Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just A Little Faith

Just a little faith

One person can make a difference in somebody else's life. Sometimes I hear a Christian say something like, "I can't really do anything," "It's not going to make a difference," or " I don't have that much faith to do that."

The reason why I am writing this article is so readers will exercise small faith in God to help somebody else in one way or another in this short time that we have remaining before the rapture. Some people may be asking, "What about great faith?" I will certainly talk about that but tremendous belief in God is not the theme of what I am trying to portray.

All we need is a little faith. I am going to explain what I mean. We have family members and friends that we want to give the gospel to,or maybe just encourage a Christian to walk with Jesus Christ. We don't need a lot of faith to do this.

"(1) Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of Heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field. (2) Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." Matthew 13:31-32. Faith grows from little to big just like a tree.

The Apostle Paul said there is a place for small and great. "(6) I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (7) So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. (8) Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labors." 1st Cor.3:6-8. Did you ever hear the statement, "Something is better than nothing." I think you might start to understand what I am trying to say if you continue reading.

Look at the story of Deborah in Judges Chapter 4. Deborah was one of fifteen judges in Israel.She was actually co- judge with Barak. Deborah had great faith in God compared to Barak's little faith but they both played a pivotal role in delivering Israel from the Canaanites. Sometimes I hear that Deborah had tremendous faith (which she did); therefore, Barak played no role whatsoever.

Barak made a couple of small initiatives with the little faith he had and as a result God's plan became a reality for Israel. If he did not take those tiny steps of faith, Israel would not have been delivered from bondage.

These are the facts. Remember God calls the exact people to a given task at different points in history. This is certainly true of Deborah and Barak.

In Judges Chapter 4:1, " The children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord"...and as a result the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin who was the king of Canaan for twenty years. Finally, the children of Israel went to Deborah regarding the situation. I think they sensed that she was a very Godly woman and had tremendous faith in God.

What amazes me about this woman is she knew what to do immediately. She listened to God, which is a part of our faith, and the Lord gave her exact instructions.

God always has a plan and there is a purpose behind it for His glory. The message was for Barak ( he was co-judge with Deborah without a central government in Israel) to take ten thousand men to Mount Tabor. If you are a child of God and in trouble, God has a specific place for you. Never believe anything less.

The tactical part of the plan was to cause Jaban's men ( their enemy) to come and meet the ten thousand Israelites.This also relates to human nature. People like to fight. It is in our nature.

The Israelite army was grossly outnumbered but also remember that the great men of faith throughout history were too. Our strength is in Jesus Christ. In the past month the Holy Spirit has brought me to Revelation 3:8 more times than I can even count, probably because we are very close to the rapture. "(8) I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hath kept my word, and hast not denied my name." Revelation 3:8. Jesus characterized the true Christians with a little strength. The Apostle Paul says..."(9) for any strength is made perfect in weakness"...and in Hebrews the Bible says,"(34)...out of weakness were made strong." Hebrews 11:34. I think you are going to be able to relate to the next sentence.

And Barak said unto her, "And If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go." Judges 4:8. Many people look at this verse and say, " Well Barak had no faith in God." Barak had little faith in God.There is a difference between no faith and little faith. He was still willing to go. If he had no faith in God, Barak would have said something like, " I'm not doing this."

Little faith ( I think I can) great faith ( I know I can) perfect faith ( it is already done).

Deborah had perfect faith and Barak had little faith but they both played a pivotal role in allowing God to set Israel free. When we are called by God to do something, I believe we should exercise little faith (I think I can) because it may just lead to perfect faith in Jesus Christ (it is already done). Little faith is better than no faith. Little faith can grow to perfect faith. Did you ever hear anybody say, " I am growing in the Lord?" The reality started with little faith.

Deborah was disappointed in Barak's little faith but God was still willing to use him. Maybe that's all Barak had after seeing one hardship after another for twenty years. We don't know what this man went through. I wonder how much his faith grew after this whole experience. Remember the widow in the New Testament gave one penny but the Lord said she gave everything.

This is why our judgment could not possibly be accurate because one person may be coming from minus 45 to plus 5 whereas another person might be going from plus 10 to 25. "Judge not, that ye be not judged." Matthew 7:1.

Deborah was still willing to go along with the plan. Not only was she open to God but she was also open with people. She was a remarkable woman.

When both parties ( the Israelites and the Canaanites, were just about to fight, she said to Barak..." Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the Lord gone out before thee?"...and as a result Barak now had great faith ( I know I can) all because he first exercised little faith first ( I think I can). Who knows, if we step out in faith, we don't know what God is going to do with that mustard seed.

God caused rain to come down from the sky and as a result the Canaanite's chariots were stuck in mud. God works in mysterious ways.

The Canaanites had too much confidence in themselves and none in God.That is always a problem no matter who we are. Some of their men should have been on foot with no chariots. They put all their money in one stock. Another foolish decision. They fell under their own pride. I have to rely on Jesus Christ with my every move or I will fail. I am a living testimony.

If someone were to ask me, if Deborah was not there at that point in history, would Israel have remained in bondage, I would answer yes. It is still interesting to me that God's human plan to accomplish His task also required a man of little faith ( Barak).

Deborah's perfect faith led her to listen to God and put the plan into action. Remember faith without works is dead. Her presence was reassuring, they defeated an enemy and she gave praise to God.

First she had faith in God, then she was able to worship God.The more faith we have in Jesus Christ, the more we are going to want to worship our Lord.Then Israel went on to have forty years of peace.

Even if we have little faith, something is better than nothing. If we have great or perfect faith, it is wise to praise God for giving us the belief in the first place. Our little faith grew to great or even perfect faith because God was the one who caused the growth. Praise to God now and forever.

It would have to be obvious that Christians are just about to go home in the rapture. Call that brother you have not spoken to in a year and give him the gospel. Tell him Jesus is just about to return. E-mail that cousin and encourage her to walk with Jesus Christ. Tell her that Jesus is just about to return. Go over to your old friend's house and just say hi. Sometimes when I do these things I wait for a divine opportunity to talk about the Lord. I get a lot of chances. How they respond varies.Tell him Jesus is just about to return. These are just examples. We need to take that small step of faith in this short time left and see the great things God will do.

Who knows, one of our family members or friends might get saved with a little bit of small faith and one phone call. Maybe some people will take their walk with Jesus Christ more serious. We never know what our tiny faith for Jesus Christ will produce.

If you are one of those people that have great or perfect faith then by all means exercise whatever function God has called you to do. Don't forget---tell them Jesus is just about to return.

Love in Christ,

Bob D.

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