I sat my Bible down on the table today during my lunch hour and it fell open to Acts chapter 3. At first I was going to move on towards something else, but then my eyes fell on a cool diagram of the 1st century temple (real spiritual, huh?). 😕
From there my eyes found some words and soon I was reading about Peter and John walking into the temple and healing the crippled man at the Gate Beautiful. As I read this afternoon, verse 16 just jumped out at me:
“And it is his [Jesus] name, working through faith in his name, that has given strength to his man, whom you see and know. It is faith which comes through him that has given him this new complete wholeness in front of all of you.” -TKNT
The man was healed thought faith…now having grown up the church, I know that the ‘correct’ definition for “faith” is the one found in Hebrews 11:1:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Furthermore, I know through countless teachings that having ‘faith’ means that you believe that God can do something about the situation in front of you at the time (i.e. physical healing, financial stuff, whatever).
The difficulty with this definition is that ‘faith’ can become sterile and dry. It can become just another belief that is filed away – as in, yes, I do believe (i.e. I have faith) that God can heal people, but I don’t actually pray for the sick because of *insert reason*.
Which brings me to the title of this post:
Faith, or the belief that God can do something, is meaningless unless we step out and take a risk.
In the example of Peter and John, not only did they have faith that Jesus could heal the man, but they pronounced healing over the man while grabbing him “by his right hand and lifted him up” (vs 7). It was belief followed by a risk (i.e. the man might not have been healed) combined with an action (i.e. speaking and helping the man up).
It all has to go together.
Our confidence and trust (i.e. faith) in Jesus MUST prompt us to get out of our comfort zone and take a risk for Him!
Before I end, I also want to flip things around to the negative for a bit. In other words, if we don’t step out and take a risk, then perhaps we really don’t believe?
Wow…talk about a motivation to get out and start doing what Jesus did…