17 BENEFITS OF FAITH
Church was over and we were seating on the pulpit chatting about the sermon, but it was clear that something else was on her mind. I could tell something was bothering her; she didn’t have to say a word,her nervously twitching foot and fidgety fingers were giving her away.So I waited for the perfect time to inquire, I didn’t have to wait for long though!She said “I want it” I asked, “want what?” Her answer was simple, “It! You know…” “Urm, no I don’t really know,” I replied trying to keep my mind focused.
The Firebrand Kind of Faith
She raised her voice attempting to drown out the music playing in the background, “I watch others worship and I realize they have something I don’t have, there is something different about how they worship God so freely and I want It”“Aha! The FIREBRAND fire?” my typical response to a question I’ve heard several times. She answered, “No! The FIREBRAND kind of FAITH.”The sound at the back was too loud; I thought I didn’t hear her right. I signaled the DJ to turn down the volume. “Much better,” I thought to myself. “Sorry, what did you say? ”I pressed on. She repeated, “The FIREBRAND kind of FAITH.”
She then continued to explain how during the worship service, she was looking at the people around her and realized there was a disparity between her and them.Everyone seemed to be lit about the things of God save for her. She just stood there, looking around, no emotion, no vigor, no passion; the only thing that hit her in worship was the base from the 20 inch subs at the front.She was too busy noticing the cracks on the walls, and how the LED lighting in the dark room reminds her of her past the club life.“Shut-up! This is a church service, engage!” She refocuses herself.The box shaped hall was full, she noticed the young people around her bowing down and crying out but somehow in a room full of people she felt alone. It was clear something was missing in her relationship with God. “These people are deeper than I am, do we even serve the same God?” she thought.
I asked her why she thought it was FAITH she needed. It was then that she reminded me of a statement from my sermon, “Faith is knowing and trusting God.” And that’s all she wanted. To know him and trust him enough to be free in worship like everyone around her. “That’s an interesting way to look at it.The Firebrand kind of Faith, Mmh… Ok!” I remarked.
We had a brief conversation about Christ the author of our faith, after which we prayed. I took her words to heart and what happened next was a total surprise, but a good one.That evening as I drove home, I began praying for my church members as I often did while driving. I was really enthralled by the fact that the young lady connected FAITH to worship, that was great. But my heart went out to her when I thought of how it feels like to think that someone else is a “Super Christian” and you are not, or someone else is more saved than you are. I could relate to her, more than she even knew.
That statement, “The FIREBRAND Kind of FAITH,” made me really think about my Christian life! Even as a preacher, I may not compare myself with my members but does my faith match up to what I read in the bible? I often read Hebrews 11:33 and feel like the young lady I was talking to at church. I feel like the men and women mentioned in the book of Hebrews are some kind of Super Christians, like they know God in a way that I don’t know him.Have you ever felt that way?The Faith that those men and women of the old had is truly The FIREBRAND kind of FAITH.Is this the same kind of faith we see across the world and in churches today? I’ll let the word speak and you be the judge.
17 works of The FIREBRAND kind of FAITH in a Christian’s life (Heb. 11:33- 38): By Faith;
It subdued kingdoms (Josh. 12; 2Sam. 8).
It worked righteousness (Gen. 15:6).
It obtained promises (Num. 14:30).
It stopped the mouths of lions (Dan. 6).
It quenched fire (Dan. 3).
It escaped swords (1Sam. 17; Ex. 18:4).
They were made strong (Heb. 11:11; Rom. 4:19).
They became valiant in battle (2Sam. 23:8- 23 1Sam. 14:13- 15 Judg. 7).
They put armies to flight (1Sam. 17:51).
Women had children resurrected (1Ki. 17:17- 24 2Ki. 4:18- 37).
They endured torture (Gen. 39:20; Judg. 16:21- 31).
They endured mocking, scourging, bonds, and imprisonments (Heb. 11:36; Gen. 39:20; Jer. 37:16; 38:6; 1Ki. 22:27).
They suffered stoning (2Chr. 24:21).
They endured death by sawing (Heb. 11:37).
They suffered temptations (Gen. 39:1- 17).
They suffered martyrdom by the sword (1Sam. 22:18; 1Ki. 19:10).
They suffered wanderings and afflictions (Heb. 11:37- 38 2Ki. 2:8, 13).
After reading that I find myself seating before God, nervous and fidgeting, asking him to give me; The FIREBRAND kind of FAITH. How does your faith in Christ compare?