God is always for us and never against us. God has purchased and provided all things we as believers in Christ need for life and Godliness. His Grace has made all these things available for all His children to reach out and take them.
Grace has made and Faith lays hold of it. Said it more plainly, Grace makes and Faith takes. Grace therefore isn't a passive way of living. Living the life of Grace and Faith is not a non-participative, inactive, uninvolved kind of life.
Christianity is not for couch potatoes. For instance, if you as a believer are seeking gainful employment, certainly spend some time in God's Word and remind yourself of who you are in Him. Of course take the time to declare His favor over you, but if you spend all your hours in a day playing video games and never actively pursuing work chances are high you will never get a job.
Believers, speaking to the brothers and sisters who are single, if you desire a spouse, sitting on your couch eating ice cream all day, or just hanging out with the guys all the time can be a distraction to your goal. Brothers and sisters, you are going to have invest in yourself first. Find ways to improve social skills, develop personal hygiene, and yes ladies, eventually you're going to have to say yes to a Christian man when they ask you out.
Simple point is we have a Father who loves us and a Savior that died for us, purchasing and providing all things we need to succeed in the life that now is and the one to come. Grace made it, but Faith reaches out and takes it. In light of this truth, we can learn how to develop this Faith that takes.
I want to point to two occurrences in the New Testament perfectly illustrating this Faith that takes. Two perfect examples of this Faith that just absolutely will not quit. Let's examine the healing of the paralytic man and the woman with the issue of blood.
In the Gospel of Mark chapter 2, we can see the account of the healing of the paralytic. If we flip over to Mark 5 we can see the healing of the woman with the issue of blood. These two events are powerful illustrations of the Faith that doesn't sit around just wishing and hoping, but instead reaches out and takes what belongs to them.
Religious traditions of man have done such a disservice to the Church. They have mixed Law and Grace so much they have convinced so many that Righteousness is rooted in our performance and doing. They leave the impression that we are working for something. That we are to strive to arrive, achieve to receive, essentially our behavior is our savior.
So when encouraging believers to not be passive but to lay hold of what Grace has freely provided, some mistakenly think what is being said is the same as the mixture preachers. There is a night and day difference between actively receiving and exerting effort in order to qualify to receive. Avoiding passivity is not an encouragement to a striving, self-efforts rooted, performance based faith.
If you look at these two events in Scripture you can see a pattern. Looking at this pattern, you can see why these people had the Faith that takes. This is not about a formula or set of steps to follow, it's simply common characteristics of a Faith that reaches out and takes what has been promised and provided.
The four men who carried their paralytic friend heard about Jesus, and brought him to where Jesus was. They crowd size was so overwhelming there was no room. So they tore off a part of the roof and lowered him down.
They heard about Jesus. What did they hear? They had heard about a man of God who healed even so called hopeless cases. They heard about a man of God who turned impossible situations around.
Another pattern seen here is that they didn't take no for answer. They refused to be refused and denied to be denied. They were so passionate about seeing their friend made well they were willing to do the unconventional to receive an unconventional miracle.
Lastly, they brought him to Jesus. In other words, they brought their situation to Jesus. They didn't resign this situation as life in a fallen world. They didn't accept the situation as is and try to learn to live with it. They took it to Jesus and He brought about a turn around.
The woman with the issue of blood heard about Jesus. What did she hear? She heard about a man of God who touches the unclean and instead of becoming unclean, He actually cleanses and heals the unclean.
She pushed through the crowd. She wouldn't be denied. She didn't give up because of the multitude thronging Him. She didn't quit when she saw Him walking away with Jairus. She reached out and touched His garment and received her healing.
She brought herself to Jesus instead of looking for more of man's resources. She didn't just accept her condition as God's will for her life. She didn't just concede that her best life is in heaven not earth so just accept this condition. She wouldn't be denied, and reached out and took her healing.
How do you develop the Faith that takes? Hear Jesus. Listen to Him and not tradition, not symptoms and not experience. Jesus is the person of Grace, He is the expressed will of God in action.
How do you develop the Faith that takes? Don't take no for an answer. Whatever God has clearly promised and provided for in Scripture and the Finished Work take hold of and don't let go until you manifest it.
How do you develop the Faith that takes? Come to Jesus. Take your concerns, circumstances, and condition to Jesus alone. Don't accept the traditions of man. Come to Jesus and freely receive all He purchased for you.
Some have the faith that waits. Some have the faith that speculates. Some have the faith that just wishes and hopes but isn't fully persuaded. To walk in triumphant victory we need to walk in the Faith that takes.
In summation, come to Jesus. Jesus is our all and all. He is our source. He is our loving Savior. He imparts His Faith to us as we feed on Jesus. Reach out and receive all God has in, through and because of Jesus.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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