I strive to start each day with Bible reading and prayer. When I do not, my day seems to be so unsettled and haphazard. When I do, I see clearly His guidance throughout. I smile at the little things He does for me. Sometimes what He does is so minuscule that most would laugh, but I know it is Him. I simply shake my head in amazement and thank Him. Yesterday was one of those days. His hand was upon me in very small ways, but they were powerful ways to me. Whenever His presence is so obvious, it is overwhelming.
As I am reading His word this morning, I have to ponder my faith. How big is it? Is it enough? Do I really have the faith I claim to have? Do my actions display my faith? What do I lose daily because of my lack of faith? What do I go without in life because my faith is not as powerful as I claim it to be? Our levels of faith are not contingent upon our relationship with Christ. We can have a relationship with God but have little faith. It is the closeness we have with Christ ... our personal one-on-one relationship with God which determines our faith. Faith is based on the amount of belief you have in God. You can believe in God but not believe God. It is the same with people. There are people you love dearly but you would not rely upon them. Your lack of faith in them does not prevent you from loving them, but it does prevent you from believing them. Do you truly believe you can have and do all that Christ says? Think about it. God says you can move mountains with your faith ... God says your faith can make you whole ... God says your level of faith in Him and His Word can do things that would literally blow the minds of others! Do you have that kind of faith?
I am reading John 5 about the pool where people came to be healed. If someone got in the pool after a visit from the Angel, then they would be healed. There was this one man who had been sick for over 38 years. He was just lying there in anticipation of being the first in the pool after the Angel visited and moved the water. Thirty-eight years! Of course, as I read this I have a lot of other questions I could ask, but what God made stand out to me was this man's level of faith.
It states in John 5, starting at verse 6 of the New Century Version, "When Jesus saw the man and knew that he had been sick for such a long time, Jesus asked him, 'Do you want to be well?' The sick man answered, 'Sir, there is no one to help me get into the pool when the water starts moving. While I am coming to the water, someone else always gets in before me.' Then Jesus said, 'Stand up. Pick up your mat and walk.' And immediately the man was well; he picked up his mat and began to walk." There is a lot about these verses which I could speak on, but for now let's simply focus on faith. Do you have faith as this man had? It made me question my own sense of faith.
Jesus commanded the man to walk. Jesus had the desire to see this man walk again. Jesus was more than willing to bless this man with healing. Should this have been enough for the man to walk? Is this all it takes ... Jesus to speak the word and it is done? Unfortunately, Jesus giving the command and the man actually being able to walk are two separate issues.
Let's ponder this! Do you think that Jesus saying to this man "Walk!" did the healing? Is Jesus' command to walk what got this man off his feet after 38 years of being unable to walk? I would have to say no ... in this incident ... Jesus' words were not enough to make this man walk.
Before going any further, let me interject here that YES Jesus has the power to make this man walk under any circumstances should He choose. Jesus' ability to make this man walk is not in question. There is nothing greater than Jesus' power or His ability to do anything for anyone at anytime. I just do not want us to lose what I think is at the essence of this situation.
I see faith here ... pure faith! Though Jesus gave the command for healing, I honestly do not believe the man would have walked if his faith were not strong enough to receive the blessing Jesus was offering in the first place. It was the man's level of faith which allowed the miracle of healing to occur. If this man had doubt in his mind and heart about Jesus' capabilities ... if the man had doubted his own worthiness to receive such a powerful gift from Jesus ... if the man had questioned the healing in any way, then I honestly do not believe he would have received the healing. It was the man's level of faith in Jesus which opened the door for him to accept what Jesus was offering him. When Jesus said, "... 'Do you want to be well?'", if the man had pondered it or questioned whether it could actually happen, then he would not have been able to walk. When Jesus gave the command, " ... 'Stand up. Pick up your mat and walk ... '", it was at this point that the man's faith kicked in and nudged him forward to stand and walk. Jesus had the power but it was the man's faith which activated the power.
How many times in our own lives has Jesus blessed us with His promise and our lack of faith has taken the blessing from us. There are so many promises in the Bible which God gives to His children, but it is our lack of faith which hinders our receiving them.
We are all born with a certain level of faith. This is obvious or we would not be able to function throughout our day. We have faith when we sit down that the chair will hold us. We have faith as a child in our parents. As children, our faith in our parents is huge!!!! We believe they can move mountains. As we grow, our faith can be increased or decreased ... depending upon our upbringing and the circumstances of our childhood. However, despite your circumstances in life or anything which may have occurred to hurt you or to make you doubt your worthiness or the worthiness of others, once you give it over to Him then your faith can again grow to be so powerful it can move mountains. It is one thing to boldly proclaim what God can do. It is quite another to actually trust that God will do what He has promised.
As believers, people are watching us daily to see the fruit of our walk. Our lifestyles are sometimes the only Bibles that people ever read. What is your lifestyle saying to others? We are to follow through on our statements of faith, especially when unbelievers are looking. What good does it do to talk about trusting God only to abandon our position when things get tough? We need to act in accordance to our proclaimed level of faith.
In What Does The Bible Say About ..., it states, "None of us knows what dangers lie ahead for our faith. We may be headed for trials and challenges that we never imagined. Is our faith ready to meet whatever challenges come our way? Or have we let the yeast of unbelief gain a foothold, breaking down our trust in God and spreading resistance to Him throughout our lives?
Whether you react to troubling news with a sense of desperation and despair or a quiet, confident faith will largely depend on the status of your relationship with God." There it is in a nutshell. Our faith is contingent upon our personal relationship with God. As we grow closer to God in our daily walks, our faith becomes stronger. As He leads us through one trial after another, our faith becomes bigger. It is through trials in life ... through pain ... through hardships ... through loss ... that our faith is watered so it can increase. We cannot see this when we are in the eye of the storm but once the winds have calmed and we can see Him in the midst, our faith grows to carry us through the next storm. There will always be storms in life. We cannot live in the sin infested world we live in and there not be storms. Our enemy is alive and well here on planet earth so time bombs are prevalent. Our relationship with God will determine how we overcome and whether we have enough faith to sustain us.
What is your level of faith today? I do not know about you but I want faith that will move mountains. I seek Him daily ... I praise Him daily ... I love Him with my whole heart daily so that my faith will allow me to move those mountains. When my faith waivers, as it does more times than I care to admit, then I dig my heels in deeper until I find the faith I need. Yesterday was such a day for me. I was going through something and I had a choice to walk in faith or render the situation hopeless. I choose to walk in faith. My faith carried me through the day. Nothing earth shattering happened but more happened than it would have if I had chosen not to walk in faith.
What is your faith gauge stating today?