Summary: God sees beyond your circumstances and appearances to the unlimited possibilities of your life.
“Xtreme Faith: The Unlimited Possibilities of Your Life”
Gen. 12:1-5; 13:14-18; 2:1-5
A simple sheepherder, named Abram, becomes the father of many nations. A youngest son, named Joseph, despised by jealous brothers, becomes second in command of a great nation and protects God’s line of salvation. A non-Egyptian baby, named Moses, ordered to be killed, is protected by Pharaoh’s daughter and leads God’s people out of slavery. A young boy, another youngest son, named David, goes from tending sheep to being the greatest king of Israel and the head of God’s eternal line of rulers. A young virgin, named Mary, becomes the mother of God’s Son. A simple carpenter, named Joseph, becomes the father of God’s Son. A baby, named Jesus, born in a manger, becomes the Savior of the world. A righteous, learned Pharisee, named Saul, whose mission was to persecute and kill Christians, becomes history’s greatest church planter. A boy, named John Foppe, is born without arms yet becomes an inspirational Christian witness and motivational speaker. All are testimonies to the power of Xtreme faith. All are testimonies to an awesome God who sees beyond earthly circumstances and appearances to the unlimited possibilities of life. He, in fact, sees beyond your earthly circumstances and appearances to the unlimited possibilities of your life. Your life, my life, could be so much more – if only we dared to live with Xtreme faith.
But just what is Xtreme faith? For an answer let’s look at Abraham’s life from which we discover at least three characteristics of Xtreme faith. First, THE ESSENCE OF FAITH IS RISK. Abram (that was his name before God later changed it) had a fairly settled, routine life. Like most of the Biblical patriarchs, Abram was not a king or a great warrior, a priest, or even a religious leader. He lived in a tent, moved from pasture to pasture and well to well with his family and livestock. He lived in and around Ur, one of the most important cities in the world. It was a busy commercial center in Mesopotamia on the Persian Gulf, bordered by the Euphrates River. Ur covered about 4 square miles and had a population of about 300,000 and her residents were highly educated. Religiously the people worshiped many gods, especially nature gods and a moon god.
One day, in the midst of this environment, the Lord spoke to Abram and said (Gen. 12:2) “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” Our faith is always challenged when GOD CALLS US TO MOVE. God does not let his people settle in and get too comfortable. In the Old Testament we see God constantly moving his people from one place to another, from one experience to another. God is always offering new futures
and new beginnings. Remember what happened after Jesus rose from the dead? Two women went to the tomb where an angel met them and said (Mt. 28:7), “Go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.” Leave here – go there. Stop looking here – start looking there. Move on to the next leg of your journey. So God told this normal, average sheep herder to move. God had a plan and a place for him.
God has a plan and place for you as well. No matter what your age, your past, your present, your circumstances, God has a plan and place for you. Don’t ever count yourself out; don’t assume God only uses others; don’t think He’s finished with you – if He was finished with you you’d be in your heavenly residence. Don’t think you’re unusable, not special enough, or not qualified. God even used Abram. Paul wrote (Phil.3:12-13) “…continue to work out your salvation…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” To help you God will always, when it’s time, call you to go, to move on to the next leg of your journey. He alone knows the unlimited possibilities of your life.
But notice that GOD CALLS US TO TAKE RISKS. When God called Abram to go, he didn’t even tell him where he was going! He simply said “…go to the land I will show you.” Abram had nothing to go on but trust in and reliance on a promise of God. It was Abram’s version of going on a mystery trip – he was being asked to board the bus while not knowing the destination; all he had to rely on was that he knew the bus driver. And trusting in such situations is not easy. We believe and trust; we just don’t believe and trust enough to take a risk.