”So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 (NLT)
Do ever think that God is searching right now for one person who will have faith and step out and stand for Him in this fallen world?
I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. Ezekiel 22:30
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9
God’s eyes are going to and fro across the earth, wow. I watch the news and read about all of the disturbing junk that is going on today I sometimes get really depressed. Kids being abused and neglected, families being torn apart, perverse television shows everywhere.
God of course sees this too, and He is looking for people who will stand for Him and make a difference. God has power and He is willing and waiting for even a single person to trust Him, step out, and make a difference.
He is looking for people who first care about others. He is looking for people who are broken and need Him. Lastly, He is looking for people with great faith.
I reflect on these things because I often ask God to use me, to allow me to stand in the gap for Him. Then when He partially opens the door and I get close to the flames (more like a spark) of persecution, personal criticism, or suffering; I begin having self doubt and lose my confidence. I’m hardly a man of great faith, so I can’t even begin to imagine the trials and sufferings that men like Paul and the prophets endured as they stood for God.
Could it be that God has intentionally placed me exactly where I am today? I need to start realizing that God is in complete control of my life and circumstances. Has He prepared each of us for just a time as this? Can regular people be used by God to impact the world even in a small way?
The answer to these questions I believe is- Yes. Yet, how can I have the supernatural faith that it takes to step out for God?
First I need to remember what faith is-
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Faith is not wishful thinking, a feeling or an emotion. Faith is believing God and His promises to the point of acting and doing His will. Faith is 100% focused on God and who He is.
I also need to remember how much God values faith-
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
God is pleased by our faith, in fact we can’t please Him without faith. My morality is not what God is looking for, nor my good deeds. He wants me to trust Him for my every need. This is the work of God that we believe. Not a difficult concept, but so hard to live.
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:29
How did Jesus build great faith in His disciples? The answer is explained in Luke, Chapter 9. They took up their crosses and followed Him daily. This means denying myself and forgetting the lie that life is about personal pleasure and prosperity. It means dying to selfish ambition and giving myself over to Kingdom ambition. Then God will care for my needs and use me in ways that I have never imagined. This sure sounds good, but very scary huh?
I seem to have this expectation of God answering my prayer of giving me great faith through some supernatural experience where He appears and talks personally to me. Yet I easily overlook how He has blessed and provided for my family in very difficult, seemingly impossible times. I forget witnessing the birth of our children and watching in awe as I realized the amazing miracle of this great gift from God.
Remember the tiny mustard seed? In hindsight this isn’t at all about how much faith I can work up in my finite mind. The key is the object of my faith; do I really believe and trust God? He must be the complete source and object of all genuine faith; and with Him nothing is impossible.
The waves are getting higher and the sky is getting darker in this world, but when our God speaks the whole universe becomes still. He created and named every star and he knows exactly how many hairs are on my head. Well what do you think? I encourage you to step out of the boat and keep your eyes on Jesus, the water is fine!
A couple of updates for everyone-
We’ve added some great new art to the Versevisions gallery and a couple of new navigational pages to help you find a painting or Bible verse that you might like. Visit the new Gallery Catalog page and let me know what you think. Here you can get a quick thumbnail look of all the work available in the gallery.
Next, we added a new Bible Verse Index page that you can use to find the verses that inspired the art in the gallery. I have a running list of 200+ scriptures on my future painting "to-do" list. Man, that’s a lot of painting for me to look forward to!
Lastly, (and best!) we’ve added a unique new line of Designer's Edition giclées to the gallery. The Designer’s Edition consists intermediate and petite sized giclées that are printed on archival museum quality paper, that I hand-sign, and number. Designer’s Editions are limited to 250 and are available for all work displayed in the gallery, and they make a fantastic gift!
If you have a quick minute I'd really like to hear what you think of the new additions and pieces I’ve added. I’d also love to hear any ideas or feedback about my work or the site. Thanks also to all of the people with amazing taste in art who supported my work since my last update!
Keep the faith,Mark
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