Have you ever walked by faith — I mean, really? Paul says this:
2 Corinthians 5:6-7 ( KJV ) Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
Have you had all that you need, and then some, and then one day God called you to do something way outside of your comfort zone? That is what I want to talk about with you today. Whether or not you have been in the position to truly walk by faith, we can be encouraged by those who have. Take a look at the encouraging words from the scriptures that we can cling to when it is time for us to walk by faith.
Most Christians have read Hebrews 11 and many even know we sometimes refer to it as the “hall of faith”. It is called this because we see throughout the chapter many, many names of those who have gone before us that have walked by faith. Today, I want you to look at some others in the Bible that we sometimes forget also walked by faith.
Stephen, the first to be martyred for his preaching was full of faith:
Acts 6:8 ( KJV ) And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
Because of Barnabas’ faith, many were added to the Lord:
Acts 11:22-24 ( KJV ) 22Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. 23Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. 24For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
Ruth’s loyalty (faithfulness) to her mother-in-law led to a new life after a very sad and devastating time.
John the Baptist faithfully preached against what the Pharisees and Sadducees taught. His faithfulness earned him a beheading.
Mark 6:22-28 ( KJV ) 22And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. 23And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. 24And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. 25And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. 26And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. 27And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, 28And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.
Simon Peter’s boldness in his early days as a follower of Jesus (as seen in gospel accounts) was impulsive, insensitive and naive. Yet his faith and trust in God to mold him marks him as one of the boldest preachers of the faith. Peter is a testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit to transform baby Christians into mature men and women of faith. You can read Peter’s encounters throughout the book of Acts.
The point I am trying to drive home is that when God calls you to do something, He also provides a way for you to do it. I once heard someone say “Don’t doubt your doubt”. When you feel that familiar tugging at your heart to do something godly — do it!
Is there a ministry that needs your help?
Is there a missionary that you can personally support?
Is there work in the ministry or on the mission field (not necessarily out of country) that you are able to do?
Can you bless your pastor and his family with something? A great gift idea for a pastor is a new suit — suits are expensive and most pastors struggle to afford one when they need it.
All of these things require faith. Faith gives us the courage to take from what we have to give to others. The end months in a year are perhaps some of the most difficult for ministries. I know at Selah Mountain Ministries we struggle to make ends meat at the end of the year. This is the time when folks take what they would at other times give to the ministry and spend it on holiday items. Ministries still need your offerings, be sure not to redirect your offerings; instead faithfully give because you are able.
Faith walks — it takes action to make your faith work. When you put your faith on a shelf and do nothing with it, it becomes dead. I like how James says:
James 2:14-20 ( KJV ) 14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Are you walking by faith? Don’t forget to keep giving, even when it seems that you may have none to give. Trust God to provide; He is faithful.