What is faith?
The Bible tells us that faith is believing without seeing. For me, it’s resting on the promises of God and understanding that those promises are for me! These promises are not just for some people in the Bible, not for some really special holy person, these promises are for me.
When you know who God is, it becomes so much easier to trust in His promises. Today as we think about activating our faith let’s look at who God is and why we can put our faith in him.
Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” Exodus 34:5-7
Here are just a few descriptors of God’s character. When you have some time look up these verses and soak in the knowledge that our God is so vast, wide, powerful, kind, generous and gracious.
Genesis 14:19 He is the Most High God
Deuteronomy 4:31 He is merciful and will never forget you.
Deuteronomy 33:27 He is our refuge
Joshua 23:3 He fights for us
Psalms 84:11-12 He is our sun and our shield
Psalms 91:1, 2 He is God almighty
Isaiah 40:28 He is Everlasting
Matt. 7:11 He is Our Father
Psalms 23 He is Our Shepherd
Personally, I love that He is Jehovah-Jireh, The Lord who provides. Genesis 22:12-14
Our God that we love, is all-seeing, all-knowing, all understanding.
He is the provider, my refuge, and my rock.
He is the servant leader who gave his son because he loved us so much that he couldn’t stand another moment without us being reconciled to him. He is the one who created those adorable babies, incredible mountains, beautiful flowers and that cuddly puppy. He is the creator.
He is also a judge and king, but not any judge and not any king. He is the righteous one who weighs and balances the scales of justice. Romans 3:25-26
These verses proclaim who God is! Which of these characteristics of God stand out to you today?
Let’s Dig into His promises
He promises to
- always be with us, to never leave us that he will not for sake us. Hebrews 13:5
- shelter us, to be our refuge and our strength.
- go before us and to make away when there seems to be no way.
- give us authority and power.
- abide with us to live in us if we will simply do the same
- give us the Holy Spirit to fill us to lead us to guide us
- He promises that death will not overcome us because he holds the keys to eternal life.
- He promises that we are more than conquerors!
How does this relate to activating your faith?
In light of who God is and of His promises, how can this change the way we live?
Jesus tells us that if we have the faith of a tiny, little mustard seed, that this little bit of faith combined with what we know about who God is becomes a powerful combination. This is the ultimate dynamic duo! It is a strength that wells up in us, a confidence that is a sure steadfastness and it will not allow us to be moved.
I want this powerful faith to change the way I live and the way that I view the circumstances in my life!
- Grab a pen and a note card.
- Pick one of His promises and one characteristic of God and write them on the note card.
- Place the card in a place that you will see often. Then meditate on it throughout the day. When you see the notecard, Praise God for being ________ and read the promise that you chose.
- At the end of the day reflect back. How did having His promise and His characteristic in front of you?
What if you did this everyday or every week? How would that change you?
One of my favorite promises is
Isaiah 52:12 for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
I’m standing on that promise today as I enter into this new season of my mom moving in with us. That’s a whole other story for another day. God’s character of kindness is overflowing in my life. I’m going to activate my faith on His kindness and the knowledge of Him going before me and coming behind me. This dynamic duo of promise and characteristic will be my strength today!
May your faith be activated today!
There is a movement to begin each year with a single word, Just one word.
Last year the word that became impressed upon my heart was prepare. Even though I had studied the word and reflected upon it, I had no idea what I was preparing for!
As the year progressed it was very clear that I was to prepare for a new mentoring ministry and to prepare for my mother’s dementia and all of that it would mean for me and my family. I am so grateful that God had given me the word long before I understood what it meant for my life.
I almost didn’t want to ask God what the word would be in 2016! Has that ever happened to you where you were too timid to move forward in fear of what it might entail? This sheepish one hid from it!
I even tried to manufacture the word myself! If I could have chosen any word, I wanted it to be simplify, but God would have no part in that!
This woman is grateful that He does know better, is able to see the future and He understands what it looks like for us to walk alongside of Him.
And so drumroll please!
The word for 2016 is Activate.
My first thoughts about the word were
Activate your faith
Putting feet to your beliefs
Put it into action, “You say it, do it!”
Do you believe it? Then live in all that God has promised us.
Activate those promises
God wants to activate us so that we may declare His praises, reflecting His love and Glory.
He wants to activate our
Rick Warren says it this way,
In response to this one word, a new study will begin. Join me as I will be diving into what this looks like by examining people who have activated their faith.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey and that it will Activate a new and exciting faith in your life.
Recently I was given a beautiful necklace from my good friend Kelly. I was very excited to wear this necklace and quickly put it on. I forgot that it was even around my neck as I carried on with the school day.
A first grade student that I was working with looked up at me during a group time and said, “Mrs Cobb, I know what that is. It is a signal of God!” It took me a second to think about what he said as I looked down at the necklace.
Yes It is a symbol of God! But maybe the word signal was more accurate!
Signals can help us to know when our brownies are done, when the oil in the car needs changing and even to wake us up in the morning. They can also warn us about smoke in the house or like mine, it keeps beeping telling us that the batteries in one of the many smoke alarms are out of juice. Now if I can only find the one that is beeping!
