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If a Christian prays for someone to be healed, and the person isn’t healed, whose faith is it that’s lacking?

D. A. Carson wrote about two Jewish men talking on the night of the first Passover. This is a paraphrase: One man said, “I know that you are trusting completely in what Moses said, that God commanded us to put the blood of a lamb on our doorposts so the destroying angel would pass over our households tonight and spare our first-born sons, but you have several sons. I have only one. I’m afraid.” The other man replied, “God will do as He has said. Do not worry.” Carson asked, “Which father’s son lived that night?” Carson answered, “Both. It was not the quality of their faith that saved them. It was the quality of the sacrifice.”

In a related way, believers often wonder if it’s the poor quality of their faith when people aren’t healed when they pray. True, sometimes, people are healed. Most of the time, however, they are not. This mystifying quandary has led to some strange considerations and supposed solutions. Let’s review a few.

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Leadership has been the most taught and discussed topic in the American church in my lifetime. When I did a search recently on Amazon, there were 15,758 hits on the topic of Christian leadership. It makes sense. It doesn’t take much reading in Scripture to find leadership being manifested in one form or another by notable individuals in the Bible. Yet if we do a word search through the Scripture, we find a paucity of references under that word. Why is that? I think the reason we find so little use of the word “leader” in Scripture is because that aspect, that virtue, is secondary in God’s view. Perhaps not even secondary. Therefore, it’s troubling when we have made it our number one emphasis for so many years. If we read about God’s leaders in Scripture, we’ll find, overwhelmingly, an emphasis on only two traits: godliness and obedient, active faith in the power and ability of God.

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Let’s take a quick look at Hebrews 11:32-38. This portion of Scripture is often the focus of our attention because it is included in this wonderful chapter about faith.

“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Samson of and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, mighty in war, foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”

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In the last post about how we Christians are to commend Church leaders, we asked these questions:

What do we value in the Church?

What is commendable?

What kind of people are we looking for in our pastors and leaders?

Are the criteria we use for making these value judgments biblical?

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Leadership has been the most taught and discussed topic in the American church in my lifetime.  When I did a search recently on Amazon, there were 15,758 hits on the topic of Christian leadership.  It makes sense.  It doesn’t take much reading in Scripture to find leadership being manifested in one form or another by the notable individuals in the Bible.  Yet if we do a word search through the Scripture, we find a paucity of references under that word.  Why is that?  I think that the reason we find so little use of the word “leader” in Scripture is because that aspect, that virtue, is secondary in God’s view.  Perhaps not even secondary.  Therefore, I’m troubled when we have made it our number one emphasis for so many years.  If we read about God’s leaders in Scripture, we’ll find, overwhelmingly, an emphasis on only two traits: godly obedience and faith in the power and ability of God.

Since thousands of books have been written on this topic, it would be foolhardy to attempt a comprehensive study in one article.  However, if we look at what Moses, Joshua, Gideon and David did as leaders, we won’t find much detail on how they did leadership.  Over and over again, the recurring quality in these men is that they heard the words that God said, spoke them and acted upon them.  The Lord powerfully did the rest.

It’s that simple.

Simple, perhaps, but not easy.

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