It’s 3:03am in the Charlotte airport and I can’t sleep. I can’t talk to the pilot of the plane so I am writing.
My mind is racing a million miles an hour as I begin planting Grace City Church in Hickory, North Carolina.
I’m on my way back to Albuquerque full of ideas, excitement and the promise of support from so many who have come along side of me for this exciting new journey.
Has God ever called you to step out in faith and really trust Him but because of your past mistakes you where afraid to try again.
Listen, we all have failed. We all have messed up. We all have fell short of the standard God has given us to live in Christ Jesus. But, praise God we don’t have to be defined by our failures.
I must say that I don’t intentionally fail, however I have learned far more from my failures than my successes.
Everyone has faith. Yes everyone! I mean without faith you would not take the prescription you picked up from the pharmacy from someone you didn’t know and did not actually see put the pill in the container. But when you get home, by faith you take the pill and wait for its effect.
What if he had put cyanide in the container? What about getting on a plane? When we board a plane we trust that the plane will get us to our destination. But we have no actual proof that it will, only faith that it will.
We trust our life to unknown mechanics who work on the plane as well as the pilot we know nothing about. I mean it would be crazy to demand to interview the pilot before we take off. Or would it? I asked. They looked at me like I was a nutt.
Thomas told the disciples that he needed proof Jesus was alive before he would believe. Thomas emphatically told his friends that he would only believe if he could touch the wounds of Jesus. (John 20:25-27).
The “Prove it to me first then I will believe” mentality says Christianity uses faith as a theological gimmick to duck all rational problems.
It is obvious that if we were to insist that on the “proof first, then faith” order in our daily lives, organized life as we know it would grind to a halt. We would never get on a plane without proof, or take a pill, or even go to a restaurant and eat our favorite meal without proof that the food has been inspected. Listen, I will continue to eat in faith at P.F. Changs till the Lord comes back!
Since life together among people depends on our trust in other people, it should not seem odd that the same law of faith applies to our life with God.
There is no way for us to take the first step toward the Christian life accept by faith anymore than a baby can be launched on his or her journey in life without blind baby trust in its parents and other adults.
We have to accept the fact of a personal relationship with Christ by faith, even as our young children accept the fact of parental love.
I remember my children blindly jumping into my arms while I was standing in the pool when they were just two or three years old. They could not swim but by faith they trusted me to keep them safe as they leaped into my arms. For the child, as well as the new Christian, understanding and proof come later.
Faith is before the act not after.
In the same way, every step in the Christian life has to be by faith. Our feelings will catch up with us sooner or later.
The question is faith in whom? God or fallible humans? Faith in God of Course !
Jesus said to a woman who was an outcast by society , “Your faith has saved you, go in peace.” (Luke 7:50) Jesus said to the blind man “According to your faith it will be done unto you.” (Matthew 9:29) Jesus said to a blind beggar, “What do you want me to do for you? The blind man said I want to see. Jesus said, Go, your faith has made you well. Immediately the man recovered his sight and followed Him.” Mark 7:46-52.
Wow! You mean faith determines blessing?
I repeat Faith is before the act not after.
I have learned that faith in God is simply trusting Him enough to step out into that trust. I have not always put that into practice. I have at times answered my own prayers by running ahead of Him and each time I have failed miserably.
However, I believe that when we ask God for something that is His will in faith He hears us and reminds us of all the spiritual resources He has given us to accomplish the dream before us. (Ephesians 1:3)
That’s so exciting because when God plants His dream inside of us He releases His freedom and joy in us for the journey ahead. That fact along has kept me preaching and teaching God’s word for over 28 years through all types of challenges.
Now as I take on the daunting challenge of planting a new church when many pastors are retiring I feel God’s pleasure in a whole new way when I preach and teach God’s word in faith in the power of the Holy Spirit.
So I must continue to serve the Lord regardless of the hardship, regardless of the ordeal, regardless of the overwhelming challenge ahead.
So if you are struggling in your personal life or in your career with a decision and you can’t get closure. I want to remind you that what seems impossible for you is entirely possible for God.
The kingdom of God is still a land of great spiritual opportunities and possibilities.
I challenge you to pray the prayer of release which says, “God I release all of my dreams, my goals, my issues, my circumstances into your loving care. I will stop trying to answer my own prayers and to control my situation. I will relax and give up myself to your management and I will wait expectantly on you to lead, guide and provide.”
There is so much more to say. But I will close with this.
Faith is only faith when it erupts into action.
If we were to use the muscles of our legs as little as we do our muscles of our faith, most of us would be unable to stand. So what are we to do?
First, we must realize that we cannot trust God until we know something about him. So get into His word. The Bible shouts to us of His power, of His unselfish loving nature, of His infinite wisdom. Read it. Study it and apply it!
Secondly, our faith is strengthened only when we ourselves exercise it. We must act in faith by applying its principles to our issues, circumstances troubles etc…
Thirdly we must do it now! There is no time to put off to tomorrow what we can do today.
Fourthly we must be honest. We cannot have faith and a guilty conscious at the same time. Every time faith will fade away.
Finally, we must persevere. We must not give up. Let God do His work. Let God do what only He can do.
Faith sees the promise of the future.
Faith in God releases His power, His freedom and His joy inside of us for the journey ahead.
Our simple child like faith will bring God glory in all of our life.
That’s why we exist! That’s why God created us. To bring Him glory!
With tears in my eyes from the promises of an all loving God I feel His presence here in the early morning light, and I worship Him.
Walk In Faith and please share.