“Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way” (John 4:50).
Faith in Jesus is about jumping in with both feet. We are not to just dip our toe in and see if the water is comfortable. Stepping out in faith is uncomfortable at times. It requires us to walk on a sometimes unfamiliar path. Living life according to the Spirit is counterintuitive to our very flesh; it is foolishness to the world.
Paul said, “Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor 1:20-25).
This is one of the mysteries of God – how we can begin to follow what we don’t understand; how we can make progress, in spite of the obvious hurdles and roadblocks. For many years I wrestled with God. I desired closeness with Him, but kept Him at a distance. I “gave” my life to Christ, but kept parts of it for myself. I followed Him, but tried to lead myself. The “sacrifices” of the Christian life seemed too great – I wanted my will, not His. I knew in my heart that His way was best, but I thought it was too hard, too impossible for me to surrender. Every day I knew I failing: failing at letting go of this life, failing at pleasing God, failing at “Christianity”. Still, He kept after me. God did not let me stay forever in the in-between place that was so very painful.
The difficulty is an illusion after all. Isn’t easier to be taken care of, to be loved, to be upheld? What is the pleasure of having my will when it leads to destruction? All the worldly pleasures and distractions that seemed so attractive were…disappointing. All that moved me from the path was…a mirage in the desert. What a joke! What foolishness! “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowingChrist Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” (Phil 3:8).
When we place our faith in Jesus Christ,
there are immediate results,
but we don’t always see them immediately…
Our faith journey must begin with a single step. And later, we will look back and remember that, even at the times we could not see Him working, His plan was being accomplished. “The official said to Him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son will live.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, ‘Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.’ The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, ‘Your son will live.’ And he himself believed, and all his household (John 4:49-54).
The Lord is so good to us, that He would give us these gems to treasure – faith milestones to look back on, because they re-double our convictions; they confirm our faith.
I sought the Lord, and He answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to Him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard Him
and saved Him out of all His troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear Him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints,
for those who fear Him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.