Maybe All I Need Is to Take A Vitamin !

THE FAITH VITAMIN:

If you are thinking to yourself right now,  “Another Blog-post about ‘FAITH’?” — I certainly hope, by the end of this page, you just might have a different perspective on the topic.

A.W. Tozier once said, “faith is the vitamin that makes all we take from the bible digestible.”

— We are SAVED by Faith.

— We walk by Faith.

— We are in the household of Faith.

TEXT:  ACTS 14:9, 10

[9] “This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze upon him, and had seen that he had faith to be made well,  [10]  said with a loud voice,  ‘Stand upright on your feet.’  And he leaped up and began to walk”  (NASB).

FAITH is perhaps one, if not the most important element necessary, to grow in the Christian walk.  George Muller , a Christian Evangelist, said “The beginning of anxiety is the end of FAITH and the beginning of true FAITH is the end of anxiety.”  If anyone would know the impact of those words, it would be Mr. Mueller.  He cared for 10,024 orphans in his lifetime (Wikipedia).

FAITH IS THE KEY:

This KEY that becomes available for us as Christians, unlocks the supernatural realm in our natural existence here on earth.

It is a journey–

Desert Wilderness
Desert Wilderness

Poor old Moses spent 40 years wandering in the desert eating nothing but bread off the ground, an occasional bird, and everyday, a million plus people would come up to him and ask,  “Are we there yet?”

Romans 12:3 tells us,  “For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgement, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith”  (NASB).

What we do with it, how we use it, is up to us.  Hebrews 11:6 tells us WITHOUT FAITH…we can never make God happy.

We can’t compare our faith with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.  Please don’t do that!

Comparing will only lead to division–

There were three little kids who were talking after school one day.  One said, My brother is taking horseback lessons.  Another said, Well, my sister takes gymnastics.  The third child, not wanting to be outdone said, Well that’s nothing.  My sister takes antibiotics!”

TWO THINGS ARE TRUE ABOUT FAITH PEOPLE:

“People with FAITH feel like good things are about to happen!”

FEAR is the exact opposite of FAITH:

FAITH believes the absolute best will happen in every situation.

Being a Pollyanna Versus Being Faithful–

Webster’s Dictionary says one who is considered to be a POLLYANNA, is a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything.  So i think the two have similar qualities…but different at the same time.  One is God based (faithful) and one is personality induced (Pollyanna).  

THE NATURE OF FAITH IS…

“NOW FAITH is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”  (Hebrews 11:1).

So what does FAITH really look like?

In meditating [kept reading until the words spoke back to me] on Acts 14:9, I see a man crippled in his feet since birth.  He has never taken a step forward in his life; never ran barefoot through the grass in the park; never felt the hot beach sand between his toes.  He was just sitting there where he had been placed.

Many times over my life I’ve found my lack of faith was because…I was still sitting in the place where God put me long ago; never moving forward to what He had planned for in my spiritual life.  I had become weak in FAITH–giving up and not standing on God’s promises.

God Requires Legs of Faith–

What do I mean by “legs”?  It’s putting legs on our faith (like the crippled man), our praises and our prayer life so that we can move on to higher levels.

“And he leaped up and walked”  (verse 10).

NO FAITH…he would have remained sitting in the same spot…stilled crippled!  Have you ever felt “crippled” in you faith?

FAITH GETS YOUR ATTENTION:

“He was listening to Paul as he talked, and [Paul} gazing intently at him and observing that he had faith to be healed”  (Acts 14:9).

PEOPLE around you are listening and watching your FAITH–

This man listened to Paul as he spoke and when Paul fastened his eyes (or “gazed intently”) upon the crippled man, everything else went out of focus except…for what he understood in this man’s eyes.

Before we are able to SHARE THE GOSPEL we have to look at and notice others.

I have sometimes been in a conversation with someone after church services, when I began to notice their eyes.  The were not looking in my eyes any longer as we spoke.  Were they not interested in what I was saying?  Did I have a dirty spot on the front of my shirt I hadn’t noticed?  Their FOCUS had changed in a different direction; waving to someone towards the back of the auditorium, saying , “Excuse me, I haven’t seen that person in years!” , and off they go.  Did I miss something, did they?

Many folk are afraid to share and won’t look intently.  One man said to me in an Evangelism Training Program,  “Nothing strikes fear in me more than sharing my faith with a complete stranger.”  Why, it’s gotten so bad, I’ve enrolled in a Witness Relocation program!  [I added the last sentence to illustrate the thought].

What Paul saw was expectancy and enthusiasm–

“…and he leaped up and walked”  (verse 10).

Paul saw this man who was now leaping up and down on the inside.

FAITH looked like unbridled enthusiasm.

San Diego Billy Graham Crusade
San Diego Billy Graham Crusade

I remember once being a counselor at a Billy Graham Crusade in San Diego, California.  The Crusades ran for several days and I had experience great joy in seeing many come to Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit within me and other counselors each night.

It was the last night of the Crusade and as the football stadium’s field began to clear, I turned to leave and notice two large men carrying a man in uniform by his arms towards me.  The soldier’s feet weren’t even touching the ground.  I stood there frozen, wandering what was coming next, when one of the men spoke up and said:  We are Marines!  We were SAVED on the first night and this Marine Private… needs to be SAVED too!  I had to explain to them,  JESUS doesn’t move like that.  That SALVATION comes from your friend by his FAITH in Jesus…not by your faith in Jesus.  He has to make his own choice.

