Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19
So they took the away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” John 11:41-42
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
After looking at several people of faith through the Old and New Testament, we come to one who has the perfect, ultimate faith–Jesus. It is only because of Jesus that anyone can be saved and have a real faith in God.
Although volumes could be written on the faith of Jesus and throughout the gospels there are many examples of Him showing faith, I will only be looking at a couple of areas. Each of these are things Jesus said and did that showed His faith in the Father.
Looking at John 5:19 Jesus states what faith looks like, although He does not use the word ‘faith’ in His comment. He states that he only does what He sees the Father doing. Although this is talking about seeing, and faith is about not seeing, this does show faith also.
Doing only what God is doing is showing faith that you believe that what God is doing is the best thing to do. Think about this for a minute. Often we state that we believe God, but then He tells us to do something and what do we do? We begin to question it, rather than have faith and believe it.
God is never going to ask you to do something that is not in your best interest. Whatever you do should bring you or someone else closer to God. Your life is to be a light shining the gospel message of Jesus to this world.
In order to be that shining light, you must have faith in God. You must have faith in what Jesus said and did. You must have faith that what God said He will do. Jesus did all these things.
Now let’s look at one time Jesus showed His faith in the Father. It is found in the story of Lazarus dying and Jesus raising him from the dead. Lazarus had been dead and buried for several days. In the eyes of the world, there was no more hope for him, it was over. Yet, Jesus goes to raise him from the dead.
As He gets ready to raise Lazarus up, He talks to the Father out loud. He thanks God for hearing Him. This was done to be a witness to the people. Jesus was saying that He had faith in that the Father would hear Him and do what was needed to be done.
As soon as Jesus had said this, He called Lazarus to rise up and come out of the grave. Lazarus did rise from the dead immediately.
You can have that same faith today. Listen to what God is saying and doing and then do the same things. God will hear you and answer your prayers, when offered in faith, believing. These are not selfish prayers, but prayers and actions that do what God is wanting to do.
The final act of faith that Jesus portrayed was when He was in the garden preparing for His death upon the cross. When He was going to die upon the cross, He would go through not only physical pain, but emotional and spiritual suffering.
Think about this for a moment, Jesus had been with His Father for all eternity and now He would be separated for a time from Him. Not only would He be separated, but Jesus would also have to bear all the anger of God against all sin of all mankind for all time.
While Jesus was in the garden preparing for the death, He actually asks the Father if there could be some other way to do what needed to be done. Yet, He did not stop there. Jesus was willing to do what the Father said needed to be done–die on the cross.
You may be wondering now how does this show faith. Good question. It shows faith, because Jesus was going to be struck by His Father with great anger and wrath. He was going to be killed.
For most people, when they die it is over. There is no more life. There appears to be no more hope.
To walk forward into death appears to be giving up, suicidal. Yet, Jesus had faith that God would raise Him from the dead when it was over. He had faith that this was the best way to save every person on this earth. He had to have faith that the Father knew He was perfect and did not have to die for His own sins and stay dead.
How can this help you? Just as Jesus went forward to a extremely painful death upon the cross for you, you must be willing to go forward with what God has planned for your life.
There will be times that God will ask you to step forward into doing something that may appear to be the finish line for you. It may look like death to you. It can be scary and painful. Yet, it is what is best for you and everyone else.
Do not back down, but go forward in faith, believing, as Jesus did, that what He asked you to do is the best thing to do. Jesus gave His Holy Spirit to empower you and guide you in the ways of God. He did not leave you alone. Have faith that God is with you.
When you are struggling in life or God asks you to do something crazy, think about what Jesus did. Look at His faith and draw upon it for yourself. Go forward with the faith of Jesus in your life and walk with God. Have the ultimate faith!
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:8
Rules are something that most people do not really like. They do not like being told what to do or how to do it. People want the freedom to do what they want, when they want and how they want to do it. Anything less than this is restriction and not a joy.
When people follow the rules, it is usually when someone in authority is nearby and then it is not done with joy. It is done out of force to keep from getting into trouble. As soon as the authority is out of sight, the person will go back to breaking the rules. While most people don’t go extreme on breaking the rules, they still will break them.
David found out that the precepts, or general laws of God were something that brought joy and light into a person’s life.
At the time David said this, he was under the law. It was a do or die system. There was no grace or forgiveness.
With the coming of Jesus, this changed things. There was forgiveness and mercy to be shown. The heart is now changed.
People in and out of the church often see the law as something that is legalistic and mandatory, and they don’t like it. Yet, the law can bring joy. It shows a person what God loves. It guides a person in how to live, think and act in ways that will please God.
This is not something that is a to be done out of force, but out of love. Since Jesus died for each and every person to give him life, that person should be more than willing to obey God’s laws. Those laws teach a person how to live in righteousness and holiness. Living this way brings joy and light into the life of a person.
As you look at the laws of God, don’t see them as legal requirements, but as the best way to live for God. Choose to follow them out of love for God because of what Jesus did for you.
