God continually calls us to live by faith : To get out of the boat and walk on the water. We start out pretty well until we look down at the surging water. Fear grips us, disallowing us to embrace God’s possibilities. Internally we often find ourselves at war between obeying Christ and stepping out in faith, or shrinking back in fear. (See Hab. 2:4; Phil. 3:9; Heb. 10:38; 11:6)
The Scriptures inform us that as believers we are to “walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7) But that is antithetical to our inclinations. For example:
- Against all odds, God rescued Israel from Egypt .Tragically, the Israelites resented God’s plan for them to walk by faith through the desert into the Promised Land. It was God’s intention to feed and satisfy them along the way “with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock….” And their response? “My people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me.” So God “gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.” (See Psa. 81:10-16; Rom. 1:24-32)
- God dispenses 10, 5 and 1 talents to be invested . The one talent guy clutched and buried his talent. “Master…I knew that you are a hard man…so I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.” God was calling him to faith by risking an investment that the principle would grow. Sadly, his fears triumphed over faith. (See Matt. 25:14-30; 2 Tim. 1:7)
- Jesus casts demons out of two possessed men into a heard of pigs that ran down a cliff and drowned in the lake. The townspeople became angry at their loss of pigs and plead with Jesus to leave their region, thus choosing to surrender to their fear and greed rather than to respond in faith to the Master. (See Matt. 8:28-34)
CHALLENGE :As you and I make our way through the next several days, we will be presented with situations that call us to trust God in faith. It is at that moment that we will encounter a fork in the road. One path will lead to crippling fear and the other to resting faith. Why don’t we plan right now to choose the road that embraces faith?
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight Hill