Summary: What does “a leap of faith” look like? Ask... Declare... Take steps...
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ILLUS: A man fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. The following conversation ensued:
"Is anyone up there?"
"I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?"
"Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can't hang on much longer."
"That's all right, if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch."
A moment of pause, then: "Is anyone else up there?"
Bits & Pieces, June 24, 1993, p. 3.
ILLUS: One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, "Jump! I'll catch you." He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: "Jump! I will catch you." But the boy protested, "Daddy, I can't see you." The father replied, "But I can see you and that's all that matters."
Last week, I argued that faith is either something that you have, or don’t have. You can do things to inform your faith, but there comes a time, that you have to leap.
This week, I want to take another step on that train of thought.
You know you have faith when you act on what you believe.
What does “a leap of faith” look like? Give me some concrete examples from Scripture & life.
1. Ask big things of God.
John 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.
14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
1 John 3:22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.
2 Kings 19:14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.
15 And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: "O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
16 Give ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God.
17 "It is true, O LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands.
18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by men's hands.
19 Now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God."
When Hudson Taylor went to China, he made the voyage on a sailing vessel. As it neared the channel between the southern Malay Peninsula and the island of Sumatra, the missionary heard an urgent knock on his stateroom door. He opened it, and there stood the captain of the ship. "Mr. Taylor," he said, "we have no wind. We are drifting toward an island where the people are heathen, and I fear they are cannibals." "What can I do?" asked Taylor. "I understand that you believe in God. I want you to pray for wind." "All right, Captain, I will, but you must set the sail." "Why that's ridiculous! There's not even the slightest breeze. Besides, the sailors will think I'm crazy." But finally, because of Taylor's insistence, he agreed. Forty- five minutes later he returned and found the missionary still on his knees. "You can stop praying now," said the captain. "We've got more wind than we know what to do with!"
ILLUS: Think of a story of someone who asked too little, when much was available...
I think you’ve been asking too little of God.
I want to show you today the staggering nature of the promises God makes, and the way His people have made use of them through history.
Stop asking God for a good day. Start asking him to do the impossible.
“If the size of what you’re asking God is not intimidating to you, there’s a good chance it’s insulting to God.” Paraphrase Steven Furtick
ILLUS: Ruby Hamilton, a businesswoman in her fifties, was stunned at the loss of her husband of 32 years in a car accident. Her anger and disappointment went deeper than a more typical expression of grief though. She had become a follower of Christ in her late twenties, but her husband didn't share her newfound interest in spiritual things. Nonetheless, she had set about praying for him feverishly and unceasingly that he would come to know the Lord. And one day when she was praying, she felt a wave of peace wash over her, and that still small voice assuring her that her husband would be okay. She eagerly awaited the day when her husband surrender his life to Jesus. And now this.