It was 1986, and I was only three-years old. I don’t remember a lot about that year other than my mom’s giant rockstar hair, her sweet smile, and my very first moment with Jesus. I loved to sit in my room inside my little, plastic playhouse and watch The Gospel Bill Show. If you’re not familiar with this television program, let me introduce you to my childhood. When my brothers came along, we didn’t want to watch anything else. God used a man dressed up as a cowboy to preach the Gospel to millions of children all over the world, and I was one of them. I don’t remember everything he said, but I’ll never forget the moment the presence of the Lord filled up my room. The Holy Spirit reached down into my heart and lit a fire, and then I reached out by faith and took Him as MY OWN.
Throughout the Psalms, David claims God as his own. He not only refers to Him as God, he calls Him specifically “my God.” We get an up-close look into his personal relationship in Psalm 63:1-2. David has been running from King Saul, hiding in the cliffs of En Gedi, and missing the courts of the Lord. He cries out, “O God, you are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for you….So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.”
David had a real relationship with God. They had a history together. He had seen His faithfulness time and time again, his memory full of victories where God had helped him slay the lion and the bear. It was God who came alongside him, and together they defeated Goliath. It was God who promoted him and made him king over Israel. God became reality to him, and over time, David developed a genuine faith of his own.
Throughout Scripture, we see real people who had real relationships with God that produced real results. Results don’t come without relationship. This faith life that we are living is not just a set of rules and regulations, or steps and methods to get what we want. It is an opportunity to have a living communion with our awesome God.
A good relationship is the result of a lot of good conversations. We were meant to have words between us. It takes two people to have a really good conversation. If one person is talking the whole time and the other can’t get a word in to respond, there will be no growth, nothing special to build upon, and no real relationship between them.
But God is after real relationships with us. He longs for continual conversation. He no longer wants to be endured but enjoyed. He longs to love and to be loved. When He sent us Jesus, He threw His grace at us. And now He only desires one thing from us—faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
He’s after a dialogue, not a monologue, where He speaks and we respond. A good conversation can’t be one-sided; it takes two to make a thing go right! My husband calls it living in the conversation between grace and faith.
Grace is God’s part; faith is ours. Faith is simply our response to God’s grace. Grace says, “You are healed,” and in response I say, “Thank you. I receive.” What a healthy relationship—grace and faith working together!
Throughout the gospels, we see Jesus engaging in His part of the conversation through teaching, preaching, and healing. We know that He is still healing today because Hebrews 13:8 tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Healing is not only something He gives, healing is who He is. Healing is at His core. It is His very nature. In the Old Testament, the very name for God our healer is Jehovah Rapha, the one who mends us back together and restores us to normal. So when you and I spend time in His presence, healing always comes. His presence is medicine, and healing happens when we are with the Healer.
If healing always comes, why do some still not receive? Is it God’s fault? Is it all up to Him?
People miss their miracle through miscommunication. Have you ever been in a conversation and, for some reason, you misunderstood what someone else was trying to say to you? Have you ever been so frustrated that you had no idea how to respond, so you just shut your mouth, turned, and walked away? I know I’ve done that. People everywhere are not fully grasping the goodness of God, the grace of God, and the finished work of Jesus. Many do not understand the love He’s trying to communicate to them and just how powerful their response is. If you and I will refuse to get frustrated, and instead respond to Him with words of faith, we will see our miracle!
In the gospels, person after person who came to Jesus with a need had to engage in their part of the conversations if they wanted their miracles. They had to have their own faith. We know this because Jesus didn’t take full responsibility for healing; He gave God glory and put an emphasis on the individual’s faith. He said to so many, “Your faith has made you whole” and “according to your faith be it unto you.”
