Wednesday, June 9, 2021

You Gotta Have Faith – You May Not Know Before You Go

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and be…” — Matthew 13:31-32

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.’” – Matthew 17:19-21

“‘But if You [Jesus] can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’” – Mark 9:22-24

But He [Jesus] said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” – Matthew 8:26

I had a conversation with a friend recently who is struggling with discerning God’s leading. I sense that God is about to take him in a direction that is fraught with uncertainty and natural risk. By natural risk I mean that those things that we depend upon – like certainty of income – and a clear path to follow are two things that precursors for many to follow God. We want to know before we go. The idea of prostrating yourself at the foot of the Cross is a very lofty, spiritual thought. But – when you are faced with the reality of totally depending upon God’s provision – which you may not be able to see at the point where you begin the journey – well that is a horse of a different color!

I started this post with four verses that have to do with faith and the challenge of unbelief.  It is one thing to talk about faith and a wholly different thing to exercise faith.  Very often we are willing to trust God in eternal matters, but hesitate when we must trust Him with earthly ones.  Jesus made it clear that faith starts small and it takes deliberate effort for it to grow. Faith must be exercised to grow. Like the nation if Israel considering that there were giants in the land when they refused to cross the river the first time. They could trust God for some things – but their fear was stronger than their faith.  They lost sight of God and His power and His provision and trusted in their own – which was no match for giants.

The disciples in the boat – the same problem.  The man with the sick son – the same. My friend struggling with stepping onto the path that God has made clear – the same. Me at nearly 71 years old at a cross roads – again! The same. Perhaps you with something that is going on in your life. You may feel weak – vulnerable – at risk if you do what God has made plain to you. If you are a Christian then you are on a faith walk – or not. You may decide to not step into the river but to wander and wonder instead. The journey is full of uncertainty – opportunity to trust in your own strength and wisdom. Hearing God and knowing what He has said and still saying “Yes – but!”  I am not suggesting that you test God – but that you trust God. The essence of faith. Resist the temptation to cram God into your natural understanding and ways. Not possible.

Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.  ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.’” – Isaiah 55:6-9

Think about it – Pray about it - Believe it – Walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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