I truly learnt something last night at the MM14 impacting lives for Christ Gospel series. It's really something I've already learnt, something I've been taught to have from I was a babe. But it has not been until now that I truly understand what kind of power real faith can have.
Many people think we are at a disadvantage, because unlike the Israelites in the old days, we don't get to see those marvelous and miraculous wonders God did for them first hand, like; parting the Red Sea, sending Manna from heaven, the plagues of Egypt and the fall of Jericho, just to name a few. True, we don't really see these types of things these days, but that's what faith is all about. Not seeing the physical manifestation of a wondrous happening but the simple belief that you can be empowered by The Holy Spirit to make a change in your life and that through that faith God WILL deliver you. I'm going to put a slight spin on this too. Some of the amazing miracles that the Israelites saw happened, were really their own challenges to God because of their constant disobedience and lack of faith in His power that He was forced to constantly show them what He truly is capable of time and time again. Faith need not the physical sight but the spiritual one, one that proves that Jesus is the victor even before the first punch is thrown; as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 "watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong; let all your things be done with charity." Charity here meaning Love, let all things be done with love. God's kingdom is built on love, His entire character is the embodiment of love, "if you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15) followed up with "thou shalt have no other gods before me" (exodus 20:3).
Too many times did the Israelites have other gods. One in particular was their lust for freedom. They wanted to be so far away from Egyptian rule or any other rule for that matter, that they coveted being free more than they wished to be reunited with their God. Their "freedom" turned them into idol worshipers, quarrelers and scoffers of The Almighty saying God brought them out of Egypt to die in the wilderness, that shows no love, no faith.
We on the other hand, I believe, have an advantage. We do not see the parting of the Red Sea, we don't see fireballs falling from heaven, or manna from the sky, but our advantage is that when we truly believe in God's saving grace, His love, our small mercies will seem greater than God's biggest wonders for the Israelites. Let me break it down further. When we love God, we will believe in Him and His power; that belief goes beyond human sight, it goes beyond human emotion and understanding, that feeling of love and peace gives amazing comfort to our souls so much so that we don't need to see fireballs coming from heaven to know that our God is all powerful, all we need to see is that change in ourselves, that change in our life, the power that changed a thief on the cross and impressed him to give his life to Christ right at the very end. The ability to use our changed lives as a testament, a witnessing tool to save others holds just as much power as any miracle. The problem with the Israelites was that they were led by sight, not faith, so every problem they faced they wanted a miracle, a wonder, for every great miracle God did, they wanted more like kids at a candy store (rhyme not necessarily intended). The problem was not wanting a miracle, it was using the miracle as a benchmark for their faith. We who profess to love God cannot live life on the edge....waiting for that next great thing to happen. That thing needs to start happening in your heart first and then things will fall into place.
Pastor Dottin gave quite a testimony on Monday night, leaving us with a quote that stuck out at me; "faith is the factory of producing hope". What hope do we have if we have no faith? Over recent years I've been struggling with my faith, it hasn't been an easy ride, but a simple vacation to the states initiated a plan that God had for me that I never expected and it began to slowly change me. It has not been smooth but every time I've thought of giving up there's that still small voice that says "get up and go on" and I've been getting up an going on ever since. I also told one of my friends about my struggle and she sent me this:
"He knew what was about to happen before it happens. That's why Jesus did. So that when we sin, his blood covers it. He knows before you knew.
The ultra sound of your existence has been echoing in his ear for an eternity.
That's how much he knows about you. Don't feel guilty, be happy your victorious over sin!! As you accept his grace."
That victory is free and has already happened only if you believe and accept The Lord's invitation into His family. The devil will try everything to destroy us, he doesn't love us he doesn't care about us, all he cares about is hurting God and by targeting our impressionable youth he aims to destroy the building blocks of our society. Faith is as easy as it is difficult to fathom and implement, but do not stop because you didn't get it the first time, Peter didn't when he walked on water towards Jesus, he stumbled sure, but the amazing thing was that Jesus was right there in the midst to support him.
Funny enough my new wallpaper on my phone is a text from Hebrews and is a stark reminder of what God has been doing for me all these years:
(of course there's a bit of a hit and miss with a few words, but hey, if I had a dollar for everytime my iPhone or iPad auto-corrected me which caused my sentences to sound weird I would have enough money to buy the whole world iPads so that they can feel my pain too.)
Remember that without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). If you truly love God you will believe that whatever obstacle, problem or trouble you may find yourself in, a simple prayer with an unfolded heart aimed towards heaven, He will see and He will deliver.
Have a great day!