Faith that moves mountains! Well for me at times, my faith would have a hard time tipping over a bucket full of sand, let alone moving a mountain. I tend to drive up, look the mountain over and find myself turning around in an attempt for a different route rather than ‘move it.’
In Hebrews 11 the author poetically describes the Hall of Faith, as those who ‘By faith…’ offered, built, left, blessed, kept, marched and protected. But how many of us would say our faith would indeed use different terminology, perhaps wimpy, shy even stealthily. Sadly many feel that their ‘faith’ is a private thing. No, No it isn’t. Nowhere in the bible does it say or imply or even etched quietly in code that we are to tuck God in our back pocket, or leave Him as a bookmark in our bibles sitting on our night stand. We are called, commissioned and commanded to live and tell. Live our life in such a way, clearly declaring a firm assurance, God is Who He said He is and will DO what He says He will do. Faith.
There are some amazing stories of faith in the bible, common folks like us, faced with some mountains of their own. First, there is great faith: (Matthew 8) Jesus is in Capernaum, a Centurion (a captain over 100 or so men) came up to Him, stating, his servant is at home paralyzed and suffering. Jesus says, “I will go and heal him.” The captain says, “No need, just say the word and he will be healed.” Jesus responds that He had not found anyone with such great faith. He tells the captain, ‘GO! It will be done just as you believed it would.” The servant was healed! Great faith! “Just say the word!”
Next, gutsy faith: (Mark 5) this is the story of the gal with a bleeding issue, she had suffered for twelve years, having seen doctors with no results. With the bleeding issue, according to Jewish custom she was ‘unclean’ and should have stayed on the outskirts of the crowd. If anyone came towards her or close to her, she was supposed to declare, by yelling ‘UNCLEAN!’ – but she didn’t, not this time, she let her faith be bigger than her fear! She had heard about Jesus, she not only goes into the crowd, she reaches out and touches the hem of Jesus’ robe. The word used to describe, ‘touched’ (in the Greek) refers to such handling of the material as to ‘modify’ it. Meaning it wasn’t a flippant swipe of her hand, she GRABBED that hem so tight, she may have left her hand print on it. (vs 28) Grabbing His hem, she thought “IF I just touch His clothes I will be healed.” Jesus declares “Daughter, your faith has healed you…” Gutsy, reach out and GRAB faith!
Next, honest faith: (Matthew 8) Jesus had taught all day, as the crowd closes in, He steps into a boat, we pick up later in the evening – with the disciples, He tells them “Let us go to the other side.” Out on the water, without warning a storm came up; the waves were coming up over and into the boat. Jesus asleep, the disciples cry out to Him, “HELP! Lord save us, we’re going to drown.” Jesus responds, “You of little faith, why are you afraid!” He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and they obeyed.
The same event is told in Mark chapter 4, “Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was in the boat. There were also other boats with Him.’ A furious squall came up…” (v36) They weren’t alone. These disciples had just a “LITTLE bit” of faith, but just enough to know to CRY OUT to Jesus! Yes, our faith should be big and strong, but let’s be honest; sometimes we may only have enough to squeak out “HELP LORD!” Be assured that even our little-honest cry for help – it DOES affect others!
Lastly, struggling faith: (Mark 9) the story of the father with the possessed son. In Jesus’ presence the demonic throws the boy into convulsions. The dad says, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “If you can?” said Jesus, and continues; “Everything is possible for him who believes.” (v24) the father then saying, “I do believe; helps me overcome my unbelief!” (How many of us have said this!) At this point there was no VERBAL response from Jesus, He didn’t take him aside and tell the father, “There is a really good book you should read, ‘5 Easy Steps to Increase Your Faith’’” Nope, but you can almost hear the divine whisper, “WATCH ME!” He delivers and heals the boy.
Faith is living out our perception of God. We may have great faith, like the Centurion, “Just say the word Lord!” Awesome, use it, make it contagious. Faith doesn’t make sense, it makes room for miracles! Or we may need some gusty/risky faith, like the gal to come forward from the outskirts, be desperate enough to reach out and GRAB! Or we may have ‘lil’ faith, honestly just enough to cry out for Jesus’ help. Perhaps our faith needs more, ‘I believe, but help my unbelief.’ On an honest note, perhaps we experience ALL of these in one day! True?
I challenge us to push our faith forward, getting a really good look, examining and ask God for more. God not only is faithful to us, but faith FILLING. He continually pours into us. He offers opportunities, opportunities that stretch our faith, stretch our response. Living our life in such a way, clearly declaring a firm assurance, God is Who He said He is and will DO what He says He will do.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)