This morning you have the opportunity to begin a life-changing journey. No, I’m not trying to sell you a vacuum cleaner or convince you to buy stock in my start-up. And no, I’m not trying to sell you a star, real-estate on the moon or a one-way trip to Mars. (That’s for real by the way, and there are people actually considering going to mars for the rest of their lives…)
I’m not promising you anything, except a life that far exceeds normal expectations. It’s not easy. The burden weighs the same as the blessing. But if you want to be blessed, you’ve got to pay a price. There is nothing you get for free in life. Neither is audacious faith. But, if you’re willing to carry the burden that comes along with it, you will be set up for the blessing God wants to give you.
Again, let me be clear. I’m not offering some health and wealth idea. I’m not saying God wants to make you rich. In fact, I highly doubt that He does. At least not rich by the worlds standards. But God does want you to be rich in faith. And there is no financial figure that will be able to compare with the blessings of an Audacious Faith.
I’m still learning what this verse means: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Heb. 11:1) Confidence in what we hope for. Assurance in about what we do not see. I had always thought this referred specifically to the assurance of Heaven. And while that is certainly the case, I no longer think this verse refers only to that promise. In fact, I think it has more to do with the here and now than it does there and then.
“Confidence in what we hope for.” Would you ever pair the word confidence with hope? Especially in normal, day-to-day conversation? I doubt it. When we use the word hope, it’s usually about something that’s fairly uncertain and unsure. I hope I get that job. I hope I get a raise. I hope I get an A on this test. I hope he likes me. I hope traffic isn’t bad on the way home. None of those things are certain. We wouldn’t say, “I have confidence in my hope that traffic won’t be bad on the way home.” And yet, that’s exactly what faith is. Of course, it’s not hoping about things like traffic. But you get the idea.
“Assurance about what we do not see.” This one, I think we use a little bit more than we realize. We can’t see the other universes that are out there, but we are sure that they exist. We can’t see oxygen, but we know it’s there. We can’t see the wind, but we see it. We can’t see UV rays, but we know they’re there. We can’t see the floor at night, but we know it’s going to be there when we get out of bed to go to the bathroom. (Wouldn’t that be trippy if it wasn’t?) But, when it comes to things that aren’t quite so physical it gets harder to be sure of them.
But that’s exactly what faith is. Confident in what we hope for, sure of what we don’t see. For instance, I have confidence that God is going to grow SixEight church. I am confident He is going to use us to reach hundreds and thousands of people for His Name. And I am confident He is going use us to make them into disciples who make disciple-makers. And that we are going to have an impact that literally reaches around the world. I can’t see it yet. But you won’t be able to convince me that God isn’t going to do that. I am confident in my hope for our church, and I am sure of what God is going to do through us. That’s faith.
Not faith in me. Not faith in my own abilities or strategies. Not faith in my business planning or strategy. But faith in God’s plan for His Church. Faith in what God has already done through the movement of the Church, what God is doing through other churches right now and what God wants to do. “Go into the world and make disciples of all nations” is no small vision or dream. It’s not just a person from each country, but the nation itself. That’s radical. That’s big and bold. That’s audacious. And that’s what God has called me to.
And that’s what God has called you to. If you didn’t know it, let me be the first to tell you. As a follower of Christ, you have the same mission as me. It might not be in full-time vocational ministry. But that does not mean you are not in full-time ministry. You are. Your life is not a joy ride, surrounded by Sundays. Your life is a ministry. Your life is a mission God has given to you. And it is your full-time job to live out God’s mission in your life. And to do it with a Big, Bold, Audacious Faith.
So, look at your life. What do you see? What do you literally see right now, right in front of you? What is the reality of now?
Now, look at your life again, but look at what you can’t see with your eyes. What is it in your life that you can see happening down the road? What do you see in the long-term future plan of your life? What does it look like? What does your family look like? What does your work-life look like? What does your bank statement look like?
Faith is seeing that vision for the mission God has given to you in this life, and believing that is will be. It’s being confident that those hopes you have for the future God has given you, will in-fact, happen. Even when, perhaps especially when that seems impossible right now.
Now that you see it, you can pray specifically for it. But it doesn’t stop there. You don’t just see it and pray specifically for God to do it, you have to get actively involved in working it out. We all know this practically, but for some reason we don’t live it. We all know that if we want to have a thousand dollars, the only way to get there is to make the money and save it until we reach the goal. We wouldn’t expect a thousand dollars to fall from the sky. But for some reason, we expect a good family or a God-honoring career to be dropped in our laps. We expect the struggle with sin or addiction to be magically taken away from us. We expect laziness and overeating to just stop.
Without any action on our part.
But that’s not how faith works. Faith sees it, believes that it will be and then starts taking action to make it happen. Just like Noah. God told Noah what to do. Noah saw it and believed it would happen. He had the mission and faith. But then he got busy building an ark. God told Abraham to leave his home land and go to a land that was promised to his descendants. But he didn’t wait for God to teleport him there. He packed up his family and started moving.
See it. Believe it. Do it.
Audacious, specific and active. A Sun Stand Still prayer is Audacious, Specific and Active.