How to know and do God’s will: Crisis of belief.
What happens when we know God’s call but we face a “crisis of belief.” The “crisis of belief” is a turning point where we must make a decision concerning what we really believe about God. It is at this point that we discover whether or not our belief about God is a belief of conviction or convenience. A belief of convenience is one we hold to only when it is convenient, but a belief of conviction is one we hold to even when it is not.
Bottom Line: God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
Something To Talk About:
Sometimes we’re faced with seemingly impossible situations that lead to a crisis of belief, where we are forced to wrestle with the question of whether or not God will perform the impossible for us or through us as He did for people like Abraham, Moses, and Gideon. Consider the following 4 steps.
- Encounters with God requires faith: Faith is confidence that what God has promised or said will come to pass. Faith is only valid in God and what He says He is purposing to do. Our faith must be based on God’s power and not human wisdom. Without a firm faith, we will stumble and fall. When God calls a person to join Him in a God-sized task, faith is always required. Obedience indicates faith in God. Without faith, a person or church cannot please God. We face the same crisis Bible characters faced. When God speaks, He requires faith. Our major problem, however, is our inward thinking. We think we have to accomplish the assignment on our own power and with our current resources. We think, “I can’t do that. That is not possible.” We forget that when God speaks He always reveals what He is going to do—not what He wants us to do. We join Him so He can do His work through us. We don’t have to be able to accomplish the task within our limited ability or resources. With faith, we can proceed confidently to obey Him; because we know that He is going to bring to pass what He purposes. Mark 10:27 says, “Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”
- Encounters with God are God-sized: Here’s what that means. When God comes to you and says, “Hey, I want you to do this.” You know what your first response is going to be whoa, I can’t do that. You know what God’s response is going to be. I know, and come on, let’s do it. Good news. You don’t have to do it anyway. The kind of assignments God gives in the Bible are always God-sized. They are beyond what people can do, because He wants to demonstrate His nature, His strength, His provision, and His kindness to His people and to a watching world. That is the only way the world will come to know Him. You could name many God-sized assignments in Scripture. God told Abraham to father a nation when Abraham had no son and Sarah was past the age to bear children. He told Moses to deliver the children of Israel, to cross the Red Sea, and to provide water from a rock. Jesus told the disciples to feed the multitudes and to make disciples of all the nations. None of these things were humanly possible. So, God will give you a God-sized assignment. When you start to do what He tells you to do, He brings to pass what He has purposed.
- What you do reveals what you believe. Every decision we make reveals every standard we set for our lives. Christians believe that God is in control of all things, but we also believe that human beings make meaningful choices. Being a Christian is about how we live out our faith, and oftentimes, the right stance isn’t going to be the most popular one. Living a godly life starts at the heart. When we make God’s priorities our priorities, we’re people the way Jesus saw people, we’re less likely to treat people we know well and treat people we don’t know poorly. As a Christian, we represent Jesus at all times. Whatever we do, wherever we go, whatever we say, we make an impression of who Jesus is by what we say and how we act. If you believe, show it through your actions. In the end, finding your way out is about changing your focus – rather than expensding your energies to achieve the things you desire, use all your energies to achieve the things God wants for our lives. And that means taking action to move us from where we are to where we need to be.
- True faith requires action: Faith is essential to salvation. It is what saves us and what God gives us in order to be able to see Him more clearly. However, He is clear that having faith is just the beginning. Faith is the precursor to action. Faith causes you to change. The world will believe based on what you do. Jesus shows us that. Your faith is truly living when it is shown through action. In fact, James 2 :17 says, “So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.”When God reveals what He has prepared for you to do, you face a crisis – a decision time. God and the world can tell from your response what you really believe about God. The “crisis of belief” is only a sustained crisis if we choose not to believe and obey. Henry Blackaby in “Experiencing God” words it this way: “The crisis of belief is an encounter with God and requires faith. Encounters with God are God-sized. What you do in response to God’s revelation reveals what you believe about God. True faith requires action.”
- Do you agree with the “crisis of belief” principle? (Decision point requiring faith when God invites us to join Him). Why or why not?
- Describe a time in your life that required faith in God and you responded in faith.
- Have you ever sensed that God wanted you to do something big and you faced a crisis of belief? Yes or no?
- Have you ever wanted to pray like the disciples when they asked the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5)? Yes or No?
- What are some things you believe God wants to do in your life that only He can do?
- Can you describe something “God sized” that God led you to experience? Did you have feelings of doubt or fear that you could accomplish what He was asking you to do?
- If I’m truly going to walk by faith, it’s going to involve some risk. Agree or disagree?
- How does your faith affect the choices you make and the things you do? What have been the results of your greatest steps of faith? How have they caused your faith to grow?
- What commitment are you willing to make to put your faith into action?
- What did you think or find interesting about today’s message? Did anything that was said in the message particularly speak to you or surprise you? What is your biggest take away from the message?
- What will you do? How will you or your group put into practice what you’ve learned this week?
Take one thing home with you:
Most Christians know the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Thrown into a fiery furnace they walked out without their heads being singed and their cloaks were not harmed and no smell of fire come upon them. Which is pretty miraculous considering how you smell if you have even been close to a campfire. Yet, they don’t even smell like smoke.
They had faith and God delivered them. God had no obligation to honor the stand that they were taking, but they believed. If God doesn’t show up, they’re dead. Encounters with God will always be God-sized. I think as a church and as individuals, we should have dreams so big for our life that if God doesn’t show up it fails. Dreams where we think about, we get together and we talk about what we want to do and how we see God working and how we want to be a part of that, and what that can mean for us. This is the kind of encounter that God is looking to give to His people, but only when we are willing to trust Him and put our faith into action.