Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
A few weeks ago, Pastor Jeff Rabe, asked me for a favor. He would be going on sabbatical for the month of June, and asked if I could fill in for him on the 11th. I laughed and replied, “I’m not a preacher.” He said, ” I knew you’d say that, but I disagree. I just think you haven’t done it yet.” I agreed to give it a few days of prayer and to seek counsel. Based on the counsel I was getting, it became immediately apparent that I was not likely to get away from this. Pastor Ben Segebart, said something that resonated, got the wheels turning and they haven’t stopped. He said, “Do it! You have to. God stretches us to make us better. He’s stretching you. Do it!”
Pastor Ben was right. God stretches us. One year and eight months ago, Mike Sereg called and asked me to join the team and write the Friday devotion. Just like this time, I tried to brush it aside and get out of it. However, just like with this challenge, it too was an opportunity to allow God to stretch me, to make me better, advance my growth and quicken my maturation process. In both of these instances, by faith, I accepted the call and am better for it. Along the way, I hope that the purpose, for which God intended it, has been, to some measure, satisfied.
That brings me to Chapter 11 of Hebrews. For the sake of space and the limitations of this format, I will not go through it chapter and verse. I would, however, strongly encourage you to take a thoughtfully measured read through it. This passage is oftentimes referred to as the “Faith Hall of Fame”. Paul lays out a impressively comprehensive list of men and women, how, by faith in God, allowed themselves to be stretched beyond the bounds of human imagination to achieve God’s purpose in their life and for His Kingdom.
Our tendency is to allow ourselves to get comfortable and stretching is most certainly UNcomfortable. Now, ask yourself, are you comfortable? Has God been trying to stretch you and your faith? What areas in your life do you sense that to be the case? Are you allowing it? We should embrace it. If we want to experience any measure of fullness of life in Christ in this temporal life, how can we realize that without growth and maturation? We can’t!
Think about things, areas in your life that you feel accomplishment. If you could do gkit (whatever it is) from the get go, then there would be no sense of accomplishment. Likely, your achievement, in any given arena, is the result of pushing beyond your personal boundaries, past your limitations, practice, persistence, stttrrreeetttccchhhiiinnnggg yourself to growth, maturity and success. Yes? Likewise, so it is with our faith, relationship with Jesus Christ and the work He’d have us do for His Kingdom.
So… allow Him to stretch you beyond what is comfortable and you feel capable of. Draw near to Him, learn from Him, love Him and trust Him. I promise, you will see your faith multiplied! Have a blessed weekend.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,