Our church recently went through 21 days of prayer & fasting. It was such a powerful time of intentionally pressing into God. It’s astounding how God shows up when you press into Him. Throughout the fast I found myself drawn to Luke chapter 7. This chapter begins with an incredible story that jumped off the page at me. Isn’t it amazing when God’s word does that? As Luke 7 unfolds we see Jesus entering a town called Capernaum and a military man in need of a miracle.
“When he had concluded saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. A centurion’s servant, who was highly valued by him, was sick and about to die. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, requesting him to come and save the life of his servant. When they reached Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy for you to grant this, because he loves our nation and has built us a synagogue.” Luke 7:1-5 CSB
This Centurion would have been a military leader, a person with power & authority, who was clearly well respected and very generous. The report that the Jewish elders brought to Jesus was that the Centurion was “worthy for you to grant this.” I love how Jesus is in the business of turning everything that we humans place value in, utterly and completely upside down. The characteristics of the Centurion that impressed Jesus were not his contributions to the nation but rather his humility and faith.
“Jesus went with them, and when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, since I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. That is why I didn’t even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” Luke 7:6-8
Ahhhh I love so much about this interaction. First of all here is the Centurion, a man of authority who understands rank and hierarchy, and what is the very first word he sent to through his friends to Jesus? He calls Jesus Lord! Y’all this is HUGE. By publicly calling Jesus Lord the Centurion is humbling himself under Jesus authority and command. Then he goes on to honor Jesus even more by acknowledging he is not worthy to have Jesus come under his roof, but rather if Jesus will simply say the word, he was confident his servant would be healed.
Wow that simple phrase “But say the word” echoed in my heart for days after reading this. I just couldn’t shake it. My mind would drift throughout the day to this beautiful story and the stunning faith of the Centurion. There is more than astonishing faith packed in that little phrase. There is reverence, worship, conviction, and hope.
My journal pages a few days later literally says “Lord I can’t get this story out of my mind.” That phrase “But say the word” was haunting me like we had unfinished business. I don’t know about you but I am desperate for that kind of faith & boldness & confidence. So I wrote the phase at the top of a new journal page and just began to write every single enormous mountain in my life. I’m sure you have those too! You know the ones that deep down in your heart you know God can totally make happen but your words, actions, and thoughts don’t always reflect confident faith.
I wrote things like:
Lord, But say the word and this relationship will be restored.
But say the word and this debt will be gone.
But say the word and we will own our own home.
But say the word and there will be greater intimacy and understanding in my marriage.
Y’all I wrote BIG heavy burdens as well as HUGE goals and dreams. After I wrote about a dozen I prayed them out loud and I could feel something happening inside of me. Like this little seedling I could feel my faith growing.
““Jesus heard this and was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found so great a faith even in Israel.” When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant in good health.” Luke 7:9-10
Well of course the servant of the Centurion was healed. But his healing is almost an afterthought in this story compared to the themes of humility & faith. Jesus affirms the faith of the Centurion to the point of saying there is not greater faith even in Israel. Wow! This story inspires me to humble myself before my Lord and walk in bold confident faith. It challenges me and shed light on areas I really haven’t been walking in faith, so that I can surrender those areas or issues to Him.
What does your “Lord, But say the word” list look like? I hope my journey through this passage inspires you to have some profound “But say the word” conversations with God. I’d love for you to share in the comments!
Friends this is my prayer for you & I this week, “Lord we have some giant mountains that are right in front of us. We can’t see around them, we can’t figure them out, and we overwhelmed by them. Lord we come to you by faith believing that if you will but say the word these situations will completely resolve. Lord we are submitting these situations & circumstances to you. In Jesus name, Amen!”