Hebrews 11:6 (MSG)
It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.
Driving to work yesterday, there was a hot air balloon floating just above the horizon. As I continued the commute, it got bigger and bigger. I could see the beautiful rainbow colors of the massive parachute, the fire of burners and the wicker basket holding two occupants. They are fascinating to watch. I love to catch a glimpse of them. But the truth is that I would never actually ride in one. I am just not inclined to put my life in a small basket beneath a giant balloon. I am not a fan of heights. But putting that aside, the idea of putting the entirety of my life into such a precarious position doesn’t seem prudent. What if the balloon is punctured high in the air, the fire goes out or the basket breaks? I admire them from afar but would never entrust my life to one.
Oh you know where this is going, I did too almost immediately. The Holy Spirit heavy on my heart as I watched it float away. How many times has the Lord come close to me? He gives me the opportunity to step in but I am too afraid to entrust my life to Him. Oh, I love Him. I love how the Lord looks. I think it would be cool to see things from His Perspective. I think He is beautiful. All those qualities attributed to the hot air balloon, but when it comes time to make a move – I freeze. Without faith, it is impossible to please God no matter how much I say that I love Him. I am challenged today to move in my faith and stop watching in admiration from the sidelines of my life.
Mark 10:27 (NLT)
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”
With God everything is possible. It sounds good. Looks good, too. But when it comes to putting our money where our mouth is some may deem faith as an unnecessary risk. There are many things in life that are humanly impossible which wear a “Danger” label. We dare not hope or believe for these things because what if we are wrong. What if we fall short? What if God really can’t or won’t do everything? How will you know if you don’t try?
I am struggling today with unnecessary risks. I believe God for the majors like provision, security and health but strive to do everything else myself. I don’t believe that the balloon I saw yesterday was a coincidence. Nor do I think that the rainbow fabric of the parachute was by chance either. The Lord is challenging me to step out of my comfort zone of control and believe a little bigger. I edge along step to step by precariously perching on the edge of yesterday’s blessing but not willing to jump to the next one without reassurance. So much reassurance that at some point it is not about faith anymore.
Mark 11:22-24 (MSG)
Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything.
Just for the record, to “shilly shally” is really a word that means to hesitate. Jesus told us to pray about everything without hesitation. Nothing is too small or too large to carry to the throne of God. Nothing. In fact, the more we lug to God the greater the parameter we give Him to work in our life. As we embrace this God-life, God’s everything is available to us for the asking but we are not asking for everything.
It is not selfish to want more out of life as long as the thing you want most is Jesus Christ. After that, it is all good. He must be our priority. But to say that we love the Lord and not rely on Him leads one to question if we really believe in Him at all. If we did believe, we would want all that He promises and have full confidence that it belongs to us according to His Unfailing and Unconditional Love. We do not believe when we admire the Lord from afar but fail to step out on faith and meet Him where He is in the abundance of life.
Mark 9:22-24 (MSG)
He asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been going on?” “Ever since he was a little boy. Many times it pitches him into fire or the river to do away with him. If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!” Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”
My God healed our son of cancer. Throughout the entire ordeal, I never doubted once that he would live and not die because I heard the Lord speak to me the day of his diagnosis. God assured me that if I trusted Him that our son “would live and not die.” That is exactly what happened. I didn’t expect it to take five rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant to cover several relapses. I didn’t think I would have to fight insurance companies and hospitals for treatment. But throughout it all, I knew that God was in charge so I just kept walking by faith. I had no other choice.
In a world filled with options, I must decide to trust God and live by faith with every single opportunity that I am given. To determine what is God’s Best and wait for it or move on it when encouraged to do so. Will I trust and believe when there are other options? Lord, help me to overcome fear and doubt today to trust you in ALL things not just those things that leave no other choice. We must do away with the “ifs” in our life and replace it with the “wills”. He will so I will. He can so I must. We must take a proactive faith stance rather than passively waiting on our next opportunity. We have the profound privilege of turning our whole life over to God through Jesus Christ. We win every time we do so. I must stop holding back in the minors and submit it all to Christ. He knows what is best. He knows what I need. He knows what comes next. He will never leave me or forsake me. He will never leave me lacking. I must believe enough to step out on faith every day not just those that force me to.
James 2:21-24 (MSG)
Wasn’t our ancestor Abraham “made right with God by works” when he placed his son Isaac on the sacrificial altar? Isn’t it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are “works of faith”? The full meaning of “believe” in the Scripture sentence, “Abraham believed God and was set right with God,” includes his action. It’s that mesh of believing and acting that got Abraham named “God’s friend.” Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works?
Our actions must line up with our words. If God is our Father, we will come to Him as such. If Jesus is our Savior, we will make Him our Lord. We must act on what we believe by faith and not just blow hot air all the time. I want to be God’s Friend. Friends believe in each other. They confide in one another. They are bound by trust and loyalty. They put their faith in each other. God is calling His Friends today to come closer. Closeness to God will always require a little more faith. To believe will always require faith. To believe for all the things God has promised requires faith in all areas of life.
Unless I one day decide to put my faith in a hot air balloon, I will never see the view from such a perspective. I am sure it is quite breathtaking but for now I am good with my feet on the ground. But I don’t want this to be my position of faith. I want to see things how God sees them. I want to do all the things that He has called me to do. I want to have all of the desires that He wrote on my heart. I want His Timing. I want His Best. I cannot stand on the platform of my life that I built to have that. I must step out on the foundation of faith provided by Jesus to see things from the Kingdom view. There is always more to life than what is seen by our natural eyes. We cannot see it unless we surrender our life by faith and step out into the unknown realm of hope where God lives.
Hebrews 11:1 (MSG)
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.