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.
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.
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Job 8: 7 Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.
There are people who do not hear from God. Whether that “hearing be in their heart or a small voice.
It’s probably not because they do not want to. It’s because in many cases they never knew how. I know some people who “think” they’re doing just fine without doing all of this work. They just cannot imagine that such a concept could benefit them. I thank God that I learned how to sit quietly and pray and then to sit more quietly and listen for His voice or His leading.
Does this work for everybody? I am sorry to say that I have heard from two people for which it did not.
The first case that I knew of was a young woman who said that when she prayed and sat still she heard demons screaming. This was early on in my walk with God and before I saw and experienced a lot of spiritual warfare.
I have since that time figured that she was probably dealing with a form of schizophrenia or was under another kind of attack.
In the second case, I ministered to a man who was overtaken by the vain philosophies of this world. I would not call him an atheist, but his mind just would not let him believe. He had too many questions. He said he wanted to get healed, but did not believe that Jesus could heal him unless his questions (and he had hundreds) could be answered first. I tried answering them, but I eventually decided that I wasn’t experienced enough to continue for my sake or for his. I am still in touch with him by mail. He is a close family friend of my parents.
I brought this up because I wanted to say to talk about obedience unto God; but if one cannot hear from Him, they won’t know what to do in terms of obedience. In fact, there are many people who do not believe you are supposed to hear from God, and I suppose they do not believe God has anything at all for them to do. I remember when I thought just being good was enough. When I first was taught that I could commune with God; I rushed home to try it not knowing what to expect.
I heard music and angels singing; and then I heard a voice talking to my heart…it was God…it has been so exciting. It is a private matter which I only mention to prove my point on obedience.
God has a list of things that He wants each of us to complete, but you’ll never know it without a prayer, meditation, reading the bible and having a communal life with Him. You can choose some or all. Completing the requests God makes of us; makes us obedient.
Our obedience can truly help someone else. That is the intention. Our obedience can also help us…greatly.
I was at home and needed prayer. I felt led not to tell anyone that I know. That is strange within itself, but I felt led not to do that. So as I sat perplexed trying to figure out what to do; my phone rang:
It was Kenneth Copeland’s Ministry’s prayer sister calling to ask if I needed prayer for any reason!
Wow! We prayed and I felt so much peace. Something was released!
Let me just say: “THANK YOU FOR BEING OBEDIENT.” Thank you to everyone involved that led to that telephone call. It did so much for me. It came at the exact right time.
I was set free, delivered, over joyed! We prayed and I feel that it was a powerful reminder from God of His faithfulness.
There are people who don’t understand our saying: “God is faithful.” To me it means that I am always on God’s mind and He is always sending me proof that my prayer answers are foremost in my heart. He doesn’t care how He has to get me a message, but He will.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”