Posted by: mikenicholsblog | December 1, 2016

living in advance

You may call me silly for the amount of faith I exhibited on a business trip.  It was an incredible move on my part!  I walked on to a large airplane, sat down and went from Ohio to Florida. You may be thinking, “that’s not faith, that’s what anyone would do.”  However, I had never met the pilot, had no clue about the mechanical efficiency of the airplane, and didn’t know when it had last been serviced.  But I settled in and with great trust, drank my diet soda.  Isn’t it amazing how much faith we have in others (even pilots we have never met), yet how little we trust in God and His infallible Word?  We live in a culture that gives lip service to prayer, and spouts biblical clichés without really spending time in prayer or trusting the biblical principles we know.  So who should we trust – pilots and planes or God and His Word?

My thoughts landed on faith when a line from the book Leading on Empty (by Wayne Cordeiro) jumped off the page at me.  It was further cemented in my memory bank in reading and thinking about Mordecai and his cousin Esther.

“Faith is living in advance what we will only understand in reverse.”

Sometimes you and I are in the position of needing to trust a clear principle from the Word.  At other times, it may be that we are challenged to simply trust the character, power and love of our Lord.  He knows our situation, and has the ability to see us through.  However, the issue of living our faith in advance is counter-intuitive.  We all struggle with living by sight and not by faith.  Living by our own strength will cause us to miss the joy of understanding what our faith accomplished in reverse.  

Reading the book of Esther fascinates me.  It reads like a best-selling drama, and shares with us the story of God sparing the Jewish nation from extinction.   I have been profoundly struck by the providence of God in ordering the events of this marvelous book of Scripture.  When it comes to living faith in advance, Mordecai passed the test.  When everything looked bleak, he absolutely trusted in God’s covenant with Abraham that He would not allow the Jewish nation to perish.  It may be easy to speak words of faith, but Mordecai was in a critical situation and proclaimed that God would bring relief and deliverance to the Jews.  I am confident that as he looked back at God’s deliverance he was able to understand more fully the ramifications of his faith in reverse.

Esther was placed in a royal position at a critical time for the Jews.  She enlisted prayer and fasting on her behalf and then stepped out in faith.  Esther realized that the consequences of her decision to intercede with the king on behalf of the Jewish people could be death.   Again, I am impressed with how someone could live out their faith in advance at such a crucial time.  Without a doubt, she could have self-talked her way out of going before the king.   But on the other side of the Father’s deliverance, I can imagine the joy, and thankfulness she felt at she looked at her faith decision in reverse.

Our dilemmas will probably never reach the depth of difficulty that Mordecai and Esther experienced. But today, tomorrow and next week, you and I will be faced with choices that cause us to either live out our faith or seek to control each and every circumstance.  And if we decline to live out our faith in advance, we’ll miss the joy of understanding its ramifications in reverse.  Oh, what a loss that would be!

If you and I can trust unknown pilots in planes we know nothing about, we can certainly trust the God who hung the sky in space and gave us His Son for redemption?  If you have accepted Christ as Savior, live out your faith in advance.  If you are unsure of you relationship with the Savior, please reach out to us at Journey onWord.

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