Faith cannot be developed in a fishbowl. It requires stepping out into the unknown – releasing the familiar in order to embrace the miracle that faith alone can give birth to. It is putting everything on the altar of the common to experience the uncommon kindness of God. Faith is putting the needs of others before yours, knowing that when you do, you serve God and He will never be in-debt to anyone. He will restore you 30, 60, and 100 fold – according to your faith.
The above paragraph expresses the very core of my being. It is why I decided to ride my bike throughout America. I’m in search of the miracle that only faith alone can give birth to. I just wasn’t satisfied doing the predictable, which is to stay in the arena of what I know and fail to have a revelation of what God knows. I put many things on hold – even in the midst of struggling with personal debt, the emotional processes of being healed from scars on my heart from past experiences from others but moreso from myself. I just flat out refused to be forced into the systemic default response to these issues. We all have them. The just show up in different ways. They stare at us and dare us to step out of their grip by faith!
It’s as if they have rights on my mind, on my heart, and on my will. They use phrases like, “you have to pay your bills,” “you have to have a place to live,” “you have to eat,” you have to – you have to – you have to! Fact is, not only am I well aware of that – but God is moreso.. That’s why Jesus said:
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
How much more clear can the Scripture be? The qualifying verse is 33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU!
God is not justifying laziness, the abandoning of our responsibilities, or not keeping of our word. Absolutely NOT! If a man does not work, he should not eat!
2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
It takes mammon in order to achieve “our” dreams. We therefore have no time for a life of sacrifice. It is impossible to serve God the Father without sacrifice!
Romans 12:1 beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
While millions upon millions claim, “I’m a Christian” I would humbly present to all of us to search our hearts and our life styles to see if we are truly living a life of faith that exemplifies sacrifice for His will to be done. Are we willing to give up our idols, our treasures, our comforts and our “way of righteousness” to experience a life of faith in which God’s kingdom becomes our souls sole desire? I am. That’s what Shift to Greatness is all about for me. It’s personal. It’s spiritual. It’s real. It’s hard. I also truly believe – I will be rewarded with all these things being added unto ME.
I encourage you to begin your personal SHIFT right now. Start to sacrifice in the simple areas of your life and devote those areas to God. Maybe it’s watching 2 hours of TV instead of 4 and giving those 2 to God in prayer and service to others or your church. Maybe it’s reducing your time on Facebook to instead go cook a meal for someone who can’t cook for themselves. Perhaps it is giving up a few hours a week on your phone to read and study God’s word. Whatever it is, you will have to make a SHIFT by faith into the unknown realm of God’s Kingdom so that you can feed your faith to go where He’s calling you. I just might meet you there on my bike trek – I’m Shifting, too.