Friday, September 18, 2009

Freefalling Faith

Growing your attitude of faith, raising your expectations of God--not because God suddenly got better but because you realize you've been shortchanging yourself, not to mention possibly insulting the Lord by believing and expecting so little--is not easy.

Faith is not for the fearful.

You're got to be a cliff jumper to have big faith.

We serve a big God, capable of big things. Some people say that God's miracles ended in Biblical days, that we're wrong to believe and to expect to see miracles of the sort that were witnessed when Jesus walked the earth.

Why? God is no less God. He's just as big a God as He was then, just as powerful a God. He might choose not to perform miracles before us, but it's not because He is incapable of performing them. Since He is capable, and to my knowledge, He's never said He wouldn't do great things in our sight, we should expect them.

But that's easier said than done. We've been hurt. We've been disappointed. We've seen our dreams and desires go unfulfilled. We've let ourselves and others down. We harbor sins and lies and unforgiveness. Evil still abounds. Our prayers have gone unanswered.

In this environment, it's easy to lower one's expectations, to be grateful for simple things like getting up every morning, "in your right mind and with the activity of your limbs". It's easy to thank God for shelter, food, clothing, and a job.

When you lack these blessings, which so many take for granted, trust me, it gets even easier to lower one's expectations. You may no longer expect to have a clean change of clothing every day. You may not expect to sleep upon a soft mattress. You may not expect to be able to buy and cook fresh food for yourself and your family, to eat in nutritious, life-giving ways.

But we fail to remember that even those simple things are a test of our faith. When we lie down at night, we're not assured that we'll wake up. When we eat a good meal, there's no promise that we won't get sick.

If you're not careful, by the time you're done lowering your expectations based on your circumstances or past experiences or multitude of disappointments, you'll find yourself at a point where you don't expect anything at all. From God. for your life.

Now, this is not easy for me. I have never been a proponent of "prosperity gospel", at least not as it appears to be practiced in current times. It's not that I don't think God's people should prosper financially. In fact, I'm all for that. But, I do have a problem with boasting about it, flaunting it in the face of others who may not be quite as fortunate, and most of all, continuing to acquire way above and beyond one's own needs. I mean how many mansions can one live in at one time? How many cars can one drive?

So I'm not talking about compiling a list of every material blessing you've ever imagined. This is not about writing your wishlist. But I am talking about having wonder-working faith, a faith that expects greatness.

When you hear that someone's been stricken with cancer or some other life-threatening illness, is your first reaction one of sorrow, that their time is near? Or, do you expect to see that person healed? Do you expect to see someone who's never had much in the way of material wealth to suddenly amass a fortune? Do you expect an ordinary, unassuming person to be elevated to a higher stage, to assume a place among kings, queens, and world leaders?

On a personal level, have you placed outer limits on how influential you can be, on the great things you can accomplish?

We say we can do all things through Christ from whom we gain strength, but do we really believe that? Do we live and operate as though we do?

It's not quite so easy to believe and expect great things to unfold right before your eyes and in your life.

But believe and expect we must. To the glory of God.

When you do, it's like jumping off a cliff, freefalling in God. No safety net. No guarantees. A little scary, but very invigorating.

It's the best place in God you could ever be. A place of limitless faith.

Is there something that you want to believe or expect from God, but you've held back? Have you stepped right up to the edge of your cliff, but been afraid to take that last step of faith?

Remove the shackles and unleash your faith.

Then step off the cliff and rest in God.

I can't say I'm fully there, but God's moving me closer and closer to that point. And I'm enjoying life so much more. Won't you join me?

Peace & Blessings,


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