A life of faith is true dependence on the Lord that results in obedience. In the early years of our ministry, a lady commented to me what a privilege it was for us to live by faith since most children don’t have to depend on the Lord for what they will eat the next day.At the time, I thought it would be much more comfortable to be dependent on a regular salary. But as the years have passed, we have proved the Lord and He has always been faithful to provide above and beyond our needs. It has been a wonderful learning
experience for our children. The Lord desires each of us to take steps of faith – giving to the Lord to a greater extent, sheltering our children from sin while appearing “overprotective” to some Christians, leaving family and friends to move where God is
leading, trusting the Lord during an illness, or standing for the truth while suffering
As ladies, we often desire security and want to know the next step God has for our lives. But above anything else the Lord desires to see faith. Jesus prayed especially for Peter in Luke 22:32 that his faith “fail not.” He knew this is where Satan would attack. Paul also knew the tempter’s tricks, could endure it no more, and sent Timothy to the church at Thessalonica to check on their faith (1 Thessalonians 3:5). In 2 Thess.1:3, Paul told them he rejoiced that their faith was growing exceedingly.
Without faith it is impossible to please the Lord (Hebrews 11:6). We constantly go
through the trial of our faith in God’s process of maturing us. I read once that faith is like
a muscle. The more it is used the stronger it becomes. Yet often, we would rather remain
spiritual babes than go through the trial of our faith when it is painful and lasts longer
than we wish. Hebrews 10:38 is very convicting to me: “Now the just shall live by faith:
but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” God counts the trial of
our faith to be more precious than gold (1 Peter 1:7). He does not want us to draw back.
Recently I was reading Hebrews 11, and was challenged by the faith of certain Bible
heroes who obeyed in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances or promised
disaster. Noah was made a laughing stock for carrying out God’s plan for an ark when there had never been rain. Abraham left his comfortable homeland to go to an unsure dwelling and was later called upon to sacrifice the promised seed. Sarah, who was past childbearing years, was given strength to conceive because she judged God faithful who had promised. Moses left a comfortable kingdom to make his home with an enslaved people. Rahab hid the spies which would have been considered an act of treason. Each of these people was stranded on the power of God. If God had not sustained them, they would have been done. How God loves for us to be in places of total dependence! We are vulnerable during these weak moments, and instead of “God dependence,” Satan would love to bring discouragement. If we yield to Satan, we forfeit seeing the great deliverance the Lord has planned for us just as he planned for each of these Bible heroes. God is concerned that our faith “fail not,” and the God of hope wants to fill us with all joy and peace in believing (Romans 15:13). When we keep up our shield of faith and trust Him, He will fill us with joy and peace no matter how we feel or what the situation looks like. God will never allow the trial to be more than we can endure, and will continue to give us sufficient grace along the way.
Sometimes we want the Lord to deliver us from the fiery furnace, but the Lord showed
Daniel’s friends that He wanted to deliver them in the fiery furnace. How precious to see
that the fourth man in the furnace was very possibly the Son of God. Will we draw back or will we be brought to God-dependent obedience?
Written by Rhonda Van Gelderen. This article was published in the Spring 2009 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine.
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