Faith . . .
Don't live life without it!
It seems that faith and baskets go together. There are beautiful accounts in God’s word connecting the miracles of Jesus with the meager contents in baskets. As the disciples followed Jesus’ instructions, what looked like food for a few multiplied to satisfy great crowds that had traveled to see and hear first-hand the words and miracles of Jesus.
I love this anonymous quote in Streams in the Desert, a devotional compiled by Charles E. Cowman, “When faith goes to market it always takes a basket.” This simple quote is a great one-liner! It is a quick visual about what is within us and the external evidence of faith’s anticipation.
Faith isn’t a stand-alone state of being. Hebrews 11:1 describes God’s view of faith, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
As I read Charles Cowman’s quote and thought about the depth of God’s message in Hebrews 11:1, I found myself examining the state of my own faith. It was a much needed appointment! Faith allows us to look past a void, broken things, unrealized dreams, and more and see across the chasm to the other side where we lock eyes with God. God has our best interest in mind and we may rest assured that he is concerned with what concerns us! (Psalm 138:8)
My thoughts led me to realize there are circumstances in my life waiting for me to arrive with baskets in tow. Deeper examination revealed a surprise for why, at times, I don’t live with with an anticipation of hope and faith. Tucked away far from view, God revealed a pocket of fear stealthfully hiding. What was this fear? Fear of trusting God in an ‘all-out’ kind of way. What was at the root of such fear? A lie – a belief that if I trust deeply and my desire isn’t realized it must mean I am not worthy of my Father’s favor or intervention. It is hard to believe that I have walked around for 57 years believing this, and just as unbelievable that this lie could remain hidden from me for all of these years! Our Father so desires for His truth to pierce all that holds us captive. He is faithful and creative and His truth offers life and freedom in exchange for bondage and darkness.
As a side thought, we don’t hesitate to keep tabs of our keys and phones, oftentimes patting our pockets or checking our purses to be sure we’ve not forgotten them somewhere. How much more valuable is the act of routinely checking our hearts and taking inventory of what we find? Time well spent!
I am reminded in Romans 10:17 that faith is mine for the gathering as I delve into the word of God. “So then, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
What abundance awaits us as we pursue what is ours through Christ! Faith is ours and part of God’s design for his children. With expectation, our hearts may be as full as Simon Peter’s nets in the midst of ‘things not seen’!
There are many examples in God’s word where one’s evidence of faith invited the move of God.
The story of our sister in Mark 5:25-34 with the issue of blood, comes to mind. We can see her desperation in these verses and her thoughts are revealed in v. 28, “For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be made well.” Perhaps many of us have known such desperation.
How weary she must have been, and how desperate! She ventured into the streets packed with a multitued of those who were desperately pressing against Jesus. It must have been quite a scene. In the midst of the huge crowd all around, Jesus realized the touch by one who had faith. To have been so bold as to enter the streets in her condition with the laws of that time on uncleanliness and perhaps her reputation over the last many years – what desperation! We don’t know if she would say she was brave, but we may certainly see the boldness of her faith! The disciples were astonished and asked Jesus if he could not see the multitude of people thronging him and were amazed that he would ask, “Who touched me?”
“And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”
I closed my eyes and thought about this scene. What would this woman say to us today if given the opportunity to address our womens’ groups? I had the thought that if she could but speak one word, one powerful word what would it be? Placing myself in her shoes, I asked myself this question. What would I say that would encourage, prompt action, and convey the passion of my story and encounter with Jesus? Suddenly, I knew.
Stepping to microphone, I would extend and stretch my arm, look the women in their eyes and share the word that I would hope would forever propel them forward towards our Savior – “REACH!” One word, one profound message and a picture of faith in action.
Reaching in faith, may our faith be visible, active, and persevere through all that would hinder the external evidence of what flows from our hearts. May we too carry such a message from our own exchanges with the very one who is the subject of our faith, Jesus Christ!
So, what’s in your heart today? What have you yet to ‘reach’ for in Christ? Is there an expectation that makes way for the moves and promises of God? Pray and ask to be made aware of anything that hinders your faith and ask for an understanding of the cause behind such hindrances. Invite God to move and release yourself to Him as you rest in the process of ensuing freedom.
Father, thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for all of the examples in your word that lead us to your truths. Jesus, how preciously you seek us! Move within us Holy Spirit as you will. Who is like the Lord our God who dwelleth on high? We praise the name of the Lord our God!