When a writer stares at a blank page it can be a little overwhelming at first. The satisfaction comes from filling it up – word by word, line by line – until their eyes can take in paragraphs of beautifully constructed and informative sentences that captivate the audience in such a way that the readers are mesmerized.
All right, so that’s a bit much. But in all honesty, that’s the same way a new believer feels about their faith. It’s a little overwhelming at first…staring at the empty pages before you that have yet to be penned with all of your faith experiences. Sometimes it’s more comforting to grab the old chapters off the shelf that have already been written and just flip through the pages of your past life. It’s easy that way. Familiar. And it requires very little action from you.
But faith requires action – and in order to see it take flight you’ve got to stretch out some wings and leave the nest. It’s like saying to God, “Hey, I know You can do the impossible and I know You will do it through using me. I trust You.” God can easily accomplish whatever it is He wants on our behalf without us lifting a single finger, but He doesn’t want to do it that way. He enlists those who follow Him to be a part of what He is doing. When we contribute ourselves as part of the solution that is when everything begins to come alive and God’s work is seen in a mighty way. It’s a display of unyielding trust in our wondrous Creator.
When the widow from 2 Kings begs Elisha to help her because the creditors are coming to take her two sons away as slaves, he asks her what she has at her home. Her response is, “I have nothing there at all…except a little jar of olive oil.” It’s true that God could have fully provided for her on His own, yet He chose to do it through her own actions. She was told by Elisha to ask for not just a few, but many empty jars from her neighbors. She was then to shut herself up in her house and begin pouring that little bit of oil into each of those jars. Through her actions and God’s miracle she was able to fill every jar that she had, only to run out after the very last jar was full. It was then that Elisha told her to sell the oil to pay off the creditors and provide food for her and her sons.
I know what you’re probably thinking. “Of course this woman trusted God’s command through the prophet, Elisha. She had absolutely nothing to lose, so why wouldn’t she try something as crazy as filling up a bunch of jars with an already almost empty jar of oil.”
Well, okay, then. Let’s look at another example in the form of Abraham and Isaac. When Abraham was called by God to go to Moriah and sacrifice his beloved, promised son given to him and Sarah by the Lord, Abraham didn’t hesitate. In this case, Abraham had everything to lose. Yet, in his heart, he remembered the promises of God prior to Isaac’s birth. Abraham had no idea how Isaac would return to him after the sacrifice, but he knew that God who promised him was faithful. At the very moment that Abraham raised the knife to take the life of his son the angel of the Lord stopped him. It was then that God provided the ram in the thicket for Abraham to sacrifice in place of his son.
Faith is never passive. It’s not just a belief we hold in our hearts, waiting for it all to come full-circle in hopes that we weren’t wrong. It’s a dedicated trust – like stepping out on pavement that your eyes can’t see. God wants us to put that faith to work in giving ourselves to Him in such a way that miracles are worked through us for His glory. If we’re all just sitting around waiting for God to provide the ram in the thicket then we’re going to miss out on penning a lot of new chapters in our lives. It’s up to us to take hold of the pen and allow God to write an amazing story using our own hand…