Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Faith Works

I started my devotions in Deuteronomy today. And then something really hit me pretty hard. Faith works. I think sometimes when I speak of imagining faith I think about stepping aside and watching God put on a show. But when we look at the scriptures faith often involves someone taking a risk. Someone taking action.

In Deuteronomy 1 we see God's promise - to give Israel it's own land - would only come to pass when the people were willing to act in faith. Their fear and their lack of faith in God prohibits them from taking hold of God's promises. Maybe they thought God was going to send them the deed in the mail? He expected action on their part.

Ultimately, God would do the work. God would bring the walls of Jericho down, but the people still had to take action. They still had to walk around the walls and they still had to fight when the walls came down.

I hope this isn't "spiritualizing" the text too much, but I'm afraid I'm often like the 10 spies. I know what God says, but I'm not sure I'm bold enough to act on His promise. I'd rather just sit back and watch the show.

So think about this...

Peter had to take that first step out of the boat.
Moses had to pick up that snake
Elisha had to throw out the stick to for the axe head
Abraham had to tote his promised son Isaac up the mountain
David had to sling the stones

Just how many of the great examples of faith are also examples of great action. Saints working out their faith with fear and trembling of the Almighty, but also in great boldness. Maybe we should change our thinking just a bit. You've always heard - "Let Go and Let God." Maybe we should be saying "Take Hold and Let God."

Of course the hardest part is knowing whether it is God speaking or just your own ambition. After Peter initiates the idea, Jesus says come. The Lord told Moses to pick up the snake. The Lord told Abraham to carry his son up the mountain. When we are sure it is God speaking, I think it makes it much easier to act in faith.

Lord, help me to discern your will even in the smallest of things that I may act in the boldest of ways when you call. I want to act, I want to take risks for your kingdom, and I want Your Name to be hallowed.

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