Summary: This was story for our associate’s pastor 4th anniversary service comparing her faith to the faith of Mary.
Increase Our Faith
When I asked Pastor Kellie if she would like to preach on her anniversary she quickly replied, “no and you can preach on “Increasing our faith.” So that is why I am up here instead of her on her fourth anniversary. How many of you have ever wanted the Lord to increase your faith? Have you ever prayed for more faith. Few things are as dangerous are as nerve wracking as making that prayer.
You are opening yourself up to all kinds of unpredictable situations. We would like for God to send us a package with a faith cake or faith candy bar inside, in which we could simply eat this cake or this candy bar and as we did it we could feel faith rise up inside of us with each bite. We’d become super Christians instantly.
I have not found a single story in the Bible in which it happened that way. There is always a price to pay if we want an increase in our faith. The price is a willingness to learn just how big of a God we serve. The bigger we see our God, the greater the possibilities become for our lives. If you serve a great God, you will become a great saint.
It’s interesting how God chooses and uses people for His purposes. God has His eyes upon us long before we even know He’s looking at us. When Pastor Kellie first came to this church, her sole intent was to march down the aisle at her sister’s wedding and be on her business with her life. Glenville was simply to be a stopping point in both of their lives for a wedding. At best a footnote.
Yet today her twin sister Kacie is one of our most dedicated elders, and Kellie is our associate pastor and both of their husbands and kids are involved in the ministries of this church. She walked down the aisle thinking of herself as the maid of honor, but God saw a mighty warrior reporting for duty.
The amazing thing about God, is that God can change the course of your life on any given day, and you will not have a clue about what the Lord is willing to do through you. The bigger your God, the greater the change. There was a young lady in the bible, that was not well known at all. No one took note of her. She was from a very small insignificant town. She’s a teenager with her virginity intact. She is looking forward to the plans for her upcoming wedding, and how perfect she hopes things are going to be. She sees herself just as one of many small town girls, and just hopes for an ordinary life, with an ordinary family, in a little ordinary town called Nazareth.
This young girl, whose name is Mary is one day alone by herself. That’s when God decides to come calling. God speaks to the angel Gabriel to go to Mary with a message. The angel Gabriel arrives, and says to her “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord Is with you.” The Scriptures tell us that Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
Notice that it was not the appearance of the angel that frightened her, but the words that He used. Mary probably thought the angel had the wrong person, because he said, “hello, you who are highly favored.” Highly favored by whom. Most people do not even know my name. I have not done anything to get God’s attention. I’m not living that holy that the Lord would be with me.
I want you to know that as a child of God you are highly favored by the Lord. God knows your name. You are not a mistake. God has a plan for you and it’s okay to be a little scared. God is a big God and God can handle your nervousness. Having God’s favor upon your life is going to get you through some very difficult circumstances.
Mary may also had been frightened by the words the angel used, because she knew, that the presence of God in one’s life, meant the equipping of the person for a task. When we ask the Lord to be with us to increase our faith, we are saying we will submit to doing what you want us to do because you are with us. Do not forget the size of the God who is with You, and that will help to increase your faith.
Sometimes we plan to go in a direction and hope that God will tag along and bless us. We forget that God is in control. How many of you have had those moments. When Pastor Kellie began recognizing that God’s hand was on her life, she started to plan for the future. As a single mom, she wanted to look out for her and Whitney at the time. She set up a meeting with me one day to discuss a legal matter about guardianship.