Bold Faith in a Big God
“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: And it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And Elias prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” James 5:17-18
According to legend, a general in the army of Alexander the Great approached Alexander with a very big request. He said, “I have a daughter, and coming off of the battlefield, I have nothing to help her get married.” He asked if Alexander would consider helping him pay for the wedding of his daughter. Due to the general’s loyalty, Alexander offered to help pay for the wedding, so the general continued to make his plans. The treasurer questioned Alexander, “Did you tell this general you would pay for his daughter’s wedding?” Alexander replied, “Yes, I did.” “But did you tell him how much you would pay?” asked the treasurer. Alexander replied, “No, I just told him to plan the wedding.” “Well, he’s planning the wedding,” said the treasurer. “He’s really planning the wedding!” Alexander answered, “Give him what he needs, because he pays me two honors here. First, he believes I’m rich enough to afford his request and secondly, he believes I’m generous enough to grant his request, so give him the money.”
In the same way, the Lord stands behind each and every one of us today. We serve a God who first of all has the riches. He is the great I AM. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and there’s not a request or a problem you can bring to him today that he doesn’t already have the knowledge and the wealth to take care of it. He’s expecting someone to ask him something of big faith today, because he’s a big God.
Large Petitions With Thee Bring
John Newton was a slave trader who bought and sold human beings. He put them on his ships, took them across the oceans and sold them into slavery. One day he remembered the Bible his mother had given him. While reading it, he realized what he was doing was wrong, and he couldn’t do it anymore. We know him today as the writer of the song Amazing Grace. Somewhere in that little book his mother had given to him, he found grace and mercy to look past who he was and what he was. He later wrote another song that said, “Thou art coming to a King, large petitions with thee bring. For his grace and power are such that none can ever ask too much.”
That’s the kind of God we serve today. The Bible tells us to come before the throne of grace boldly, because we’re his children. We’re heirs to the Kingdom, and we should have big faith in a big God. There is no big or little with God, just prayers and answers. If we ask for the big things, it shows our faith is big. How many of you have ever been in a storm of life where you wanted it to stop raining? God can step into your storm and cause it to cease, just as he stepped onto the bow of the ship, said, “Peace, be still” and the storm stopped.
Light & Laser Beams
I’m very intrigued by laser beams. I like light better than darkness, but what is light? How do you take a tiny laser beam of light and do special things with it? Light is really refracted light beams going in every direction. It’s layers of photons and protons. When more light beams going in the same direction are put together, they can form a laser beam with enough power to engrave steel. We must not just scatter-shoot our prayers but be specific. We need to pray, “God, go inside of me and change me so that the laser beam of your light will shine through me. Light down on me God in this situation with my family. Beam down on them so that it inscribes something on their heart and mind. I need you to touch them in a special way!” We have a God who can change anything! We need to get in line with him in what we’re trying to accomplish here. I can’t do anything of myself, because I have no wisdom that can change a heart or mind. But, when the power and Spirit of God joins with me, it puts something special into every word that is spoken.
God’s Promises Are Yea & Amen
There are more than 3,000 promises in his Word, and his Word says his promises are “yea and amen.” Those promises are not just scatter-shooting. God really meant it when he set aside promises for us. We’ve got to claim those promises, because each of them offers something in Christ. We have to get our mind with his and our heart with his heart, so we can say, “Lord, what do you want to say to me? Here’s what I would like to see and do, but I want to know what you want to do.” When our designs and wishes come in line with his promises, it’s like a laser beam. His light is cutting away those things that shouldn’t be in us and opening doors we couldn’t open on our own.
Big Faith & Big Prayers
James 4:2 says, “…ye have not because ye ask not.” Verse 3 says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss….” We need to be specific with God. “God, here’s the exact situation!” Bold prayers ask God to join us in the situation. It begins with a humble posture. “I need your help today, God. I can’t do this on my own.” The power is not in our hands when we pray for you, and it’s not in the oil. It’s expecting God to make a difference in that moment and to change things. It’s time for us to start asking for some big things with big faith. Why? Because, we serve a great big God! When we pray, we should start off humbly praying after this manner; “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
Because Of Their Unbelief
God is doing amazing things, but how much more could there be? One of the saddest verses of scripture is Matthew 13:58, “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” No one was asking or really believing anything was going to happen. Where was there in Matthew 13:58? There was the hometown. Jesus was standing in Nazareth! “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46) “Oh, that’s just Joseph and Mary’s boy. He thinks he’s a prophet.” Nazareth, aren’t you keeping up with the news of blind eyes being opened and lepers being healed? “Yeah…Joseph and Mary’s boy. He’s just a good carpenter.” You would think he would have been affirmed in his own hometown. He could have said “I’m God, and I know more than you think I know.” He wanted them to see far more in him than just his carpentry ability.
God, I Know You’re Big Enough, But
How many times has God looked down on Calvary Tabernacle and said, “Calvary Tabernacle, I’m more than just your hometown God that shows up on Sunday. I’m God Almighty! Do you believe in me enough?” We pray every time we gather, but we need to put faith behind it and approach it like God’s really going to do it. We need to say, “God, I’m putting my faith behind my prayer, and I know the answer could come at any moment.” It’s got to be, “God, we need answers. Soften hearts and turn our families upside down.” Don’t we cheer for everything else and go nuts at the stadium? Yet, we’ve got a great big God who is ready to turn our world upside down, and we’re not ready to cheer for him? Big faith and big prayers work because we’ve got a big God!
He’s looking for those who will worship him “in Spirit and in truth.” He has answered a lot of prayers, but we can’t take time off until he answers more. We must keep asking, seeking, knocking and believing. If he hasn’t answered all of our prayers, we can’t stop. Someday in his grace and mercy, he’s going to answer!
The woodpecker is an amazing creation of God to be able to peck so fast on a pole, but he continues to peck day after day. Then, one day a flash of lightening from God hits the pole and splits it. The woodpecker wants his friends to see what he has done. It’s our great God who does the work, so you can be sure when those prayers are answered, I’ll say to my friends, “I had nothing to do with it! God did it all and he deserves all of the glory. I was simply praying a big prayer and asking for big things, and the Holy Ghost lightening came down.”
God, Break Out Like Fire
Amos 5:4-6 says, “For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live. But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to naught. Seek the Lord, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be non to quench it in Bethel.”
Seek the Lord! Pray big prayers, because we serve a great big God! He can break out at anytime and answer! We can have bold faith in a big God!
Bro. Tim Pedigo is the Assistant Pastor at Calvary Tabernacle in Indianapolis and an Instructor at Indiana Bible College. He serves as Presbyter for Section Five of the Indiana District. He and his wife, Adena, are recording artists, and he is an accomplished songwriter as well.