I then asked the young Marine who was now standing on the grass between the two larger men [they had to be at least 6′ 4″],   “Would you like to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior tonight? ” He nodded yes, and accepted Christ.

What was his motivation?  Was it more than his friends insistence he come forward?  I can’t answer that question, but what I experienced was the expectancy and enthusiasm of two Marines who were inexperienced in their sharing JESUS, but had the FAITH to use their legs and leave the results to God!

Billy Graham Crusade as a Counselor
Billy Graham Crusade as a Counselor

“Launching Out in FAITH!”

Peter, in Luke 5,  is told by Jesus to “Put out into deep [water], and lower your nets for a haul” (verse 4).  In other words, go out beyond the boundaries you are comfortable in… that you’ve accepted for yourself in life.  Expand your perimeter, your comfort zone; start to think and live out of the box!

A Practicable Exercise After Taking the FAITH VITAMIN–

I was taking an Evangelism Training Class on Saturdays years ago, and asked my wife if she wanted to go along with me for the training session; the exercise.  Reluctantly, she agreed, and after our Pastor/teacher briefed us, we ventured out to the surrounding neighborhood on foot.  We both looked at each other and confessed, this was going to take a lot of FAITH,

On that particular Saturday morning, the one that I had invited my wife to attend, was…DOOR-TO-DOOR EVANGELISM.  Yep, you got it.  We were assigned street addresses and were to apply what we had learned in the classroom…door-to-door.

After several doors being shut in our faces, one man came to the door and actually seemed interested in what we were presenting (The Gospel Message of Salvation through the 4-Spiritual Laws).

A Hidden Voice–

“Who’s at the door?” a woman’s voice rang  out of nowhere.  “Don’t be talking to those people!  Close the door!”  I didn’t want to be rude and offend, but the Holy Spirit was telling me the whole time we were there…DON’T STOP SHARING...and our FAITH kept increasing.  

The man stepped outside onto the small porch, telling us that the voice we heard…was his wife, who was a Jehovah’s Witness.  We both thought later, this was certainly a “role-reversal”.

That was an experience that Dianne and I will always remember.  We were expanding our perimeter, our comfort zone, and were definitely living out of our boxes.  We both knew, by FAITH and confidence in His Word, that we were to go–with our feet–comfortable or not.

We left that house knowing, we had planted a Word-seed.  We had been faithful to God’s Word.  The results were up to Him and  based on our faithfulness and obedience to His Word and not by our works.

NO LIMITS HERE!

When we limit ourselves, we limit God.

FAITH knows that what we see is not all there is.  

What we are, is not all we will be.  

Where we are is not where we will end up.  

FAITH looks like unlimited potential.

Exhausting Every Human Resource Available–

In the Gospel of Mark, there was a woman who had been ill for 12 long years, exhausted from trying to get well.  All she had received back was bad reports.  In fact, instead of getting better, she go worse!

When she heard about Jesus, she went after Him (though it was against Jewish law to do so in public).  Because she thought to herself, if I can get close enough, to touch Him… I’ll be better!

That’s HOPE!

One definition of HOPE is, “A heartfelt expectation of something with an outstretched neck!”   She was expecting and willing to risk it all!

FAITHFULNESS is the willingness to take risks (with “an outstretched neck”); and that requires FAITH in order to produce the visible fruit.

So that they [us] should seek God, in the hope

that they might feel after Him and find Him,

although He is not far away from each one of us.

For in Him we live and move and have our being…

Acts 17:27-28

WHAT “FAITH” IS AND WHAT IT IS NOT:

FAITH IS… dead to doubt.

FAITH IS…blind to impossibilities.

FAITH knows nothing but success in God Almighty through the POWER AND AUTHORITY He gives every believer.

FAITH IS NOT believing that God can, but it’s knowing that God will!

Hebrews 11:1 says that,

“Faith is the substance (that which stands by you/along side) the committed, unrelenting, unflinching confidence or companion of things hope for,    And the evidence (revelation, illumination) of things that are not visible to the natural eye.”

Taking the “FAITH VITAMIN” Produces Action–

Hebrews 11, “The Heroes Hall of Faith” Chapter, gives an illustration of the heroes of the Bible who took the faith vitamin:

[32]  And what shall I say further?  For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets.  [33] Who by [the help of] FAITH subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promised blessings, closed the mouth of lions.”

Those Scripture verses tells us that FAITH subdued, FAITH worked, FAITH obtained, even stopped the mouth of a lion.

What then does FAITH look like?

When you find JESUS, you find the author (creator), finisher (completer) of your FAITH.  Christ in you…is the HOPE of Glory!  It’s time for all of us to take our daily Multi-Faith Vitamin and watch for the healthy results.

4 thoughts on “Maybe All I Need Is to Take A Vitamin !

  1. Oh yes. Thank you for this; it made me think of the Israelites in the Old Testament – they had to put their feet in the water before God parted the Jordan so that they could safely cross. They had to step out into a raging torrent before they knew that they wouldn’t be swept away… there’s faith for you.
    Thank you for this thought provoking, inspiring post. Particularly like your account of the door-to-door. Well done indeed.

    Like

  2. My mom was saved at a Billy Graham crusade back in 1950, I think it was, in Columbia, SC. So Billy Graham is my spiritual grandfather – if that is possible. My mom led me to the Lord. Great treatise on faith. I have heard before that fear is the opposite of faith. Very poignant. Blessings, Amy

    Like

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