When obeying God, you will find joy in your heart and life. There will be no fear of judgement or condemnation, because you know you are doing what God wants you to do.
I pray today that you will find joy in obeying God; that you will see the value in God’s commands; that you will see God’s heart in His rules; and that you will choose to obey God in every area of your life.
He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 1 Samuel 13:8-9
Most people do not like to wait for other people. When they want to get something done, they do it themselves. Often it is because they have been let down by others in the past. Friends or co-workers did not show up, so the job had to be done alone.
Having patience to wait for someone else is not something most people have. They want the help and they want it right away on their own timetable.
Saul had done this very thing. He was getting ready to fight against the Philistines. He and Samuel had agreed to a set date for Samuel to come and offering the sacrifices to God for His favor in the battle.
When Samuel did not show up at the appointed time, Saul immediately took things into his own hands. He proceeded immediately to offer the sacrifices to God, something he was not allowed to do. As soon as he had finished offering the sacrifices, Samuel showed up. It was at this point Samuel stated that God was already beginning to pull the kingdom away from Saul, because he did not obey.
It is common for people to call out to God for help, but do not wait for His answer. Or when they hear Him say He will provide the answer, they do not wait for His timing to answer the prayer.
This is often done out of fear. They do not believe God can or will actually accomplish what He said He would do. Instead of following God’s instructions, they take things into their own hands. This shows a lack of faith in God.
God’s word has said that He will provide for you. When you hear that God will do this, you must trust His words. At those times when God says to wait, you must wait. Do not jump ahead of God and take things into your own hands. Leave the events in His hands.
God is faithful and will not break His word. He will do what He needs to do at the perfect time, not your time. Wait on Him and trust Him.
I pray today that you will trust God’s timing; that you will trust God’s word in your life; that you will obey God’s commands to you; and that you will leave things in God’s hands.
“I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.” Judges 6:10
There are times that people go through tough situations in their lives. Sometimes these tough situations are because God is allowing the enemy to test them, to determine where their heart really is. Other times the tough situation is a result of bad choices made, refusing to listen to God’s Holy Spirit guiding and directing them.
The nation of Israel had times that they would be overrun by the enemy. They would cry out to God for some help. At one point God had sent a prophet to them to tell them that He had given them a command not to worship the false gods, yet they chose to worship the false gods. They had chosen to not listen to God and the result of an enemy take over had occurred.
God does not want the enemy to take over His people, in reality He wants the enemy defeated. However, when His people are not listening to Him and doing what He says, He allows the enemy to take over.
The purpose of the enemy taking over is to get the attention of His people back on Him.
God is not out to destroy people, but to build them up and give them life. Yet, if they choose not to listen to Him and follow Him, He will do what it takes to get their attention.
As people go through tough times, most people will call out to God for help. This is one of God’s ways to get their attention and focus back on Him. Every believer needs to stay focused on God and listen to Him as they follow Him.
God is not against you, but is for you. He does not want to destroy you, but He needs to you listen to Him and obey Him. He loves you enough that He will do whatever it takes to keep you focused on Him. This may mean going through some tough times.
If you are going through a tough time, turn your entire focus onto God and not the tough time. Allow God to guide you through the situation.
Even when following God, times may be tough, but He will always give you strength to make it through. Don’t turn away from God, but listen to Him.
I pray today that you will know God’s directions; that you will listen to God; that you will obey God; that you will keep your focus on God; and that you will see God’s work in your life.
So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Deuteronomy 5:32
Following the commands of someone is not always fun or easy to do. Often people do not fully understand the reason for the command. Rules are often ignored or seen as suggestions, rather than a requirement.
In the workplace, there are many who will cut the corners on following the procedures for a job to be done. At the moment it looks as though everything will be acceptable and work out fine, because the rule did not make sense. Yet, later, there is often complications and problems, because a rule was not followed through.
Following the directions on a GPS is required, in order to get to the desired destination. To turn to the right or left, will cause one to get off the path, and the GPS has to constantly change the directions, thus the best path has not been taken.
After the Israelites had been given all of the commands of God through Moses, they were warned to be careful to do everything God had commanded. They were not to turn away from any of the commands for any reason.
Even though believers today are no longer under the Law as Moses and the Israelites were, they still must obey God’s commands. Each believer must still obey the commands of loving both neighbor and enemies, showing grace, showing mercy, and being a witness. These commands are not an option.
Along with those commands, God guides people today by His Holy Spirit, in what direction to take in life. God has a path for every believer to follow, and the believer must turn to the right or left off of that path.
God has a path for every person to follow, this includes you. You have a path for your life, given by God. God has commanded you to walk on the path He has for you. As you are walking that path, you must not stray off the path to the right or left.
Trust God’s directions in your life. He will not command you to do what is not best for your life and the best for His kingdom.
Do not allow yourself to be persuaded to turn to the left or right from God’s path for you. Keep a careful watch on the path God is leading you and obey all God has said to do.
I pray today that you will know the commands God has for you; that you will know the path God has for you; that you will not turn from any command God has given you; and that you will do His work on this earth.