I love using the mobile app Waze to find my way around town. The calm, computer-generated voice gives me the assurance that I’m going to arrive at my desired destination. Every turn is anticipated, mapped out and scripted for me, highlighting where the accidents and heavy traffic are. Shoots, I’m even made aware of the upcoming potholes and unexpected objects in the road! It’s comforting to drive when I know there are no surprises in store for me.
But real-life isn’t like driving with Waze. It’s not like strolling through a flowery meadow or floating gently in a pool on an air mattress with a fruity iced tea in hand (you know, the kind with the toothpick umbrella containing the pineapple and maraschino cherry)?
God doesn’t guide us through life, whispering step-by-step instructions to us.
Rather, I’ve found real-life to more closely resemble climbing a rugged mountain or traversing a forging stream. It’s full of unexpected objects in the road, detours and last minute course adjustments.
And instead of using a detailed road map to direct our every step, we’re asked to use our faith and trust God.
For a person like me who has control issues, this can be troubling – even terrifying at times.
“Just tell me what to do, Jesus, and I’ll do it. Point me in the right direction and I’ll walk.”
But what do I do in the silence?
How do I walk forward when I can’t clearly see the direction I’m supposed to go?
How do I have faith when things are uncertain?
How do I trust God when I don’t see any evidence of results?
In the Gospels of Mark and Luke, we see two kinds of people contrasted: those who lack faith and those who have great faith.
He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith. Mark 6:5, 6
Ouch! Jesus goes to his hometown – the town where He was raised, the streets where He probably played as a kid, the families and friends He grew up with – and Jesus was stunned, shocked, amazed by their lack of faith. People whom Jesus knew, loved and cared about, didn’t believe He was who He said He was and that He was able to do what He said He could do.
In Luke 7, we see another interaction Jesus has, this time with a centurion (a Roman officer who was in charge of 100 men). The centurion had a servant who was sick and dying so he sent someone to go find Jesus to help.
So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. Luke 7:6-7
This man believed the spoken words of Jesus had more than enough power to heal his servant. What a huge statement of faith, especially when you take into consideration that this man was a Roman centurion and not even Jewish!
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Luke 7:9
Two different times, Jesus was amazed. He was amazed at the lack of faith from the Jewish people He knew intimately and loved deeply and He was amazed at the great faith of a stranger who He didn’t know and had never met.
If Jesus looked at your faith – the great things you’re attempting, the bold things you’re believing He will do, your expectation for God to stretch you and use you in the lives of others…
Would He be amazed by your faith?
Does your life point others to the greatness of God?
Or… would He be amazed at your lack of faith – limited by a small-thinking, fear-filled, self-engrossed, adventure-less life?
I desperately want my life to resemble a life of great faith, but if I am to be completely honest, I often reduce my life to become manageable, reasonable, attainable and pretty average. I follow my map, consult my budget, plan my timeline and believe for things that don’t require much faith at all. Really, they’re things I can probably accomplish on my own strength.
Oh, but God desires to stretch us!
To enlarge our faith, for God to be made so big in our life that others want to know about the God we serve.
Consider whose amazing faith your life better resembles – the Jewish people from Jesus’ hometown or the Roman Centurion?
When our faith is small, our focus becomes small. We look for answers instead of looking to Christ. We trust in our personal road map for our life instead of trusting God. We ask for things we think we need instead of asking for more of Him in our life. Instead of partnering with God and what He is doing in the world we bask in the comfort of our own minute, selfishly-focused perspective.
Does your life tell a bigger story? When the world sees my life, I want to be a reflection, not of what Kris can do in her own power and planning, but in the greatness of what God can do through a life that is fully surrendered and possesses amazing faith in an Almighty God.
Don’t live a smaller story – a story that tells about a safe, calculated faith.
Ask God to stir your heart to take a step of faith.
Who knows? Just maybe many months (or perhaps years) from now you will look at all that God has done and you’ll be able to trace back to this moment when God inspired you to believe Him for something that could not have happened without amazing faith being partnered with His presence and power.