If I said I had faith that a new casserole my wife was trying out was good, what should I do? What about having faith that my 11 year old daughter can drive? Or that the guide knows the way home. If you really had faith in those circumstances, what would you do? Eat the casserole, get in the car and follow the guide. Right!
Do we really have faith in God? Do we really believe that His promises in the Bible are true? Even the ones about our giving, Him giving us strength, us having no fear, our praying boldly, us not worrying, Him providing for us, our faith changing things, that truly following Him is life. If we really did believe those promises what would we do?
Three years ago my friend Clay had just finished up his second year as the deputy sheriff of Jones county completely overhauling the department at the wishes of the new sheriff who hired him. What should follow would normally be a more relaxed work schedule after 2 years of late hours. However, Clay knew God wanted him somewhere else doing something different, so he resigned. Now he volunteers his time & effort to minister to churches in Abilene where he & his family recently moved after selling their ranch.
Maybe having faith in God's promises causes one to leave a successful, comfortable, country life to live in a small house in town just to be more available to help people.
In October of 2009, Jim, my friend & former roommate, now an associate dean & law professor at Pepperdine, was attending a Conference in San Diego. Bob Goff, one of the speakers, encouraged the audience members to “do something” to help those in need because “love does.” After hearing that message Jim said he felt an undeniable urge to “do something,”
The next year he traveled to Masindi, Uganda to visit a juvenile prison where there were 21 inmates between the ages of 13 and 17. Many of them had been there for nearly two years awaiting access to justice. They had all been charged with crimes, though none of them had a lawyer or a court date. Most of them were innocent. Two brothers, Henry and Joseph, had been charged with murder in conjunction with a mob killing in June of 2008, even though the undisputed evidence showed that both were in school when the murder happened. In the summer of 2010 Henry was finally released and resumed his schooling at the Restore Leadership Academy where he is currently #2 in his class.
(This picture is Jim with Joseph & Henry.)
This January Jim, along with his wife and 3 teenage kids will spend 6 months in Uganda where he will be working for the Ugandan Judiciary helping to improve their court system. His wife will be teaching English at one of the juvenile prisons. A link to his blog "Throwing Starfish" is at the top of our home page. If you want to know how to convert a witch doctor read his post "A day I will never forget."
Maybe having faith in God's promises causes one to leave the comfortable Malibu lifestyle to spend half a year in an African country helping those who cannot help themselves.
Faith is boldly going out on a skinny limb, embracing the uncertainty, while praying unsafe prayers, knowing the farther we go and the more the limb bends, the happier He is. Because in His kingdom, limbs have a habit of bending more than we could imagine before catapulting us to greater heights and broken limbs have the unusual characteristic of levitating.
When we don't have the guts to step out in faith God is robbed of the glory that rightfully belongs to Him.
I think Clay & Jim know that faith = risk.