. I hurt so bad is was as though my faith was gone. I have prayed for many, many people to see them walk away healed, but my faith for them was strong, and I wasn’t the one in pain, physical or mental pain.
Now God reminded me that it is radical, fanatical faith to pray for someone to be healed and see them actually see them healed. So what was the difference between them and me?
How does your faith become radical and fanatical? Let me ask you, how does a weight lifter get those massive arms that are full of strength? It’s simple if you think about it. He works out with heavy weights everyday whether he feels like it or not. He’s dedicated to his goal of being a man full of strength. The Bible says that we are all given a measure, but a measure of faith is not radical faith. You get radical faith the same way that body builder gets his radical strength. You spiritually work out everyday, whether you feel like it or not. You read your Bible everyday, not taking the excuse that you don’t have time, you pray everyday, not making the excuse that you don’t have time. You fast frequently not reasoning that it’s too hard for you to do. Now this is just for me, when I’m alone, I don’t listen to secular music, I listen to uplifting Gospel music. These measures are pretty radical for a Christian who is satisfied with a measure of faith. The body builders routine is pretty radical for a person satisfied with the measure of strength they naturally have. Me, I want to have the faith that allows me to move mountains, see people healed when I pray for them, cast demons out where people are oppressed or possessed. I want to have radical, fanatical faith.
So, here’s what God reminded me. When I do the things I need to do to live in radical, fanatical faith, as I daily read God’s Word, and converse intimately with Him, my faith moves from my head to my heart. From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, I found that when I was in so much pain, my mind no longer operated in faith. It was so immersed in pain that faith was nowhere to be found in it. It seemed I had lost my faith, but that was no where near the truth. My faith was strong as ever, but it was buried in my heart for safe keeping. As God revealed this truth to me again, though I was still in extreme pain, I got up out of bed and went to the living room where my loving wife was sitting on the love-seat. I sat down next to her and explained what God had talked to me about and asked her to pray for me. Then I asked her to call my friend, Bobby to pray for me too.
The Bible say “where two or three agree in my name as touching anything, it is done by my Father in heaven”. That’s exactly what we did and in a matter of minutes, I felt the grip of pain around my head start to leave and in a few minutes my pain was gone. As hard as I tried, my mind couldn’t get to the faith I needed, but when we agreed in prayer my heart had been reached and faith sprung up within me.
So, I ask you now, do you want to live with a measure of faith, or do you want to live with radical, fanatical faith.
You do realize don’t you that a fanatic is just a fan who takes it to the extreme.