Having fearless faith means we can tackle anything. This is the kind of faith we want to build in 2012. What are the areas in your life you want God to help you change this year?
The first step to really changing is often to identify and overcome unbelief. Unbelief makes us think our challenges are too hard, too big, or too deep in our character to change. But God teaches something very different; in Matthew 17 we see a parent facing an impossible situation with his son and a group of unbelieving disciples trying to help him:
And when they approached the multitude, a man came up to Him, kneeling before Him and saying, Lord, do pity and have mercy on my son, for he has epilepsy (is moonstruck) and he suffers terribly; for frequently he falls into the fire and many times into the water.
And I brought him to Your disciples, and they were not able to cure him.
And Jesus answered, O you unbelieving (warped, wayward, rebellious) and thoroughly perverse generation! How long am I to remain with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to Me. And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly.
Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked privately, Why could we not drive it out?
He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.
Jesus has a very clear and quick response to the disciples’ unbelieving hearts – He says they are “thoroughly perverse”! We often don’t realize how awful the sin of unbelief is, when we do not put our faith in God’s power and in God’s love.
We can either start out this new year as a “Grinch” of unbelief, or fearlessly faithful. Which one are you?
1. The Grinch of Unbelief
We’re just past the holiday season, but there are still some lessons to be learned from those December stories. Take, for example, the Grinch. The Grinch is someone who lives in an isolated cave, disguises himself as Santa, and steals the Holiday spirit because his heart is “two sizes too small.” The Grinch of Unbelief, then, is someone whose faith and heart are too small! Characteristics include:
- Isolation – fears and insecurity dominate their relationships and therefore they have none.
- Disguise – The Grinch of unbelief will look and sound like someone who cares, but they are fake and superficial in their love.
- Small heart – The Bible says faith expresses itself through love (Galatians 5:6). No faith = no love for others.
2. Fearlessly Faithful
Jesus had a fearless faith, he didn’t run/hide/avoid/or ignore the toughest problems. He saw the boy who needed healing and said “Bring the boy to me.” (v. 17). He had a reputation for not quitting even when the situation seemed hopeless, and because of his faith in God he was able to turn impossible situations around.
Some characteristics of the fearlessly faithful:
- Give me the tough problems, I can help!
- We can tackle anything together.
- Small Is Big!
In verse 20 Jesus says “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain….move!” Fearless faith believes that even a small seed of faith can do great things.
Fearless faith believes in the power of:
- One phone call – can turn your heart around
- One text with a Scripture – can build someone’s faith, keep them faithful, give them heart for God’s Word.
- One prayer – can change everything and anything!
- One church service – can change a heart
- One simple choice – believe doing ONE SIMPLE thing could radically change your faith, your walk with God, your relationships!
Today, start making small choices that will defeat unbelief. What one small choice can you make today that will make a big difference for your relationship with God? What one small choice can you make today that can do something big for someone else?