From his days as an itinerant evangelist, Dr. James Finn relates what I have dubbed “The Banana Story.” It happened in the early 1970’s, when he was ministering in Clayton, Georgia. Just before the evening meeting, while he was driving to the church, he felt impressed by the Holy Ghost to stop and purchase a bunch of bananas.
Later, having delivered the message from the Word, he gave the altar call. As part of that invitation, he told the congregation that anyone who needed a healing should come and eat one of the bananas. As a matter of reason, that was patently absurd, and the church reacted accordingly. No one came forward, except one lady who came and dutifully ingested the fruit.
A few days later, the same lady appeared at another service where she joyfully testified to the healing power of God. After eating the banana, she had returned to her oncologist. The doctor was so dumbfounded that he insisted on duplicate testing. At length he had pronounced her cancer-free.
Of course, there was no virtue in the banana! And there is no “power or holiness” in men of God. (Acts 3:12) But there is a scriptural principle.
“Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” (2 Chr.20:20)
So the prophet Elisha told Naaman, “Go and wash in Jordan seven times…” to be cleansed of his leprosy. (2 Kings 5:10) The Syrian commander was outraged at such a preposterous instruction. At first, he refused to comply, but was later persuaded when its harmless simplicity was pointed out to him.
To bolster our faith, not his, the Holy Ghost sometimes requires of us only some simple act of obedience. In exchange, He gives us his own omnipotent power. When we do the possible, God does the impossible.
The overriding principle is found in Acts 10:38. Jesus was ANOINTED by God. He “went about” like any other man who was empowered by the Holy Ghost. Just like Elisha, he gave instructions that were simple, however ludicrous.
Why dip in the Jordan? Why wash at Siloam? Because “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” (1 Cor.1:27)
In other words, it doesn’t make sense to human wisdom. We can’t understand it, because God doesn’t need our comprehension. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Prov. 3:5)
Laying hold on the anointing sometimes requires a gesture. A simple action animates our faith, like touching the hem of the Master’s garment. (Matt. 9:20) Logic argues, “How will that help?” But faith replies, “What can it hurt?”
When we do the possible, God does the impossible.