Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mustard Seeds and Tests of Faith

One of the cutest stories I have ever read had a profound impact on me.  You see, I sometimes am the little boy in the story.  "A little boy was afraid of the dark. One night his mother told him to go out to the back porch and bring her the broom. The little boy turned to his mother and said, "Mama, I don't want to go out there. It's dark." The mother smiled reassuringly at her son. "You don't have to be afraid of the dark," she explained. "Jesus is out there. He'll look after you and protect you." The little boy looked at his mother real hard and asked, "Are you sure he's out there?" "Yes, I'm sure. He is everywhere, and he is always ready to help you when you need him," she said. The little boy thought about that for a minute and then went to the back door and cracked it a little. Peering out into the darkness, he called, "Jesus? If you're out there, would you please hand me the broom?" Have you ever seen a mustard seed? I mean really looked at one….they are so tiny….they are even smaller than celery seeds…..well, mustard seed faith is all we have to have to defeat the giants in our lives….but so many times we are afraid to have even that much faith. There are three faith tests I want to share with you today…

Test 1 - Faith focuses on the possibilities, the potential, not the problems. So what kind of Christian are you? Not sure??? Well ask yourself this question: Are you more likely to point out the possibilities or the problems? Are you more likely to get excited or discouraged? Are you more likely to motivate others or discourage? Are you more likely to challenge or criticize? Are you more likely to be hopeful or pessimistic? Possibilities or Problems?  Notice the first part of this test….is what are the possibilities…Your first question is not what are the problems, but what has God promised. What has God provided. You want to evaluate your faith - examine your focus! Are you a grasshopper(destroying all you come in contact with) or does your faith in God's provision and promises make the giants in your life seem small?
Test 2 is that faith relies on God's abilities, not our own abilities. Let me tell you…if it were left up to MY personal abilities…nothing would get done. So what about you? How would you answer these questions? When I am asked to serve God in a task, do I compare myself to the task before accepting it or do I compare God to the task? When you are asked to serve in the church council, in Sunday School, in training, in the youth ministry, and the multitude of other needs we have as a church in reaching our goals, do you make your decision by looking at your own abilities or at Gods? Do you evaluate what you are capable or what God is capable of? The question should never be "CAN I DO IT?" but "Am I willing to let GOD DO IT through me?" I used to throw up….everytime I sang in public. That was ME trying to do it…..but one day…I gave that issue over to God…and it never happened again…..not only do I not throw up anymore…..I sing AND speak in public….the difference….God is standing right beside me.  I discovered...I was doing it for I do it for Him!
Test 3 is that faith is not content with the minimum, the past of least resistance, but asks for the mountain! Faith doesn't take the path of least resistance - the easy way out. So are you content to do the minimum in your service to God? Are you content to sit back and watch others work? Are you looking for the easy way out in your Christian service? Or are you asking God to give you his toughest! Give you the mountain Caleb asked for in Numbers 13-14! Is your mantra God USE me! Here I am? I'm ready. I wish I could say....YES!  This is me....and it is some time.....but not all the time.  Somedays I forget Mustard seed faith means looking to the possibilities, relying on his abilities, and asking for the mountain? I don’t know about you….but today I feel like I want a mountain! Want to join me?

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