Monday, July 26, 2010
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The Blob. Yep! That's what they call this huge inflated pillow-like thing they have at a camp we use in our ministry. The Blob is in the water at the camp beach, sitting there, daring someone to jump off the platform above onto its bouncy launch pad. It's - well, shall we say - a leap of faith. One person jumps onto the Blob and then they clumsily scoot out to the end that extends into the lake. Then a second person makes the jump. When they hit the Blob, the force of their landing literally launches the person on the end into the air and ultimately into the lake with a loud splash. For the launch to work, there can't be more than 30 pounds difference in the weights of the two Blobbers. Well, since our son is a pretty big hunk of a guy, he went most of the week without getting Blob-launched...until the campers convinced Frank, our other generous-sized leader, to try it with our son. Every person in the camp was at the beach at two o'clock to see this one, and we weren't disappointed. Our son made the jump and crawled to the end of the Blob. Then his counterweight friend made the jump. The camp erupted in cheers and gales of laughter as the force of Frank's landing sent our son into the air like a Cape Canaveral rocket!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Faith Launching."
You see, Frank took a leap of faith and it launched someone else. You know, that shouldn't be unusual with brothers and sisters in Christ. If you belong to Jesus, there are people around you who could use some faith right now for what they're facing - but they may need the "jumper cable" of your faith to inspire them to trust God in a big way.
In our word for today from the Word of God, Romans 1:11-12, Paul told the believers at Rome, "I long to see you that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong - that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith." There it is - contagious faith, stirring up greater faith in the person they infect.
There's a great example of that in the Book of Joshua as the Jews are standing on the edge of flooded Jordan River, facing the giants and walled cities of Canaan on the other side. God launched General Joshua's faith when He says, "Be strong and courageous because you will lead these people to inherit the land" (Joshua 1:6). Joshua then launches the faith of his officers by telling them to get the people ready because they are going to cross the Jordan and take possession of the land God is giving them. Before long, the people are telling Joshua to "...be strong and courageous!" (Joshua 1:18). Mutually encouraging each other to believe God for something only God can do.
I wonder what your effect is on the people in your personal world. Do you inspire them to trust God for big things, or do you spread anxiety, apathy, pessimism, or negative thinking? Leave behind your trail of faith! Use critical moments to show your family how to totally trust God rather than worry. Pray boldly with people who share a need with you. Verbalize what you're trusting God for as a declaration of your faith. Challenge people you serve with to get out of the box of doing what's always been done, taking no risks, and seeing no miracles.
Faith isn't just taught - it's caught. And you should be modeling and encouraging bold trust in an all-powerful God. This isn't about your great faith. It's about your great God - a God who deserves nothing less than faith for "great and mighty things we don't know" (Jeremiah 33:3). As John Newton said, "Thou art coming to a King, great petitions with thee bring; for His grace and power are such, none can ever ask too much." When people are around you and your faith, they should be launched higher than they've ever gone before!