Our bodies have internal signals that tell us we are sick, out of shape or just in need of rest.
Throughout the bible God has given us signals
- Moses and the burning Bush
- Mary and the Angel
- The angel to the wisemen
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12
Everyday we are given direction and signals through His spirit as a way to lead and guide us.
Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.”Hebrews 3:15
I am praising God today for the way that he planted Jesus within His word for us to see Him signaling His message of love for us. I want to focus my attention on these precious gifts he wrapped so long ago.
The Old Testament is a Signal for the New Testament. This list came from Jesus.org
- Christ is the Seed of woman and in Genesis 3:15 we are told He will one day crush Satan.
- In Exodus we find the story of the Passover Lamb, and Christ is the sacrificial Lamb given for us.
- In Leviticus we read of the high priests making sacrifices for the people, and Christ has become our High Priest, making the perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins.
- In Deuteronomy Moses prophesied of a prophet who would come that would be greater than Himself. Jesus is that Great Prophet.
- In the book of Joshua, Joshua met the Captain of the Lord’s host. That man is Jesus Christ.
- In Judges, the leaders were judges who delivered God’s people, each of them typifying the Lord Jesus.
- Boaz, the kinsman who redeemed Ruth’s inheritance, is a picture of Christ.
- David, the anointed one, pictures Jesus and Jesus is described as being the Son of David.
- In 2 Samuel when the king is being enthroned, the entire scene is descriptive of the Lord Jesus.
- The books of Kings speak of the glory of God filling the temple and the Chronicles describe the glorious coming king, both referring to Jesus, the King of Kings.
- Ezra depicts Jesus as the Lord of our fathers.
- Job says clearly that the Redeemer is coming!
- Esther offers a picture of Christ interceding for His people.
- Christ appears time after time in the Psalms, including when David describes Him as “the Shepherd.”
- Isaiah details His glorious birth.
- Jeremiah reveals that He will be acquainted with sorrows.
- Joel describes Him as the Hope of His people.
- Amos tells us that Jesus is the judge of all nations.
- Obadiah warns of the coming eternal kingdom.
- Jonah offers a picture of Jesus being dead for three days, then coming back to life to preach repentance.
- Zephaniah says that He will be the king over Israel.
- Zachariah is the prophet who speaks of Jesus riding on a colt.
- Malachi is the one who calls Him the Son of Righteousness.
The Old Testament is signaling to us, pointing us toward Jesus.
My prayer for you this Christmas is that you would remember the signal that Jesus brought to us.
It is a signal of hope, love and peace.
He loves you
He has a plan for you
He is with you!
I remember a time when I was literally stuck, I had an overwhelming feeling that there was no hope for me to get out!
At this time my family had moved to a small town in Riverside county, Pedley, California. Yes, it was as little as it sounds! We moved from Orange County to this little, tiny, nothing of a town! I was not too happy about it! I felt stuck in my surroundings!
It was my sophomore year in high school and a friend asked if I wanted to go for a ride on one of her horses. I was a little nervous, you see I had only been riding twice before and both times were in a group with a guide. You know the type of riding, slow and poky with horses who knew the route and new when it was time to return back to the barn. I decided to go and met her at her house. Soon I was on the big, grey horse and we were leisurely riding up in the hills of Pedley. At first it was great! We were able to laugh and look out into the valley that was waiting below us.
With out warning my sweet horse, who I had just been talking to and telling, “you are such a good girl” laid down and then proceeded to roll right into a deep ditch! I jumped off just in time not to get crushed but, I too landed in the ditch! My friend stood at the top of this ditch which felt cavernous to me and said, “how did that happen? Did you kick her or something?”
At that moment, besides the deep feelings of anger I felt for my friend, I felt stuck!
I was stuck with a horse that did not want to move! In a few moments I was at the top of the ditch wondering how we were going to get this humongous horse out of the ditch! We pulled, begged and cried but nothing helped. The horse just looked at us like we were the ones with a problem.
You see the horse didn’t want to get out of the ditch. It was cool in the dirt and there were some plants that she was munching on. She didn’t feel stuck, even though she clearly was. Have you been here?
When the horse was ready and only then, we began to gently lead her out of the ditch. I walked the horse back to her barn and never rode again!
There was lots of stuckness going on in this story.
I felt stuck in my surroundings,
stuck in the ditch,
stuck in my ability to control a situation.
The horse was stuck in her desire to be comfortable and in her stubbornness.
Today is the day to get unstuck! Ask the only person who can help you to pull you out of that pit that you have been in!
I am stuck far too often to count. Today I realize that I am stuck in a habit that has began to control me. Pull me out of its control and break the chain that has been attached to it. I realize that the only hope I have of changing is by giving you the control. Thank you for offering to take this to empower me to be the woman you want me to be.
This is the last link up for 2015. It will stay open until the end of December. Feel free to add multiple blog posts! Thank you for connecting through Reflect. May you feel the presence of the Lord this Christmas!
December 14 Link up