by Pastor Lee Hemen
March 7, 2008
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. (Mark 11:22)
Where is the faith whereby mountains were moved and great things were done for the Lord? For our day and age men have replaced faith with good advertising and marketing. Want large crowds beating down your church doors? Come up with a great slogan and marketing campaign and your church ministry will burst at the seams! “Step right up, get your front row seat to the greatest show on earth!” is the hew and cry of the mega emergent modern church. People no longer have to seek after God, we can make you feel like you are in His presence through a good stage production. And we can keep the kiddies entertained while you sip your latte from our coffee corral in the foyer!
Spurgeon writes that “With faith I can do all things; without faith I shall neither have the inclination nor the power to do anything in the service of God. If you would find the men who serve God the best, you must look for the men of the most faith.”
There is the problem: Today’s Christian no longer has the “inclination nor the power to do anything in the service of God.” Many seek to have great faith by thinking that it is how one “feels” rather than how one trusts and serves. Jesus promised that the person who exercised their faith that “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you received it and it will be yours.” Most have reduced it to a name-it-and-claim-it mentality. A wish list concept. All we have to do is pray, mouth some “holy” verbiage (“In the name of Jesus!”) and God is supposed to cough up the goods for us. This is not what Jesus meant or taught here. Faith in God is giving yourself completely away to Him where there is nothing of you left and only His will for your life. It is a life so full of prayer, communion with Him, that as you walk with Jesus you know what to ask for, when to ask for it, and you expect it to be done because you are in such intimate relationship with your Lord you already know His will in the matter and He has given you the words to pray. In fact, when Jesus said, “Abide in me and I will abide in you,” the wording there is that which lovers would use of their relationship together! Dear brother or sister in Christ, do you seriously have that kind of faith walk?
Much of the work and ministry done in today’s church is accomplished by people through the means of individuals and God has nothing to do with it at all. How can I say this is true? When I go and have lab work done at the doctor’s office he takes samples of my blood, uses test strips on it to see where my sugar levels are, my cholesterol levels are, and where my bood counts are. Well, here is the “test strip” to use for your faith walk: If it can be accomplished by men in their own abilities and power, then it is not the faith the moves mountains! In fact, this is why service and serving in today’s church is so low. People hire others to do what God has called them to do! We have taken the power and might of faith practiced and used in the church out of the body of Christ and reduced it to salaried positions of hired agents instead. Then we sooth our conscience by saying, “This must be of God, look at the results!”
Quite frankly we have taken it to the extreme and excuse the lack of service and faith in our churches by ashamedly telling people, “You do not have to join our church, just come and you are considered a member!” Thereby reducing the body of Christ to the same level as getting into a free concert or community club. This is why you do not see mountain moving faith in churches. What you see is a mere glimmer of what good promotion and fine talks can do to sooth the shallow faith of the sheep who herd themselves into the prefabricated commercialization of Christ.
The mountain moving kind of faith walk is the one whereby God gets all of the credit, glory, and honor and everyone can see that it was completely impossible for a good PR job, advertising campaign, or skilled spiritual huckster to pull off. It is the kind of faith that takes a hundred years to build an ark when all your neighbors are laughing at you. It is the kind of faith that can see the pillar of fire at night and the pillar of cloud by day and does not fear when the water is piled high on either side as you run to the far shore. It is the kind of faith that walks dusty roads, telling everyone who will listen about the good news of the resurrection, singing of the glories of God while chained to a prison wall, seeing the chains fall off, and jail door opened by angels, and the guards come to Christ! It is the faith where you are willing to leave your mother weeping at the dock as your ship sails off knowing you may never see her alive again in your lifetime and spending your entire life in a foreign field for seven years and seeing only one person come to Christ and rejoicing over the one.
Do you have that kind of mountain moving faith today? Or, are you relying on others to put on a good show for you and keep your kids tranquilized for an hour or so while you get away with God for the moment while you sip your whipped coffee?
Peter was amazed that a little fig tree was withered and wondered aloud remembering that Jesus had cursed it. Jesus reminds him with these simple but powerful words: “Have faith in God.” Do you have that kind of faith?
NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety. This devotional will follow Morning by Morning by C H Spurgeon. You may use it however you desire.