In Mark 5, there’s a conversation between Jesus and a woman who has been bleeding for twelve years. She has suffered for so long, and she just keeps getting worse. She is a mess from the inside out. She is discouraged because doctors can not help her, and she is totally broke from trying to get better. But when she hears about Jesus, she believes that He can heal her. We hear her faith in her words, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
We also see her faith through her actions; she does everything she can to get to Jesus and to respond to His loving conversation, and then it happens: “Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction” (Mark 5:29). Things are getting personal now, aren’t they? A relationship is beginning; a conversation is starting. She knows that if she wants a miracle, she has to get real with God. This thing is between Jesus and her alone. No one else. She has to have faith of her own. She’s having to get her own God.
I love how the Amplified Bible portrays His response to her: “Daughter, your faith [your personal trust and confidence in Me] has restored you to health; go in peace and be [permanently] healed from your suffering” (Mark 5:34).
Two words always stand out to me when I read these stories about Jesus healing others: YOUR FAITH. But when I read it today, only one word leaped off the page: YOUR.
Faith becomes real when it becomes yours. Paul saw this kind of real faith in Timothy and encouraged him when he said, “I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5).
When my mother was pregnant with me, she started bleeding. The doctors told her she was going to miscarry, but she stood on the Word, trusted God, and He came through for us, so I’m alive today. When I was four, I had scarlet fever and lost a lot of my eyesight and had to wear glasses. My mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa all came together and agreed in faith that I would be healed, and I was. I have perfect 20/20 vision today. When I was little, I was healed by the grace of God and my parents’ and grandparents’ faith. But there would come a time when I would have to get my own God.
Fast forward thirty years to when I was pregnant with my second baby. I began to bleed just like my mom did with me. As I lay in bed that night, fear tried to surround me. I began to pray and seek the Lord. It was time for an honest conversation with Him. I needed the wisdom that only comes through fellowship. I knew that the Bible said if I submitted myself to God, I could resist the devil, and He would flee from me. So I did that. I did everything I knew to do. I asked Jeremy to pray in the Spirit with me, and I searched my heart for anything that would hinder me from keeping this baby. It was time to get real with God. I didn’t want anything between me and Him because I knew that He was my answer, and if my heart were completely clear, my faith would freely flow to my Father.
All of the sudden, a couple flashed before my eyes. I had forgiven them by faith, but I didn’t realize there was something in me that was still holding on to that hurt. I turned to Jeremy and said that we had to call them and apologize! The truth is I don’t even know what we were apologizing for, but I always remember Brother Hagin saying, “LOVE IS THE WAY TO VICTORY.” I was willing to do whatever it took to get unforgiveness out of the way so that faith could fill my heart. My baby was worth it, so even though it was the middle of the night, we called those people and made it right. My heart was clear. I was free to believe. I could stand strong and respond fully in faith.
1 John 3:21 says, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.”
By morning I had stopped bleeding, and when we arrived at the doctor’s office, the ultrasound showed a perfectly healthy baby in my womb. I am so thankful that I had a God of my own who was there for me in a time of trouble. I’m so glad I had a personal relationship with Him where He could speak to me by His spirit and show me what to do. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to respond in faith to His grace and to His leading, and I could stand for my baby’s healing. I am so glad I have my Jessie Grace today.
All those years ago when I received Jesus as the Lord of my life, I started a conversation with God, and since that time we’ve developed a history together. Over the years and throughout many situations, we have had many more conversations. Because of the Word that I have heard and the miracles I have seen, my faith in Him has grown. I have watched Him be faithful to His Word and faithful to me. I have stood on His Word, and He has come through for me every time. Now I believe because He said it, but I trust because I know Him.
There comes a time in your life when you have to develop YOUR OWN FAITH in God if you want to receive all that He has planned for you. You need your own living communion with Jesus, and then from that fellowship, faith will freely flow. If you’ll let His love fan the flame of your heart, then respond with a fiery faith, it will burn up everything that comes against you. At some point, Momma’s and Daddy’s faith won’t cut it. Grandma’s and Grandpa’s faith won’t be enough. Not even your pastor or your friends will be able to carry you any further. You’ll need faith of your own. Faith in God will give you a story that will give Him glory. So go ahead, get your own God! The good news is He’s only a breath away, so reach out and take Him as your own.