Acting radical

Olu JegedeDevotional

As a youth leader, I was volunteering in a program during my early young adult years. On one occasion, a few of us leaders were kicking back playing some basketball in the parking lot, when suddenly one of the guys went up to score the ball and landed wrongly. We all watched as he lay on the ground writhing in agony, holding his knee. Without thinking I sprung into action, and moved towards him to pray for his healing. As I did, someone grabbed my shoulders, and said not to touch him. We were to call 911 right away.

This story marked me from that day onward. Because it reminded me of the stark reality that quite a few of us Christians don’t expect God to do radical things. I believed that God could heal that young man, but many around me didn’t, even though they were also believers in Christ.

Galatians 4:29 below indicates that we are spiritual offsprings of Abraham
29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

As you may know, Abraham is termed the “father of faith” in the Bible because of his example of radical faith. Thus, could this verse be indicating that as children of Abraham we can also exhibit radical faith? I do believe so.
I feel like what stops us from experiencing Abrahamic type results is because of a mindset that settles for 2nd best (not God’s promises, but the world’s solution)

Matthew 11:12 tells us that those who want to receive from the Kingdom of heaven must be aggressive. Not physically, but dispositionally.

We need to push past the complacency inducing effect of worldly solutions, and appropriate ourselves of heavens answers for our problems.

Sure it’s not wrong to have practical answers to problems, but what is wrong is when we don’t even give primacy to God and invoke his help in times of crisis. Remember what you practice is indeed what you will do in real time crisis situations. Are you practicing your faith in small things? Every day? Doing this will build your faith reservoir up so that when big problems emerge you can find your trust in God.

Abraham, as we learn in Romans 4, persevered in his time of crisis and received his miracle. The problem was he and his wife Sarah were beyond the age of child bearing. Both 100 years, and 90 years respectively. Yet God had promised that the impossible would happen. As we read this passage, we can observe several things Abraham did to obtain the answer to his prayer.

1. He had a mental picture of the positive result he wanted
Romans 4:18 indicates that he “hoped against hope”. Natural hope didn’t have much for him. His wife’s womb was literally shrivelled at age 90. But he had supernatural hope. His hope came from Gods promise that a miracle could occur. Hope is a picture of the reality you want for your life. Let me ask you, who/what are you putting your hope in? Is it in the negative facts of your current situation, or the supernatural ability of God.

2. He believed the promises of God in faith
This area is where many of us Christians fail. If you ask anyone who has ever prayed what they desire in prayer, they have no problems telling you. We all have a picture in our minds of a better life, and better circumstances. However if you ask them how are they sure they would get the desired answer, they may not share confidently that it’s based on God’s promised word, if at all. We somehow just hope that our prayers would be answered, yet faith does not work that way. Faith is induced by God’s word (Romans 10:17). So we would be wise to anchor our prayers in two or three scriptures that speak life to our negative situations. This anchoring does not come from one or two cursory readings of the scriptures. Sometimes it takes a bit of prayer, reflecting and rehearsing the same scriptures, consistently over a period of time, until the essence of the word gets into our hearts. As it does, then faith becomes alive in our hearts.

3. He spoke contrarily to the reality of his situation, thus strengthening his faith
Abraham went one step further. This may be an “advanced” step if you will. He spoke positive words of praise to God, even before his miracle happen. Thereby strengthening his faith.

Romans 4:20
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,

He gave glory to God, means he praised God for his miracle. If you would boldly declare Gods praises ahead of time, despite your pain, I believe you would see his saving power work mightily in your life. Just like Abraham. Let those scriptural promises fill your heart, then convert them to praises unto God. Tell God what his word says about your condition, your dreams and hopes, praise him that he is strong enough to do it. As you do, you will find your faith, like Abraham is strengthened, and maybe just maybe you will do radical things like your father Abraham did.

– Pastor Olu Jegede