The movie Soul Surfer tells the true story of 13 year old professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm to a shark bite.
It looked as though she would never surf again and certainly not be able to partake in professional competitions. Bethany refused to allow her situation hinder her.
She pushed pass the stares and the disbelief of others when she relearnt to surf with just one arm. Bethany kept on training, believing she was well able to win professional competitions once again.
She continued moving forwards towards her goal. What an amazing and inspirational woman of God.
The leper risked his life when he approached Jesus. He didn’t care what the people thought of him the day he pushed passed them to meet Jesus.
WHAT DOES FAITH WITHOUT WORKS MEAN?
Had he been spotted he would have been killed. Sometimes we need to take a risk if we want a miracle. We need to be determined. The key to what we’re asking God for may be in our own hands.
The leper stepped out of his comfort zone of leprosy where he’d been living and stepped forward into the place of victory.
I love how he took ownership of his situation. He was putting his faith into action.
‘faith without works is dead’. James 2:17
When we have faith in our hearts for something, we consequently have a natural determination and our actions can’t help but correspond.
The leper didn’t focus on his problems. He focused on the solution. He knew God was bigger.
The leper broke through the ceiling of containment when he moved forward and approached Jesus.
What’s your comfort zone? Where may you have been conditioned?
So what’s your dream? I’m guessing it’s to be well again. Think about where you’re limited, and ask God what you can do to break that confinement. What’s your next step?
If you can only walk for 10 steps, can you have faith to walk for 11 steps? This is how you begin to break that ceiling of containment. This is how we ensure our faith without works isn’t dead.
Once you can walk comfortably for 11 steps, can you stretch your faith to walk for 12 steps? and so on. This is a form of ‘graded exposure’, or ‘pacing’.
In the early days of being unwell, my mum would clean for me as I wasn’t wall enough to clean myself. Then I learned to receive God’s grace, and set myself the goal of spending just a moment of time, cleaning my bathroom myself.
I started with the sink. It took a lot of prayer and motivation, I didn’t want to do it and I certainly didn’t feel like doing it, it would have been far easier to stay in bed and let my mum do it for me.
I spent probably half a minute, quickly cleaning the sink; it may not have been cleaned perfectly, but I did it on my own.
A few days later, I took a few moments to clean the toilet. Again, it wasn’t done perfectly, but I did it independently. As time went on, I was able to clean the entire bathroom.
It’s unlikely you’ll go from being bedbound to living a full life, you’ll need to take it one faithful step at a time.
DEPENDENCE ON GOD
Interestingly, the symptoms in my body hadn’t improved, but God had strengthened me to be able to perform certain activities whilst being in extreme pain.
I can’t say this is consistent; sometimes all my energy goes into just one activity a day and sometimes not even that, but I have learned to be dependent on God and not on someone else.
This is how we partner with God in moving forward towards our goals. We use our faith to stretch and grow one step at a time, rather than expecting the healing to fall in our laps in advance of moving forward.
Pro 11:16 says that ‘the timid become destitute, but the aggressive gain riches.’ If King David had stayed in his comfort zone he would have remained a shepherd his whole life.
Instead he believed God and took the next step in God’s plan. He knew that faith without works was dead faith. David didn’t allow his weakness of being small and inexperienced stop him from defeating Goliath.
He knew nothing could defeat the goodness of his God.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Keep on moving forward.
Is there anything containing you right now? The enemy wants nothing more than to keep you standing still.
God loves us too much to keep us at just one level.
Ask God to show you what your next step of faith is.
Have a great day.
For other posts in this series: