Tuesday, August 5, 2014

123 Stand Up

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.   Romans 15:13

This past week at youth camp the camp pastor did a great thing with the boys at camp.  After he told the story of David’s Mighty Men who were sold out to David he asked if there were any who were ready to make that kind of commitment in their lives.  He told them to stand on the count of three if they were ready to be men of God.  He called out “123 stand up!”  Not every boy stood up but most of the boys did.  It was great to see them all so excited about wanting to change their lives and start now – some as young as 12 and 13 – to become men of God.  No taking a long time to think about it, get up the courage or look around and see who else was doing along with them.  That is how we should proceed  when the Lord speaks to us about serving Him and making the changes in our hearts that He wants to make.   Because God does not treat us as puppets, our cooperation is required for God to use us. We don’t often commit that easy.  It reminds me of jumping off the high diving board when I was a kid.  If I got to the top, stared down, and thought about it for a while, chances are I was going back down the way I came up – the ladder. If I was going to go through with it, I had to walk out to the end of the board, maybe close my eyes, and jump – fast.

Leap of Faith
George Mueller said of faith, "Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends."  This quote speaks of our need to totally rely on God; especially when we need an extra dose of faith to make a huge leap.  Those boys at camp had courage and were brave in demonstrating blind faith.  It is not just about courage.  It is about trust. Just like a little child afraid to jump into the water, if they do not trust you, they won’t cooperate with you.  Sometimes we don’t cooperate with God because we do not trust Him completely to keep His word. To obey God requires that we take a leap of faith.  We say yes but when it comes time to jump, we back away in fear. 

How many blessings and missed opportunities have we had because we have not been obedient and carried through with our yes to God’s calling on our lives?  It is scary when we can’t see the end or when the first step requires great change in our lives, or when a whole room of our peers is staring at us, waiting to see who will make the first move.  Like George Mueller said, faith does not operate in the realm of the possible.  If we knew it was possible, we wouldn’t be afraid or hesitate.  It is when we have no power over the situation and we have no idea where a road leads that we feel called to go down, we only have two options;  we can either back away or we can go blindly in the direction God calls us depending on Him every step of the way.  He is faithful and He will not leave us stranded. 

Fear or Faith?
Fear is real and there are some serious life-changing situations in our life journeys that require us to make some very hard leaps of faith.  But does your fear outweigh your faith?  How desperate are you?  If you continue to disobey God out of fear, you will come to a point of desperation.  If you wait long enough, you will become weary and allow doubts and fears to grow.  It can be easier to take that first terrifying step immediately upon hearing His command because you crave God so much at that point.   When we run from God and don’t obey, we will eventually come to a point that we are ready to obey and jump because we are parched and desperate.  We don’t have to suffer and get to that point.  God wants us to trust Him now.  He cares about us and loves us.  He has got our back.  We just have to believe and jump!  Ready? 1-2-3!

Scripture to Claim:
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 of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

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