Keep the Switch of Faith Turned On

Have you ever heard or read this expression: “Keep the switch of faith turned on”? I remember it well from my early venture into the message of faith. I think it was while I was a student at RHEMA that David Engles wrote the faith-inspiring song by that title. One of the lines came out of scripture: “Cast not away your confidence.” [So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. Hebrews 10:35, 36 (NLT)] “Confidence” is a force at the basis of this. The word in the original Greek means unreserved in speech; free and fearless confidence; cheerful courage, and assurance. The idea here is that staying confident is our responsibility. We need to be courageously confident in our demeanor and our words, based on what Jesus has accomplished for us.

Over the years I’ve discovered that this type of confidence, this refusal to quit, can’t be sustained by mental grit and determination. It has to emanate from deep inside. It’s a matter of the heart! [Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.]

Let’s take a step back first off. If we’re going to keep the switch turned on, it must first BE turned on! In other words, get established in faith. Faith is explicitly defined in Hebrews 11 as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The only reliable source of this kind of faith is the Bible – the Word of God. How can we possibly trust God without knowing what He said?

Possibly the biggest stumbling block to entering the realm of faith is not knowing God’s will for you. It’s not what you believe He’ll do for a big name minister or a “faith giant.” It’s what you believe He has done for YOU. As long as you entertain the thought that some get left out, you’ll be one who does without. So, how will you know what God’s will is in your case? Only by reading it in His Word and believing what you read.

Here’s a great verse that gives an overview of God’s will for our lives: John 10:10 [Amplified Bible] – The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

Once we have discovered God’s will, here’s a scripture that comes into play: I Timothy 6:12 – “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” It would be nice if everything just fell into place the first time we felt we were “in faith.” The truth is that, for various reasons, some things require the investment of time. We must grow up spiritually. Our hearts must be repaired. And during this phase many will allow frustration to creep in, even to the extent of either quitting or becoming depressed. This is the time to “keep the switch of faith turned on.” How? Well, allow me to provide some points to ponder.

#1 – focus on what has already been accomplished. Did Jesus die for your sins? Was He bruised for your healing? Is He raised from death and alive forevermore? Does the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from death now live in you? (Romans 8:11)

#2 – watch your mouth. You will believe what you hear yourself say over all others. Stop disagreeing with God’s Word.

#3 – be aware of what has your attention. If the TV news or local newspaper cause anger or fear, eliminate them from your view. Don’t run to some online medical site every time you feel a “pang.” If hanging around a “friend” brings you down, limit your time with them.

#4 – don’t forget that God is on your side. Even if you fail He won’t give up on you, so don’t give up on yourself. Our loving heavenly Father deals with us as a child He prefers. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on.

Writing this has been an encouragement to me. I hope it does the same for you. So, keep the switch of faith turned on!

Christmas Musings

Christmas Musings

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12“And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:8-14

I can’t even imagine what this must have been like, can you? Just think of the “cast of characters” involved in the first Christmas. First is the villainous King Herod. [Every story needs a ‘bad guy’] Then there is Joseph…To think of the faith and love in this man, choosing not to destroy his fiancé’s reputation! How many men would believe a story like this: “Well honey, you see, the Holy Spirit came on the scene and, well, er…, the pregnancy test is positive.” Of course, that brings us to the female lead herself, Mary. Many scholars believe she was still in her teens, yet she faced the situation bravely and, at the angel Gabriel’s instruction simply replied, “Be it unto me accord to your word!”

Every role in this story is important. The shepherds needed to be on the job that night. [Not a good night to call in sick!] The angel of the Lord, along with the multitude of heavenly hosts, had a great message to bring forth. [What an awesome assignment!] Even an innkeeper had a part to play. [I wonder if he had any inkling of what was going on that night.]

The wise men won’t show up till later. But they will fill in an important piece of the puzzle, as their gifts helped sustain the young family in those early years.

I think also of the involvement of animals, like sheep and cattle, and the important role of a lowly donkey, carrying such precious cargo.

Without doubt, the lead role was there “wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” The Son of God had taken on flesh! The long awaited Messiah was born! The plan formed before the foundations of the world was played out before their very eyes.

I wonder how much these cast of characters understood that day. It brings to mind that stirring song, “Mary Did You Know?” The Bible tells of her pondering these things in her heart. It seems that if anyone “got it,” she did.

And what of “the star of the show”? Personally, I don’t believe the baby Jesus was lying there, fully cognizant, thinking, “Let’s get things started!” I read where He grew to be strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him. [Luke 2:40]

Yes, it’s a wondrous story. Better yet, it’s not just a story; it actually happened! But one addendum we must put on as we continue our Christmas celebrations: Jesus is not still the babe in the manger. He is the last Adam. He is the Innocent One crucified for the guilty! He is the Savior of mankind, the only door to God’s Kingdom, the way, the truth and the life. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Receive Him. Worship Him. Serve Him.