Beyond Faith 101

31
Jul

Standing without Stopping

Are you standing in the will of God?

That simple question for many is extremely complex. What is God asking you to do, and are you willing to step out?

Over the years, I have battled that question myself. But this week, a dear friend text me these words: “You are positioned for God’s purpose. You are prepared for God’s plan. Stopping is NOT an option.”

How the last part of that statement rang out – stopping is NOT an option!

There are many Bible characters that come to mind when I think on this topic, but none more than Joshua. Joshua was Moses’ second in command, assisting him to lead the people of Israel to the Promise Land.

He had witnessed the many miracles performed by God, which brought them to the edge of this bountiful land. And he had seen firsthand the lack of faith throughout the people. But Joshua knew his God was faithful and that His power was great. After all, God had answered Joshua’s request to make the sun stand still in the heat of battle (Joshua 10:12).

Now, he stood alone with instructions by the Lord to take the people into the land promised them:

After Moses, the servant of the Lord, had died, the Lord spoke to Nun’s son Joshua, announcing to him, “My servant Moses is dead. Now get ready to cross the Jordan River—you and all the people—to the land that I’m giving the Israelis. I’m giving you every place where the sole of your foot falls, just as I promised Moses. Your territorial border will extend from the wilderness to the Lebanon Mountains, to the river—that great River Euphrates—all the land of the Hittites—as far as the Mediterranean Sea where the sun sets. No one will be victorious against you for the rest of your life. I’ll be with you just like I was with Moses—I’ll neither fail you nor abandon you. Joshua 1:1-5

I can only imagine the thoughts that went through Joshua’s mind, if even for a split second. “Are you sure I am the person for the job God? Will the people obey? Once we are there, what next?” But then I imagine this thought pushed its way to the forefront of Joshua’s mind as he took his first step forward–stopping is NOT an option.

How about us? How do we get to the point that we know that we know we are standing in God’s will? I believe there are two things that must happen:

  1. We must believe with all of our heart, God can do what He says He can do!

Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” John 11:40

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1

  1. We must be willing to do whatever He asks!

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:17

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

What is God asking you to do? Have you determined that stopping is NOT an option when it comes to both seeking and standing in the will of God?

One of the areas that God has placed on my heart is missions. During the year, I go out with the church to do Servant Evangelism projects. But once a year I also go to Nicaragua. This year is no exception! Our team is leaving THIS Saturday, August 6th, to travel down to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Will you pray for our team? And will you pray for the hearts and minds that we will touch during our time there?

We know great things will happen if we stand in the will of God during this trip! We have seen them happen trip after trip! BTW, I will be posting photos to my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LoveEchoedBack/, if you want to follow along!

But back to our overall discussion!

What is that thing that God has asked you to do? Does it line up with the scriptures? Will it bring Him glory? Chances are if you answered “yes” to the last two questions, you are indeed standing in God’s will.

Remember, stopping is NOT an option! Step forward into God’s will and know that I will be praying for you!

While I am away, drop me a line here! Tell me what you feel God is asking you to do and how you feel about it. “Talk” to you in two weeks!


Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

26
Jun

Will the Real God Please Stand Up?!

I have to tell you; I have often wondered why people in Biblical times, and even now in modern times, believed in the possibility of more than one god existing. It isn’t surprising though, because society has always look to “something else” and changed what that “something else” is to chase what they think will make them happy.

What I really think they are saying is: “You can believe what you want, but don’t mess with me. I like my god, the one I think I control.” Ironic, isn’t it?

And then, there are those who think one higher being exists, some will even label this being God. However, they also reason that you can get to him many ways. I think I feel for this person the most, because the logic he/she is following starts out in the right direction, but then strays completely off course.

So why am I so sure there is only one true God?

Creation proclaims Him. As I sit back and look at some of the most beautiful things in creation – various landscapes, rainbows, and those little people we call babies – I am convinced chaos did not bring them forth.

God Himself makes it known in Scripture. Just one example of this is in Isaiah:

I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. Isa. 45:5-6 NIV

Yes, the God of the Bible is who I believe in. Interestingly, as science moves on to higher levels of discovery, and architectural finds continue to unearth more and more ruins, the Bible is only more justified in its claims of the one true God.

God and I are connected through Jesus.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV

Not only did He leave a very detailed record for me to study, but my connection with Him is unmistakable. It is not a head issue for me, it’s a heart issue. Once Jesus comes into your heart, there is no denying His presence nor that of the Father’s.

So how can you and I help those around us know the one true God?

First, we must be clear on what we believe. The foundational belief of Christianity is that Jesus is the one true son of the living God. He lived, He died, and He rose again to offer salvation for all mankind. Those who are true followers of Christ are convinced He is the reflection of the one true God.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Esp. 4:4-6 NIV

Second, we have to know what makes Christianity different from other religions. No other religion teaches that God reached down to humanity. They instead teach the need for humanity to reach up to God. But John makes it clear that God made the connection for us.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17 NIV

Third, we must be both lifelong students and daily reflections of Him. We will not be able to articulate what makes God stand out above other so called gods if we don’t have a direct and active relationship with Him ourselves. If we know little about what is written in the Bible, we will not have enough to go on. And if I say I believe God is kind and compassionate, I should be kind and compassionate as well. Knowledge linked with action is powerful.

One of my favorite quotes by C.S. Lewis is this:

I believe in Christianity as I believe in the rising sun; not because I see it, but by it I can see all else.

Today, let’s work toward telling others about the one true God! Remember, be clear on what you believe and be able to present that to others, know the key difference between Christianity and other religions, and strive to be both a lifelong student as well as a daily reflection Him.

What experiences have you had with others that believe in a different version of God than the God of the Bible?


Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.