I know that it is well after January 1st, when people typically make New Years resolutions to make some change they think they need in their life. This is usually done out of a tradition or a habit, and may or may not be successful.
Sometimes, the Lord just seems to put something in my heart to do, and I know it would be good thing – but sometimes I want to drag my feet. I recall a pastor preaching that when we feel that God has spoken and given direction, it is OK to put it on the shelf and question it a few times. Can I be honest and say that I took that and multiplied it like loaves and fish (Matthew 14:13-21)!
So, I decided to look at scripture and those that stepped out in faith. The first that came to mind was Abraham, when God tested Abraham to step out in faith ( Genesis 22)- he told Abraham to take is only and beloved son and sacrifice him unto the Lord. Yikes! But Abraham took his son, journeyed with him and they came to the place where faith was stepping out:
9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood, and bound Isaac his son and placed him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to [g]kill his son. 11 But the [h]Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” He answered, “Here I am.” 12 The Lord said, “Do not reach out [with the knife in] your hand against the boy, and do nothing to [harm] him; for now I know that you fear God [with reverence and profound respect], since you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son [of promise].” 13 Then Abraham looked up and glanced around, and behold, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering (ascending sacrifice) instead of his son. 14 So Abraham named that place [i]The Lord Will Provide. And it is said to this day, “On the mountain of the Lord it [j]will be seen and provided.”
The next person in the bible that really stepped out in faith to me was the woman with the issue of blood. The unnamed woman in this scripture had a condition that caused her to bleed for 12 years. In the Old Testament, this condition made her ceremoniously unclean, and anyone she touched or was around her would be made unclean.
25 And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean.26 Every bed whereon she lieth all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her separation: and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her separation.27 And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
Based on her condition she could not go to a temple.She had spent all of the money on doctors and treatments. She had only one hope, a singular purpose of faith, to step out in faith and receive her healing. Pushing through the crowd, trying to make her way, she did not relent:
28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
And then there was the Syrophoenician woman, who was not Jewish and therefore not in the immediate plan for the Salvation as the Jewish people were to be first in line. The Syrophoenician woman knew this but still stepped out in faith to save her daughter who was possessed:
24 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into a house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.
This woman of great faith not only got healing for her daughter, she also provided a glimpse of the plan of Salvation for all of man.
3 stories of great faith. 3 people who had different histories, cultures, family and background – their common denominator was faith.
I started out with Abraham because he was in that situation that many of us find ourselves in. Hearing the will of God to do something in our lives, and having the faith to step into it. I picked the woman with the issue of blood because it was something she had been dealing with for years, just like many of us have been struggling with something for weeks, months, or years. I chose the Syrophenician because some of us feel we may not deserve or can achieve it because of our circumstances – Jesus changes all of that!
My prayer for us all is that Lord we are ready to step out in faith! We are ready to receive healing, hope, and peace from the one who heals by faith! We are ready to receive the plans You have for us! We will trust in Your direction and faithfully step into Your will. Amen!
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.