"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Crazy Faith!!!

Have you ever had a dream or goal that looked and seemed impossible? Or, do you still have one? Have you ever asked God what He wanted you to do, and when He replied, you felt ill-equipped to do what He instructed you to do, even though you knew it was God speaking to you? Do you have passions and talents that you know you are blessed to have, but feel that you may live in the wrong area, are the wrong age, or are just not "good enough" to share a small piece of your passion?

Passions and talents are placed within us by God. When He molded each of us, He decided what He wanted each of us to fulfill and accomplish in our lives. Some of us were created for small things that are behind the scenes of kingdom building, and others may have been created for what we think are starring roles. Despite what others view as the size of your spiritual gift, know that they come from our Father, whose every work is marvelous!

When the passion of our gift runs so very deep, there are times when we must have what I like to call crazy faith. Crazy faith is when we step out and do something that God has ordered our steps in, but those around us think that we are crazy for doing it! They don't understand our transformation and the changes we must make in order to fully live for our Lord and turn our talents and passions over to Him. Despite what your spiritual gift is, it was given to you to help build the kingdom. Sometimes in order to position ourselves to use the gift that God has provided to us, we have to do some "crazy" things. The characteristic of God asking His children to do things that looked and sounded "crazy" is nothing new.

In Matthew 19, a young man asked Jesus what he must do to have eternal life. Jesus responded that he must keep the commandments. The young man then stated that he had done that since his youth. Jesus then responded in Matthew 19: 21, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. This troubled the young man. This is not what he was expecting Jesus to instruct him to do! This young man was troubled because he had many possessions and he had NO INTENTIONS of letting go of them. (Matthew 19:22)

Many of us have prayed on our purpose and asked God what it is that He will have us to do. We have prayed and asked God to make our will for our lives His will. But sometimes when God responds, we don't like what we hear. Sometimes when God responds, WE THINK what He instructs us to do is impossible! Oh ye of little faith! (Matthew 6:30 KJV) Or, should I say, "Oh, us of little faith!"

When God provides you with a vision and a purpose, He will provide the route that you must take to get there. Last year, I resigned from my job without having had even an interview from another employer. How crazy is this, seen with physical eyes! I had already been praying and even fasted for the first time about some needed changes in my life. Well, this was one of God's responses. I came up with numerous excuses for why I need not do what God told me to do. I told Him I had two children to feed and asked how I would feed them. I told Him that I had friends at my job, and I didn't think I would grow closer to new people. I told Him that I just didn't feel like picking up and moving again even though I really wanted to. I told Him that I just couldn't afford to do what He wanted me to do! He told me that I couldn't afford not to! So, I resigned. CRAZY Faith! Many people asked me questions that I really could not answer, and looked at me crazy after I couldn't answer them. I was unable to answer them because I had no answers. God told me what to do and that was it. He revealed nothing else at that time. I was terrified! I had never made such a bold move in my life. I had always been a person of definite security and no surprises. God was challenging me to have faith in Him.

Now, knowing that it is God who is speaking to you is the key. It took me a while to figure out my feelings from what God was speaking to me. Even though I prayed and fasted, I still had too many distractions to hear God. He was speaking, but I just couldn't hear Him. I was actually afraid up until the point that I turned in my letter of resignation. Then, everything seemed okay. It was almost as if God said, "Phase one, complete." It was not up until this point that He began to reveal the purpose and larger picture for this test of faith.

You see, we think so small, while our Father is thinking so big. And, our human nature wants to know everything that is going to happen, when it is going to happen, where it is going to happen, and even what benefits we will receive for being obedient unto our Father. Traveling into the unknown is what makes having faith a difficult task.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I dare to say that God is offended when we don't have faith in Him. When we are disobedient to his instructions and visions because of fear, low self-esteem, not wanting to be discomforted, or even because of our concern of what people will say or think of us, God is not pleased. What we really communicate is that we do not believe in the promises of God. Do you really believe that He will take care of you and supply all of your needs? Do you really believe that He will open doors of opportunity for you? Do you really believe that God holds the power to do ALL things?

Hebrews 11:6 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 chapter 11 continues on giving several examples of God calling His people to exercise their faith, such as Noah and Abraham.

It was my crazy faith that helped me see glimpses of what God has for my future. God has not revealed all, but He reveals slowly as I continue to seek His face. And right now, He is really working on me. Dr. Tara Jenkins stated once, "Your talents can get you to a place where your character can't keep you." I can't get where God wants me to be until my character is the way God wants it to be. Stepping out of faith can help build our character. It may humble us and even break us down so God can build us back up again with a renewed and refreshed spirit and attitude.

I have realized that when God instructs me to do something, I don't have the right to refuse after all that He has already done for me. I have learned that obeying God's instructions, even when it does move me out of my comfort zone, will strengthen my relationship with Him and reveal my life's purpose. This doesn't mean that I don't question God, or even avoid doing what He has told me to do for a little while. This doesn't mean that in the midst of my storms, I won't wonder where God is or if He still cares. We are flesh and sometimes allow our flesh to rise above our spirit. What this does mean, however, is that I am stronger in Christ because I exercised my faith. It means that my faith on my next test may be a little stronger because I will be able to look back upon other times in my life that I had crazy faith and saw its purpose!

God, right now, I want to thank You for Your grace and mercy in my life. I realize that the day I accepted Your son Jesus Christ as my savior, I found faith in You. I know that You will provide all of my needs even when things are dark and I am unable to see the road ahead. Lord, I thank You for what You have revealed unto me and ask You to forgive me when I am disobedient to Your instructions. I understand that there are some uncomfortable things that I must endure on this life journey, but I thank You that it is in those times when I can see that you are always there for me. Help me to be still and quiet enough to recognize You when You make yourself plain before my eyes. Thank You Lord for your agape love. Even when I was disobedient and didn't show that I trusted You, You loved me anyway. Lord I thank You for my past, I thank You for my present, and I praise You in advance for my future.

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