Friday, September 19, 2008

Faltering Faith

by Donna L. Watkins

Sometimes we have an idea that nobody else seems to "see" and we have to go it alone with God to get it done.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Male Scarlet-rumped Tanager
God still gives visions and dreams, and our first step is to get his plan on how to walk it out. I'm a do-it-now person, so I have to ask about timing because God will sometimes give you visions of something that is for the future. But when you just know it's the time, you'll need to get out of the boat and walk it alone.

When Peter responded to Christ's, "Come" they were in the middle of a storm in the sea. And nobody else was going with Peter. When God urges us to walk in faith, we can't expect everybody around us to go with us. The storm reminds you that it's going to have to be God and not you that gets it done. It doesn't have to be a perfect performance. After all, Peter did falter and Jesus had to lift him up.

Christ will lift us up too along the way, because we do stumble towards our dreams, but we have to keep stepping. Christ's strength will get it done, not ours. He is always inviting us to expect and experience His miracles. Like Peter, our faith falters and we begin to go under, but as we cry out to God, Jesus comes and rescues us from going down and giving up.

John 15:7 says, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you."

Do we believe that verse? If we do, then we need to focus on our faith. We can't afford to let it falter for long. Jesus is the same today, yesterday, and forever (Hebrews 13:8) so miracles still exist, but maybe it's our faith that has long since passed believing in them. Many say miracles don't exist, but yet we hear of them, don't we? We see miracles now and then to remind us that they are still real if you apply the prerequisites for them.

Abide means that we are in union with Christ. Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament tells us, "This astounding command and promise is not without conditions and limitations. It involves such intimate union and harmony with Christ that nothing will be asked out of accord with the mind of Christ and so of the Father."

The 1599 Geneva Study Bible says, "Whoever rests in Christ’s doctrine abides in him, and therefore brings forth good fruit, and the Father will not deny anything to such a person as this."

And what is the mind of Christ on healing? On prosperity? On blessings? He offers us the keys to the Kingdom. Yes, the Bible says "the poor will always be with us" but is that because faltering faith will always be with us? We are told many times by Christ to "only believe." If we walk in obedience we meet the conditions for all of God's promises, but faith is definitely required. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Hebrews 11:6)

Let us stir up our faith, and in faith when we feel weak, let's ask as the father did for his child in Mark 9:24, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." Don't let faltering faith be the common life for you. Climb higher and don't let go of any of the promises God has given us. Memorize and chew (meditate) on God's Word until it abides in you. Then step out on the water knowing that Christ is there for you. He always will be.

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