“Now What?” Moments April 5, 2010
So you want to take a faith journey huh? You want to lead a life of faith? Well, I’ll tell you…great are the rewards. And at the same time, great are the diversions, the curve balls, the twists.
We all like to be in control of things; but we don’t have to. We have a heavenly Father who says Give me your cares, your burdens, I’ll hold your hand. He builds us up…gives us courage …to go on…to persevere!
We’ve all been there. We’ve thought things out. We’ve made our plans and then all of a sudden…the unexpected happens forcing us to make a new decision. Sometimes it can be downright frustrating; especially especially when the first decision was a hard decision in the first place. And if you aren’t careful…you’ll find yourself thinking or saying out loud: “Now What?”
But you don’t want to do that…because if it is in the form of a a complaint or frustration…you may have walked into a dangerous zone. It is the “out of faith zone.” And if it ever happens…one must quickly jump back into the faith zone.
Don’t debate it, don’t discuss it…just do it!
Stepping out of the faith zone can happen when we look at the natural circumstances around us…when we’ve heard from God in our hearts and we already know what to do …but our mind begins to ask questions…and by the time that we are saying or thinking; the words : “now what?” …it’s time for a quck retreat and a step into faith!
A Now What moment is an opportunity to get before God…a time to pray for direction to believe God for guidance…a time to stay in faith. It’s a time when the best of people will not be rattled; but I admit that we can be caught off guard sometimes. It happens to a lopt of people…and there are some who never get out of the faith zone.
A great…”Now What” moment is seen in the case of the Widow of Zarephath… (please look for the red commentary…)
2 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.”
God clearly ordered Elijah’s steps.
5 So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
The Widow at Zarephath
7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the LORD came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.” 10
God had already commanded the widow to supply Elijah with food. She already knew he was coming.
So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”
The widow had no problem giving Elijah water. (However, food…would be a wee bit of a temporary problem.)
12 “As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”
The widow was having a “Now what?” moment. No, she didn’t say it; but it was a moment when her faith and her reality were clashing. It’s as if she was saying: “Now what do I do?” We know it was a now what do I do moment because:
1. She already had a directive from God to give him food.
2. She knew he was a prophet.
3. She didn’t tell him “No.” She took the time to explain to him “her reality.”
When you really think about it; she was quite gracious. Would you or I treat a stranger so kindly who asked for our last food in a famine as we were preparing to die? Would we be polite? Would we be obedient?
She was stepping out of the faith zone. Would the prophet Elijah help her to step back in? Have you ever had to help someone with gentle words to retain their faith?
13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.’ “
Elijah is caring. He warns and encourages when he says: Don’t be afraid.” He tells her gently what to do. Then if you’ll notice…he prophecies to her. He says:
14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.’ “
She made a quick decision to believe God at His word. And then it happens; just as he said because she stepped back into the Faith Zone!
15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.
Many of us have a word from God that we know is true…and no matter what happens…instead of saying “Now What?”…just stay in the faith zone. It’s okay to say: “I’m staying in the faith zone NO MATTER WHAT ISEE!! I’M STAYING IN THE FAITH ZONE NO MATTER WHAT I HEAR! I’M STAYING IN THE FAITH ZONE NO MATTER WHAT MY CIRCUMSTANCES ARE…I’M STAYING…
We’ve all had our “Now What?” moments; and when we do…we must quickly jump back into
The Faith Zone! It’s a great place to be.