John records, Jesus said to him, “Go your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better. (John 4:50-52)
If Jesus experienced the situation where people converted slowly rather than quickly, then so will we.
Looking through the New Testament and describing the levels of faith there.
First there was no faith, which Jesus said his disciples had on more than one occasion (Mark 4:40). Then there was little faith, which Jesus said you had if you sank mid way through walking on water (gulp!) (Matt 14:31). Then there was weak faith which Paul declared we would find even among believers (ROM 14:1). Then there was strong faith, which Paul said Abraham. Had but also grew into as he gave glory to God ( ROM 4:20). Finally there is great faith, which Jesus saw in only two people, who were both from despised backgrounds as far as the Jews were concerned: a Gentile woman who pressed him for deliverance of her demonised daughter, and a Roman centurion (Mary 15:28 Luke7:9)
Alexander Ventner an associate of John Winner writes:
The tension and mystery of the kingdom is critical to a proper theology and praxis of healing. We cannot dictate or control healing yet we cannot accept or surrender to sickness. We pray with confident authority and expectation of healing for everyone, yet we are humble and honest, trusting God with the results as only God can heal. We do both at the same time. We instinctively try to resolve tension by tending to either/or because and/both is messy. But too much kingdom now leads to arrogance and presumption, demanding healing as if on tap. Too much kingdom then leads to pessimism and fatalism, leaving healing to ‘if it is God’s will.’ We too easily explain lack of healing by kingdom tension when we ought to push through in faith. This tension, embracing both the already and not yet of the kingdom, makes us living paradoxes. It is learning to live and minister in the overlapping of two ages: the power of the kingdom and the redistance of this age. It leads to perservering faith, optimistic realism, dependence on God, discerning the moment, honouring people’s dignity, respecting the unknown and leaving the results with God.
Once I understand the signs of the kingdom, I know what Gods will is. All I need to ask my Father is, “What are you doing?” And “What is my part in this?”. More often than not our Father wants to work off our standing orders. My job becomes immediate and obvious: to do anything I can to be the answer to my own prayer ” your kingdom come, your will be done.”
We desperately need comfort, although sometimes we ate too proud to admit to it. I have personally traced the root of much sin in my life to getting false comfort when I am tired, upset or angry. How much sin in the church comes because we won’t admit we need comfort?
John Piper once said:
if all other variables are equal, your capacity to know God will probably diminish in direct proportion to how much TV you watch. There are several reasons for this. One is that watching TV reflects culture at its most trivial. A steady diet of triviality shrinks the soul. You get used to it. It starts to feel normal. It starts to satisfy your soul. And in the end the soul that is made for God has shrunk to fit snugly around triteness.