The Fix-it God, part 1

The Fix-it God idea is characterized by approaching God primarily as the One who addresses human problems by fixing them. This is the popular and time consuming proposition and practice of those who encourage believers to approach God exclusively on the basis that Messianic salvation is not only salvation from sin but that He has one response to human problems, namely instant and miraculous fixes. There is a Fix-it God in the Bible. The Serpent in the Wilderness narrative offers a view that God heals His people of life’s fatal bites. The snakebite healing was not salvation in the sense that humans are saved from sin, because the journeying Israelites were not unsaved persons. Yahweh had already saved the entire family of the Sons of Israel in the Exodus. The Fix-it God is therefore a picture of maintenance and ongoing healing to saved persons. We find in Moses’ narrative that divine healing is indeed on tap for the Israelites as they journeyed.

“And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died”

Num. 21:6-9

The Fix-it God delivers needed healing for those on salvation’s journey. In this mode of divine intervention the invitation to healing is “Look and live”,

And Yahweh said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall be, that every one that is bitten, when he looks on it, shall live. Numbers 21:8

One could say that salvation from sin or the inheritance of life does come in exactly the same way. It is a “look and live” proposition. For example there is the global call found in Isaiah 45:22

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

There is too the Pauline teaching (2 Cor. 3:18) that by gazing at Christ we access ongoing change towards the divine image. There is the prophecy of Micah (7:7) which expresses confidence in the saving power of God as one (the saved) looks to God and waits.

Is everything we call a problem a problem to God? On realizing that there are problems which are unresolvable by us and which need divine intervention, we can either find God’s answer or park our brains, set our mouth on automatic and recite all the things that earthlings and believers have ever said, looking for a way to use faith as a battering ram, when we should simply and first of all say “Amen”.

There is nothing wrong with confessing to Houston “We have a problem!” Learning to say “Amen” to wherever God places us is the right attitude setting with which we can console ourselves. We can also seek to be elevated to God’s thinking and operation, at which level we deceive ourselves with the emotional, unsubstantiated and unscriptural idea that (1) God wants to fix everything and (2) we only need to confess it or declare/decree it.

Does God face unsolvable problems?

No. Frankly, nothing is a problem to God. His healing power is not incidental. He does not rise as healer when sickness arises. Our appreciation of Yahweh as Salvation or Messiah as Salvation is our acknowledgement of the salvation that is in the godhead eternally. Our Lord’s eternal place as Son in the Godhead is inseparable from his place as pre-foundation Salvation.

Few fixes in nature and civic life

The evidence all around us is that God does not fix everything, whether we ask in faith or not. He knows every situation and condition in which we find ourselves and He chooses what gift to bestow and when to bestow it. We deny that we are related to God through and in Christ, acting as if His love must be expressed in giving us everything we ask for. His thinking, at the micro-level, is often beyond our ideas and beyond our capacity to perform. We are often not even listening to his voice.

Restoration and birth from above

What need is there in the church’s assemblies for the sentiment that there is no such thing as cross-bearing trials and adversities? No-one knows or can know the power of God in both its once-for-all manifestation and in its ongoing revelation and bestowal of a sanctified life, except through the weakness and humility of mortal life. Our only guaranteed victory is over the problem of the carnal and worldly nature.

The ultimate fix

The difference between what is possible and what is probable should not elude us. Just as the difference between the present and the future should be equally clear to all of us. The difference between what God wants and what He does is also clear – He wants all men to be saved, yet many are being lost. Since this is true for physical and mental disabilities how can it not be true for tears, death and sorrow?

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. (Rev. 21:4)

Elbert Joseph, PhD