If your plans are not intimidating to you, if your faith in what God is calling you to accomplish are not intimidating to you, they are insulting to God. God delights and honors big faith. God delights and multiplying those of big faith. Faith that is exhibited in and through Immediate Radical Costly Obedience (IRCO.) We cannot afford to be a people of small faith.
A faith that is not altered by how things end in this side of Glory. You do have those who’s great faith ended happily in this world, on this side of glory:
o Daniel's deliverance from the lion's den in Dan. 6,
o Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being saved from the fiery furnace Dan. 3.
o And you have those mentioned in Hebrews 11:17-35a
“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.
By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection.”
But you also have the continuation of others mentioned in Hebrews 11:35b-40. It does not always end in a happy ending in this world, on this side of glory.
“Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”
o You have the story in Acts chapter 7 of the stoning of Stephen.
o In Acts chapter 12 Peter was arrested. The church prayed and he was miraculously set free. In chapter 12 James is also arrested. The same church prayed and he was beheaded.
How the story turns out on earth has nothing to do with whether God is glorified or not. It may not have a happy ending on this side, but on the other side God is glorified. But whether it turns out happy or sad by earthly standards, cannot take away or hinder the glory that comes from big faith. God delights and honors that faith. All those listed whether in the first or second half of Hebrews 11 were admitted into God’s Hall of Fame. They did not gain entrance into his hall of fame by how their life ended, but how their life was lived. They all were admitted because of their big faith exhibited through Immediate Radical Costly Obedience. God delights and multiplying that kind of faith. Faith that is exhibited in IRCO. You get in God's hall of fame through big faith exhibited in IRCO
Look at Caleb and Joshua’s story and actions in their entering into Canna found in Numbers chapter 13. They are not looking at the problems; they are looking at their God with big faith. Without a faith like this we pray for everything man can do but not for what only God can do. We have to be obedient to him if we want to see him at work.
I keep coming back to the same question, “Am I a disciple worth multiplying?” “Do I exhibit my love for him in a big faith exhibited through immediate, radical, costly obedience?”
Spend time reading these stories of big faith found in Daniel chapters 3 and 6, Hebrews 11:17-40, Acts chapters 7 and 12, and Numbers chapter 13. Then with the Holy Spirit meditate on your level of Faith. Do you have big faith? Is it based and influenced by hope of fame in this world, or hope of entering God’s hall of fame in the new earth?
Please share your reflections and questions in the comment box below.