Fear God’s Touch
There was a time when I didn’t want to feel God.
I feared Him. And not in the way His Word urges us to fear Him. I grew up knowing God loved those who kept His commands and hated sin. Which was fine when I thought I was a good girl. But when I realized my wretchedness I wanted to run from God. I figured all He felt for me was disgust and I’d read what He did to those who’d earned His wrath. In no way did I want to be on the receiving end of that.
I knew Jesus died on the cross, but I assumed that was for the good people.
Not a messy sinner like me.
Sin Separates Us
It’s true. My sin separates me from God. So does yours.
This is an incontestable reality of Christianity. One I’ve experienced through parenting, too. When one of my kids does something wrong, I sense the distance between us. When they realize their transgression, I can feel them pull away, even as I reach out to hug them. Just like I tried to run from God.
Sin creates a chasm we cannot cross.
But God was not content to leave us in this predicament.
God Bridged the Gap
Because God formed humanity by hand He made a way to bring us home to Himself. He sent His Son on a rescue mission.
Jesus’ flesh may have dimmed the reality of His deity, but it enabled Him to touch humanity. And by His touch, doubts were erased, hearts were set free, wounds were healed, eyes were opened to truth, and sinners were reassured of the Father’s love. His death on the cross made a way for messy sinners like me to reach heaven.
Jesus’ Ministry of Touch
During His earthly ministry, Jesus’ miracles often involved touch; even touching those deemed unclean by Jewish law. Instead of taking on their filthiness, His touch made them clean. People traveled on foot from town to town and gathered in the streets in search of His healing touch. Faithful friends even brought the lame to Him. They recognized there was power in His touch.
“He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.”
The Greek word translated to “touch” here is “haptomai” (hap’tom-ahee). It means to attach oneself to and is derived from the primary verb, “hapto,”(hap’-to), which means to fasten, to set on fire, to kindle or light (#SHINE). It is the same word Luke used when the woman with the issue of blood reached out and touched the hem of Jesus’ robe.
Reach Out in Faith
“And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she has spend all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her,
“Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
When the woman with issue of blood reached out and touched Jesus’ robe, He knew it. He felt it. Even though He was surround by a large crowd, He could feel the power pouring from His person at this particular woman’s touch. And, she felt the healing immediately. She didn’t need to check if her condition had been healed– she just knew it. She felt it in her soul. But Jesus wanted her to know it was her faith that had made her well, not just the touch.
He wants that for you and me, too. He wants us to know healing comes when we reach out in faith and attach ourselves to Him.
Do you feel the healing in your soul as you reach out in faith and fasten your hope to Jesus?Do you feel the healing in your soul as you reach out in faith and fasten your hope to Jesus? #5senses #experienceGod #fearGod #touchGod Click To Tweet
Miracles Without Touch
Over and over again we read how Jesus touched someone and healed them. He knew feeling His physical body come into contact with their own flesh made his presence a tangible reality. His touch decreased doubts.
But there are instances where Jesus healed without touching.
And I find even greater comfort and hope in these stories. Jesus healed the Centurion’s servant, but never entered his home (Luke 7:1-10). He healed a widow’s son, yet touched only the coffin (Luke 7:11-15). Jesus commanded Lazarus back to life. His power is sufficient to heal people with a Word, to give life with His breath, just as the Father did.
Now, we know Jesus didn’t heal every physical ailment during His earthly ministry, that was not His Father’s will. And not everyone enjoys physical healing today. Even those with great faith often do not experience relief from their physical pain. But spiritual healing is available to everyone through the gift of faith. And that was the purpose to which all of Jesus’ miracles pointed.
I may not be able to touch Jesus’ physical body, but I can certainly feel His power by faith.I may not be able to touch Jesus’ physical body, but I can certainly feel His power by faith.#5senses #experienceGod #fearGod #touchGod Click To Tweet
Something Greater than Touching Jesus
As Jesus neared the end of His earthly ministry, He told his followers something better than His physical presence would arrive when He ascended to the Father. To His apostles, Jesus said,
“And I will ask the Father and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him. But you know him for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you.”
When Mary just wanted to rest in His post-resurrection embrace, He said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. (John 20:17)” He wanted her (and us) to know being touched by the Spirit brings us far greater power than simply touching Jesus.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the most intimate and eternal form of touch imaginable. It makes us one with God; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Never Fear God’s Touch
Jesus may not walk the earth in flesh any longer, but the Father’s gift of faith and the indwelling of the Spirit make His presence tangible. Sin separates us from God, but Jesus’ sacrifice bridged the gap and the Holy Sprit seals our eternal connection with the Creator.
As a baptized child of God, I’ve been touched by the water and the Word, so I no longer need to fear God’s touch. I can fully enjoy His loving embrace for all eternity. And so can you! When Satan uses my sin to make me feel shame, the Spirit reminds me to call on Jesus’ Name.As a baptized child of God, I’ve been touched by the water and the Word, so I no longer need to fear God's touch. #5senses #experienceGod #fearGod #touchGod Click To Tweet
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope