The Bible intrigues me! So many times God asks people to step out in faith to obey Him when it makes no sense to the human mind. That is what faith is…the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) When we put aside our doubts, and step out in faith, believing God, He does amazing things!
I Kings 17:8-16 tells how God told His prophet, Elijah to go Zarephath because He had commanded a widow to feed him. There was a severe famine in the land and God asked this widow to do a very hard thing…to provide lunch for a stranger while she and her son were hungry and her food supply was almost diminished.
When Elijah asks her to use the last of her oil and meal to make him a cake first, the woman responds,
“I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse (pitcher): and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress (prepare) it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” Elijah tells her to not be afraid, but to go and make him a little cake first!
Can you believe the audacity of such a request? I’m sure this mother loved her son. If a stranger told most women this, they would say, “In your dreams Buddy!” And I’m afraid I would have been one of those women in this case!
Elijah assures this widow she will have a supply of meal and oil until the Lord sends rain. By faith, she did and as he asked a result, the LORD kept His promise and she, her son, and Elijah ate many days after that until the Lord sent the rain.
If she hadn’t had the faith to obey, God would not have had the opportunity to reward her faith.
In 2 Kings 5:10-14, Naaman, captain of the Syrian army, had leprosy. God tells His prophet, Elisha to tell him to go dip in the dirty Jordan River seven times. That made no sense to this captain. Naaman’s pride got in the way. First, he was offended that this man of God didn’t even come out and speak to him face to face, but sent his servant to give the solution to his disease.
Then, he couldn’t understand why his cleaner river back home wouldn’t be the better option. Naaman was trusting in the water to heal him and not in the God who made the water. Naaman was ready to leave, when his servants begged him to give it a try.
Because Naaman obeyed, although unwillingly, God honored His word and healed the captain. What if Naaman had walked away without obeying? He would not have been healed. How many times do I walk away because God’s word doesn’t make sense to me?
Here’s another one. Jesus said in Luke 6:38
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.”
How can we give and end up with more than we gave? It does not make sense. This is one of the glorious characteristics about God! This is what makes Him so awesome! This is what makes Him God and not me!
God works miracles when we exhibit faith. This goes against every grain in our earthly, sinful body. We think we are smart and can figure things out for ourselves. Blessed is every man, woman, and child who realizes they cannot figure this life out without the help of Almighty God! “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10 27)
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder to them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
In Matthew 10:38-39 Jesus said,
“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
To me, these verses mean we must each lay down our hopes and dreams and be willing to trust God with our future. When we do, a lot of times are hopes and dreams do come true. God knows us better than we know ourselves and He wants the very best for us. We may think we know what we want, but we really don’t.
God knows the end from the beginning. We don’t have to fret and worry and try to figure things out and make things happen. Jesus is asking us to let Him carry our burdens in this life, to trust Him, to rest in Him, and to wait on Him.
When we take our eyes off ourselves and give to God and others, we are dying to ourselves to gain true life. This song pretty much sums up what I’ve been trying to say. May this be the prayer of our heart.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith
Where there is pain, I’ll comfort you
Where there’s despair, let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, let me bring light
Grant that I may not seek
To be consoled but to console,
Not to be seen, but to see
To be loved but to love
It is in dying we’ll be released
Make me an instrument of peace
Keep looking up,