Noah built an ark on dry land… Abraham left his home with no idea where he would end up… David faced down a giant with a few stones… Peter stepped out on a rolling sea…The Bible is filled with examples of people who were called by God to take ridiculous steps of faith that didn’t make sense on the surface, yet when these people followed God’s leading, they found Him to be faithful, and they experienced blessings that far exceeded their expectations.
The Gospels tell us of another such occasion, when a multitude had gathered to hear Jesus speak. Near dinnertime, the disciples asked Jesus whether they should dismiss the people so that everyone could get something to eat.
Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat.”
Their response was something along the lines of “Are you crazy? There is no way that we can feed all these people!”
Jesus then asked, “What do you have?”
They only had five loaves of bread and two fish, but that was all Jesus needed to execute one of His most amazing miracles. The stomachs of five thousand people were filled that day—with twelve baskets of leftovers.
Can you imagine the disciples’ faces? Amazement. Wonder. Total Awe. Their Master had shown them that crazy notions become rational possibilities when God calls people to lean into those crazy notions in faith. When God calls us in faith, arks rise from deserts, wanderers find homes, giants fall, and waves become roadways.
Paul told the church at Corinth, “If we are crazy, it is for God’s sake…” (2 Corinthians 5:13). The apostle was being criticized for saying and doing things that some thought were foolish, and, to be honest, some of his actions did appear a little extreme…from the outside. Yet Paul’s faith in God led him to do and say certain things that didn’t make sense to everyone else. And blessings rained down. Churches were built. Lives were changed… forever.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be exploring what it means to step out in faith. What is this challenge we are given to follow God even when to do so seems crazy? How are we to reconcile the excitement and the fear of living this life of faith? What do we do when the going gets tough? Is faith a guarantee of blessing?
There are no easy answers to these questions, for if there were, everyone would live a life of faith. We must wrestle with them, though, for the Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). That means without faith we cannot accomplish God’s purposes. And then we really miss out—we miss seeing God act in ways that inspire amazement… wonder… and total awe.