This past week, I had the privilege of spending some time with my mentor/ordination supervisor, Bill Strader. Bill is the pastor of Bucyrus Alliance Church and has about 25 years of ministry experience. God has really blessed me with some outstanding mentors and Bill is one of those men. As we were talking, the subject of “faith” came up. This probably does not come as a shock to you – two pastors talking about faith. Bill was sharing about some of the incredible things that God is doing at his church. The church is growing like crazy and people are coming to Christ – very exciting times! What does Bill primarily attribute this sudden growth to? Faith. Yes, it almost seems almost too simple, doesn’t it?
We hear the word “faith” used all the time in Christian circles. We say, “he made a faith commitment”, or “my faith is really growing”, or “she is a person of faith”, etc. etc. It has become such a generic term that I think we have lost some of the power that is conveyed in that word. There are so many ways we can use the word that it is easy to forget the core meaning of it. In Hebrews 11:1, we read, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” and then verse 3 “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” So the author of Hebrews seems to be saying that faith involves trusting in something unseen. Of course, this goes against human nature. We tend to trust in the things that are most obvious and evident to us. This is what makes faith in God such a jump for so many people. But yet, in spite of this difficulty, millions of people have made “professions of faith.” They have prayed to God (believing that He is real) and asked him to forgive them of their sins and asked Jesus to come into their lives. Sadly, for many, this is the extent of their “faith”. They trusted Jesus for that one day with the expectation that when they die, they will go to heaven and God will not send them to hell.
The missing ingredient in the far too common experience that I just described is that when you make a profession of faith, it is an everyday faith. We are trusting Jesus with our lives every single day for the rest of our lives – not just some day in the future when we die and eternity awaits. When you start to follow Jesus, you will be required (yes, its not optional) to step out in faith on a daily basis. He is going to ask things of you that you could never possibly do in your own strength. But remember what the Bible says – My strength is made perfect in your weakness. God wants to be glorified through your life. As you step out in faith and believe in his sufficiency, he will come through and show his power. Let me encourage you with a verse that has encouraged me. “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly that all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Friends, I think our vision of God is often far too small. We don’t readily believe that God is capable of doing great things through us. When we believe this, He won’t. Until we are willing to take that step of faith, God will not show his power in us. But, little by little, as we step out in faith, and experience his power working through us, you will be amazed at what God does in and through your life. Are you willing to take that step? Are you willing to believe God for the seemingly impossible?