"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Friday, October 3, 2008

Experiencing God -- chapter 16

God's Invitation Leads to a Crisis of Belief

"Faith is confidence that what God promised or said will come to pass. Sight is an opposite of faith. If you can see clearly how something can be accomplished, more than likely faith is not required." (pg. 135)

When God lets you know what He wants to do through you, it will be something only God can do. What you believe about Him will determine what you do. If you have faith in the God who called you, you will obey Him; and He will bring to pass what He has purposed to do. If you lack faith, you will not do what He wants. This is disobedience.

Jesus questioned those around Him, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). Jesus frequently rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith and unbelief. Their unbelief revealed that they really had not come to know who He was. Thus, they did not know what He could do. (pg. 136)

In the Bible you will see how God asked people to do something in faith. The task was always bigger than they were. HIS presence was required. When we are given a task by God, but then think "Oh, I can't do that. It's impossible," then we are limiting what GOD can do through us. When God speaks, He reveals what He wants to do through us. We aren't supposed to see if our talents and abilities match the assignment. He works in and through us to accomplish His purposes. Don't be self-centered. Be God-centered. "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God, all things are possible" (Mark 10:27).

Sometimes people say that God won't give them an assignment that they cannot do. The author points out that if he senses God is giving him an assignment that he probably can handle, then that assignment probably is not from God. In the Bible, God always gave God-sized assignments. "They are always beyond what people can do because He wants to demonstrate His nature, His strength, His provision, and His kindness to His people and a watching world." (pg. 138)

God wants people to know Him and when He works through us, He wants people to see Himself. If all people see is what I can do then they won't see God. This is why God often gives tasks that only He can do through us. He wants to reveal Himself to a watching world. If the world sees us and sees only a dedicated group of people serving God, we are not attempting anything that only God can do.

True faith requires action!
The disciples were caught in the middle of a storm on the sea. Jesus rebuked them, not for their human tendency to fear, but for their failure to recognize His presence, protection and power (Matthew 8:23-27). In this case their actions revealed their unbelief rather than their faith. When the storms of life overtake us like this storm overtook the disciples, we often respond as if God does not exist or does not care.

When a centurion sought Jesus' help to heal his servant, he said, "Only speak a word, and my servant will be healed (Matt. 8:8). Jesus commended the centurion's faith in His authority and power, and He healed the servant because of the faith of his master (Matt. 8:5-13).

In each of these biblical examples, what the people did indicated to Jesus what kind of faith they had or did not have. What you do, rather than what you say you believe, reveals what you really believe about God. (pgs. 143,144).

Great chapter! Reminds me to chase those lions!

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