I don’t often feel faith, it’s much more likely in any given situation that I’ll be feeling terror. But to my great relief I’ve finally concluded that faith isn’t something you feel, it’s something you do. And in some ways that’s much easier!
I’ve come to believe that ‘faith is being certain of what we do not see’ can also be read ‘faith is hearing God, and then acting like you believe what He says is true. For example: Father God says that I am his precious child, that I am beautiful, that I am valuable. Honestly, a lot of the time I struggle to feel like these things are true. But I know they are, so I try to behave like they are. I’m not pretending, – I’m lining my behaviour up with what I know to be true.
My kids went on a really high flying fox once… It was as much as I could take to stand on the ground watching them… They were 40 ft or so up in the air and had to step off the platform and put their entire trust in the harness that strapped them to the wire.
That’s a great picture of faith – Standing on the edge of what feels safe, gripped by fear, but trusting that God has said this is the right thing to do and stepping off anyway. Much, much easier to write down than to do! On the flying fox, even when you have just seen your brother fly down in front of you and you know it is safe, it’s really hard to step off. And sometimes it’s like that when God asks you to do something ….
But the faith isn’t in the feeling. – It’s in the jumping.
The other thing I remember clearly about watching this zip line in action was the pep-talk on how to land safely:
“What you must do” insisted the instructor, “is start running while you are still in the air, a long time before you hit the ground, or you will just wipe out” And he wasn’t kidding! As I watched people fly down the wire at great speed, it was clear that those who began the action of running before their feet hit the ground managed to stay on their feet; and those who forgot were dragged unceremoniously through the mud.
Faith is being certain about the things that God has promised but you are not actually experiencing yet. On the flying fox, the ground is coming, and you have to start acting like the ground is there before you actually get to it.
If God has said you’re going to have a ministry with young people, start talking to young people in your church. If God has said He wants you to lead worship one day, learn an instrument. If God has said to you that you are going to see people healed when you pray for them, start praying for the sick (and keep going until people start being healed).
I have a friend who dreamed one night that she was on a stage in a huge auditorium, talking about Jesus to thousands of people. In her dream she was terrified – she could never stand up in front of so many people and yet she felt that this was a dream from God calling her to be prepared to preach. Her response wasn’t to say “I could never do that” or to sit around waiting for it to happen. She went out the following week and joined a public speaking club! Isn’t that great? Even if the reality of the dream is still a long way off, she’s getting ready for it. That’s faith.
I don’t know what God has called you to do. I do know that for many of you, you’re also not quite ‘there’ yet. You’re still in the time of waiting. But faith begins to act like you’re there a bit before you are. It stretches out; it gets trained and equipped; it looks stupid; it cries out to God for help; but it starts running…
Live in faith. Then, when your feet hit the reality of what God has promised… you will be ready.
Things to think or journal about:
Come before God today and ask Him to remind you of things He has promised you. The many beautiful promises of scripture, or promises He has spoken to you personally. What would it look like if you were to live as though that promise is a reality? Is there a small step you could take this week into living in the light of that promise? If there is, then take it! Jump!