I want "Audacious Faith" just like Joshua! Our pastor has been preaching about Joshua's Audacious Faith from Steven Furtick's book "Sun Stand Still." Joshua had such amazing faith in the Lord! In Joshua 3:5 Joshua tells the people , "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." And amazing things He did do... for the Israelites crossed the Jordan river- not by swimming it, or boating across, but by walking in their sandals across a dry river bed.... during the flood season... how is this possible? Of course because our God is amazing and because Joshua believed... he had "Audacious Faith".
Later in Joshua...10:12 "Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: 'Sun stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon." Joshua prayed an Audaciously Huge prayer!! He asked the Lord to stop time... for the sun to stand still and for time to stop.... ' so the sun stood still and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies.' Wow!! Can you imagine having such huge faith in God that you would ask for such a huge prayer to be answered .... and expect it to be answered??? God dammed up the water and dried up the riverbed so that His people could cross the Jordan. As soon as they stepped onto dry land, the riverbed started to fill with water again. His people had not doubt that it was God that performed the miracle... It was God that loved them so much that He kept his promise to protect them and never leave them.
Fast forward to June 2012 on North First Street in Yakima, Washington.... we stand with our North First Street friends and with Audacious Faith we ask God to supply the needs of the people. We ask for specific sizes to appear, for shoes to be located in the bottom of a box that would be the perfect fit for Heidi or Melissa, or Raul. As we walk back to the car after holding our finger up to someone, "Just a second, I will check and see if we have that..." we pray "Lord please let there be one more roll of toilet paper left in the car for this person, or please let there be more food back here for the hungry couple standing in front of me." We don't pray these prayers in vain so that we can be the heroes or so that we get great thanks... we pray the prayer so that we can then turn to the person in need and say, "Wow! Look how awesome God is... He saved one more roll just for you"...... or "Look- God knew just your size... He will never leave you or forsake you."
It is so cool because God just keeps growing my faith... I don't test Him... but by the nature of what we do on North First St... it demands this kind of faith because we never know what we are going to get. We don't know who will show up, what they will need, or what will be donated... it is all on faith. We don't know how many people will show up to eat or if we will have enough... We don't even know most of the time if we are going to have the time to put it all together. But guess what?.... we always do have enough.... and clothes always do show up... and there is always enough time... and food always comes from somewhere... and the sizes do appear... not always immediately... but in those cases we tell our North First St. friends that we will pray for their needs during the week and see what God brings us.
Please do not think that I believe that my God is a genie because I surely do not! I do believe that God knows our needs and that He makes a way.... it may not always be the way we expect... but He always makes a way.... My own faith is not yet "Audacious" but it is growing... daily.....weekly as we step out in faith and head down to "the lot" where we meet "the least of these"... "the desperate and the broken....".
I think one thing that is hard for me is that I want to be able to give them an answer to their questions... I want to fix their needs... When a 31 year old guy named Chris says that "His mom asked him to come to Yakima, but wouldn't let him live with her..." "She lied," he says, "My mom lied to me." I want to say something that will fix it... that will bring first aid to his broken heart.... God is the only one who brings words to my lips... He is the only one who can minister to Chris' heart... We give him words of hope, but only God can direct his path. I step out in "Audacious Faith" as I say..."Hang in there... we will do what we can and God is taking care of you."
At church today I was truly inspired and moved by a young man. He has Down Syndrome, but it sure didn't seem to stop him from having "Audacious Faith". During the few seconds between worship songs I heard him free worshiping. He said in a wonderfully full voice, "God, You are my Father... Happy Father's Day... I love You God!" It was so beautiful. The sincerity in his voice made it clear that he fully believed that God is his father and that God loves him so much that there was no doubt in his mind that God was listening to his prayer right that moment... You may say that we all believe this... but do we really? Do we really believe that God is listening to us and loves us individually and intimately??? It was a precious intimate peek into the faithful heart of a loving young man.
I pray that God continues to grow my faith... that He continues to stretch me and grow me so that I do not even hesitate to ask God to dry up the river bed.... or to ask for the sun to stand still.... or for Chris to come to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior, ...... for him to heal from the inside out.... oh yea... Chris is HIV positive... with Audacious Faith I pray that Chris will come to know Jesus as Lord of his life and that he will be able to touch many people's lives with his testimony!
We are all at different places with our faith... but we can all do something. As Keith told me, "We can all do something, because when we do something for someone... they become somebody... and when they become somebody they can be moved by the power of the Holy Spirit!!!" Lord please help us all to hear your prompting.... so we can do a little something! In Jesus Holy Name, Amen! (P.S. Happy Father's Day... every day is Your day.... I love You and thank You for being my Father!)