Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)
TITLE: Put a Little Umph in Your Hmph!
By Donna Wolther
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So, why can’t the modern ‘ awfully reverent’ Christian cast out demons? I’ve been told that it is because we no longer need miracles. That’s the good news? Well, you know what they say, no news is good news. Hmph! I’m not buying it.
Why can’t we cast out demons today? I believe it’s because demons fear the Lord and we do not. Scripture tells us that fear of the Lord is the beginning of understanding. The demons still recognize Jesus and Paul, but they don’t recognize Jesus or Paul in us. I further believe that our inability to cast them out is due, in part, to the fact that we are unwilling, or maybe even unable today, to recognize them--any more than they are willing to recognize us.
James said: “Show me your faith without deeds and I will l show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?” (NIV James 2:18-20)
“James,” we say, “Hmph! He’s a legalist and Jesus came to set us free from the law.” Oh, really? Didn’t Jesus say that he came to fulfill the law? Didn’t Paul say that we are to fulfill the law of Christ and that the entire law is summed up in Jesus’ single command to love one another?
The demons recognize Jesus and Paul--and James you can be sure, but they don’t recognize us. They look at us and dismiss us with a ‘hmph.’ And when we read the Word of God today, or often don’t even bother to read it, we start singing the same song about its relevance to us, “Hmph.”
How best to translate what James said into language we can understand today? Perhaps he was saying that unless we put a little ‘umph’ into our ‘hmph’ our faith is worthless. Jesus said we can’t cast out demons or perform miracles if we don’t have faith in the truth of his Word—active faith.
Satan is the father of all lies and we are liars if we think that every word in the Bible is not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We can be sure God won’t help us if we don’t.
Remember what Jesus told John to write in Revelation: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (NIV Rev 3:15-16)
Revelation 3:14-21 tells us how it will end for the lukewarm church unless it repents but it also tells us what will happen if it does repent and turn to the truth. Phew, there is still hope for us yet.
David said to sing a new song unto the Lord. Let’s put a little ‘umph’ in our ‘hmph.’ It has a nice beat, doesn’t it? How, then, should we end the song? How about, “So, help us God-- that we might march onward ; repentant, obedient and tri-’umph’-ant!?” Corny? Perhaps, but I think God likes it.
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