Faith That Moves Mountains
For the last couple of weeks, I have focused on faith because I strongly believe that for the people of God to get into their possessions, we must up our game in the realm of faith. Not that we don’t walk by faith, we do. But I believe God is calling us to higher walks of faith in Him to get us into the places He has reserved for us in these times.
So this week, I take you on a Bible based journey into the lives of people who lived by faith and literarily moved mountains by faith. As you read through, never forget that these people were men and women like us, flesh and blood with all the fears and trepidations we have today. They acted on their faith rather than their limitations or their fears. And that was what brought them victory. In each story, I will highlight a principle of faith that I learnt so that it becomes practicable in our everyday lives.
He is referred to as the father of faith. He was a heathen that served the gods of the Chaldeans, when God called him and separated him from his people at 75. He left all he knew and understood and followed God to an unknown destination. He simply obeyed God. Obedience to God’s instructions is the main principle I learnt from Abraham. He obeyed God again and again. God told him he would become the father on nations when he had no child. He said in Genesis 12: 1-2 ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation, I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing’.
Based on this instruction and promise, Abram headed out; with his wife, nephew and all his possessions. That is what separates him from the pack. He obeys in full. He did not leave room for a change of heart. He just moved. That is what characterized his faith towards God. He obeyed to the letter all the time. When God asked him to let Ishmael go, even though it hurt, he obeyed. When the promised son, Isaac, came and God demanded he kill his son, he obeyed. (Genesis 22) Sometimes I try to imagine what went on in his mind as he left home that day to slaughter his son. He must have agonized with each step that took him closer to the mountain of Moriah where the sacrifice was to take place. But he kept going. He took his son up the mountain, set up the altar, put the wood for the fire in place for the sacrifice, tied his son Isaac to the altar, and actually lifted his knife to kill him. I cannot imagine what went on in His mind. He was an old man. No more chances for fathering children. This was it, yet he obeyed. I cannot imagine what motivated Him. But he still obeyed.
Eventually, God intervened by providing the ram for the sacrifice. He did not need to kill Isaac. But he established the principle of obedience in faith. He simply obeyed because he trusted God. Romans 4: 20-21 says he did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He promised He was also able to perform’.
Obedience really hinges on trust. You cannot obey someone you don’t trust. Abraham trusted, so he obeyed and walked in faith. He got his son of promise, Isaac, who gave birth to Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. Today, his descendants are indeed innumerable as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashores, just like God said they would be. Faith by obedience pleases God.
Moses was also a man of faith. But he made the choice to walk by faith. There was really no instruction to walk in any direction when Moses began his walk with God. Hebrews 11:24 says, By faith Moses, when he became of age refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God. He had been in the wilderness 40 years before God spoke to him after his decision. It was his choice, knowing he would lose all the glory of Egypt. There was no guaranty that he would ever amount to anything in life outside the Egyptian palace. The prince became the shepherd by choice.
I can choose to walk by faith on a matter. I don’t have to have a special word from God to walk in faith. I don’t need a special visitation or Holy Spirit message to walk in faith. He understood the mind of God towards the people of Israel and chose to walk in it. In the same way, I can decide I have understood God’s mind on a particular issue in His word and stand in faith for it in my life. God honored that decision Moses made many years after, when he took him back to Egypt to tell Pharaoh, Exodus 3, ‘ Let my people go’. He will also honor my decision to walk in faith in His word.
Faith by choice is an option I can take any time based on the fact that God’s word is eternally true. It is dependable and cannot fail.
Shadrach. Meshach and Abednego
These were three young men who walked in faith towards God despite the danger they faced. Nebuchadnezzar had built a golden image and commanded everybody under his jurisdiction to bow before the image or be thrown into the burning fiery furnace. Even the description of the place is scary. I have read that story many times and often wondered what came over him. The three Hebrew children refused to bow by faith, simply because they believe, there is no other God besides their God. They answered the king, Daniel 3:16-18,’O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O King, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up’.
They made the choice to walk in faith towards God despite the fact that they faced death. They trusted that He would save them but also knew they had no guarantees. Faith in the midst of danger. I can act in faith even when the odds are stacked against me. When it appears I will die or fail or not make it, I can still act in faith. They did not hear God but chose to trust him despite what stared them in the face.
God showed up as the fourth man in the fire and He always does. I am yet to see where He does not show up. He will never leave you in the hand of the enemy. The enemy will never have the last say. I will walk in faith despite the dangers I see.
This is my favorite woman in the Bible. Whenever I want the Lord to sort out a matter for me, I often find my solution in this simple faith and love story. I am also a die-hard romantic. I love happy endings. Ruth chose to walk in faith towards the God of her mother-in-law even though she was seemingly unqualified. She was a Moabite. She had no place with Naomi her mother-in-law. Her marriage was unacceptable to God. Israelites had strict instructions not to marry form the nations around them.
I often ask myself what she saw that made her choose to go in God’s direction. Maybe her husband was different than her friends’ husbands in the way he treated her when he was alive. Or maybe, Naomi was not the typical mother-in-law. Or she saw a few miracles in their household. What did she see? The Bible does not say. But hear what she said to Naomi about her decision to walk in faith towards God. Ruth 1:16,17 ’Entreat me not to leave you, or turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried, the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts you and me’.
For goodness sake, Naomi is not a man, she is an old and bitter woman. Why that level of devotion to an old woman who did not have anything to offer? It was faith towards God despite being disqualified. She did not think about her being a Moabite, she just attached herself to this people and that was it. Her pedigree was enough to disqualify her but she held on. Her conditions did not help matters, but she held on.
Did God come through for her? In so many ways. He provided supernaturally for their everyday needs. He brought Boaz, her way- her knight in shining armor. She brought so much joy into Naomi’s life through her son Obed. She is in the lineage of the Christ. What more could a woman in her generation ask? Faith despite being unqualified draws God close. It does not matter the basis for disqualification. I can still walk in faith.
I guess that is why Jesus Christ came, to enable us all, though unqualified, to walk in faith towards Him. I am unqualified by every imaginable reason to be in relationship with Him, yet He accepts me. That is awesome news and my only reason for walking in faith towards Him.
My faith can move mountains simply because it is hinged on Him. I can walk in faith in obedience to Him. I can choose to walk in faith just because I understand His mind towards me. I can walk in faith towards Him even in the face of danger. I can walk in faith despite being disqualified. I can walk in faith towards Him knowing He is faithful. That is truly amazing. Isn’t it? CK