Faith + (E = MC2) ….There is no mountain

 faithFor verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, But shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, He shall have whatsoever he saith (Mark 11:23 KJV).

When most of us read this passage, we gloss over its literal meaning because we can’t imagine how beliefs and words can move gigantic, solid things like mountains. For us, they’re huge immoveable barriers, both literally and figuratively. They represent problems to be solved, troubles to be triumphed over and difficulties to be dealt with. Death is a mountain, sickness is a mountain, unpaid bills are mountains, wayward children, unemployment and everything that overwhelms us is a mountain. And we face them all “hoping” that its God’s will to move them.

But what if God has provided a way for us to see things differently? What if we could look beyond what is apparent to the naked eye and understand that in reality, mountains are actually just vibrating, subatomic particles that are no more significant than steam?  …easily moved.

In his equation, E = MC2, Einstein said that solid matter, accelerated to a high rate of speed becomes pure energy, and that a solid object differs from fluid energy only in the rate at which the atoms are moving. For example, water, at a low energy level, freezes into ice. Add energy to the ice, and the water molecules vibrate faster and the ice melts to a liquid. Continue to add energy and the fast moving molecules break apart and float off as steam.

Interesting isn’t it—that even though our eyes see a frozen ice cube, in actuality, we’re looking at nothing more than steam so tiny that we can blow it away in a single breath. Mind blowing isn’t it?

But, wait, there’s more. Get a load of this! What happens when a hammer strikes a nail?  Quantum physics teaches that because two atoms never touch, the hammer never touches the nail. It’s in fact only the energy field of the atoms from the hammer that makes contact with the nail and creates the force. Much like when you hold the repelling poles of two magnets together in your hands. Though you can’t see it, you can actually feel the force of energy.

By now you must be wondering what all of that has to do with faith. You must be questioning whether it was you or me who took that red pill instead of the blue one like they did in the movie The Matrix.

But what if faith really is the evidence of things unseen? What if God designed the world and things in it so that we could actually manipulate our outcomes based on the energy that we apply to them? Would that be faith?  In fact, the bible says: “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that which is seen was made by that which was not visible” (Hebrews 11:3).

Hmmm… So then faith is the force, that moves the energy, that changes things. Faith is visibility past what we perceive with our eyes and into God’s reality…where mountains are just energy that responds to words and breath and power…just as God intended; which means that our huge scary obstacles are nothing more than blowing steam.

One of my favorite movies is the Matrix. The hero, Neo, is on a journey to understand the difference between the reality that he sees and the one that he lives. In one scene, Neo meets a young boy with supernatural abilities. The boy is causing a spoon to float in mid air and is bending it without physical force. Intrigued by what he sees, Neo asks how it’s done. The boy replies, “Do not try to bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead, only realize that there is no spoon.

Yea… just like that! In the vastness of life, beyond our circumstance, outside of what we can see…limitless…bigger than what our minds can even grasp….faith really does move mountains because in reality, there is no mountain!

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Faith takes you out on the water… or does it?

storm

See if you recognize yourself in this story:

Twelve men are in a little boat during a storm and being battered by waves. They see Jesus walking toward them…on the water. At first, none of them move because they are afraid, confused and shocked by what they see. Then, in a show of amazing faith, one of them becomes the hero when he steps out of the boat and actually walks on the water…just like Jesus.

Then the wind blows hard, and seized again by fear, the man looks down and begins to sink.  As he does, he calls out to Jesus for help. Jesus immediately catches him and says, “O ye of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Mark 14:31).

And the moral of the story is…drum roll please…. “If you have faith and don’t look down or doubt, keeping your eyes on Jesus at all times, you too can be the hero who walks on water, just like “Peter” did. 

But what if you are not as heroic as Peter?

What if you are one of the ones who remain in the boat frozen in uncertainty? What if you are the one shocked, confused or content to just watch it all unfold? Afterall, we’re only human and there is a “man walking” on water.

Then again, maybe you are brave enough to step out of the boat and into the unknown – a new relationship, new job, or new direction in life. Maybe you are heroic enough to defy the storms of cancer, lupus and other illness or disease. Maybe you’ve taken that first step, but doubt got the better of you and now you’re sinking -in debt, relationship problems or loneliness.

Truth is, I’ve been every one of those characters at one time or another in my life. And I’ve heard all the lessons taught using this story and so many others that emphasize, not who I am, but who I should be. 

I should be the one with amazing faith to walk on water… the one who overcomes faster than a speeding bullet, who prospers financially, casts out demons and leaps tall buildings in a single bound.  I should be the one whose eyes are always, always, always fixed on Jesus. I should be the one who makes my way to Him every time without delay. With no second thoughts or murmurings, my faith should take me boldly out on that water and I should stand tall…cause that’s what faith does, right?

Wrong. Faith is not an all or nothing deal and doubt is not the same as unbelief.

Notice that Jesus didn’t say that Peter had no faith; He said that Peter’s faith was little. He didn’t ask Peter, “Why didn’t you believe?”  He asked, why did you doubt?

Each of us will at one time or another experience varying degrees of faith, uncertainty and times when we cry out to God to save us. And it’s ALL good!  Because although walking on water at any time is pretty cool, what’s missing from our lessons is what happens on either side of Peter’s little stroll…it’s that Jesus came toward HIM…to save him.

And so the moral of the story is not that we need enough faith to walk on water without doubt. It is that whether we are in abundance of faith or in doubt, whether we are in a boat on the water, walking on the water or sinking under it, no situation or circumstance will deter God from drawing close to us. The hand of God will find you in even the darkest waters. 

This is a story, not of heroes of faith making their way to Christ but of Christ drawing near to each of us in the midst of our storms … FAITH you see, is the confidence that GOD WILL draw near to us, and save us…every time!

And that my friends, makes quite a splash!

Faith takes you out on a Limb

twainYears ago I started an investment portfolio trusting that it would lead to an early retirement for me and a comfortable future for my son. Well, when the economy tanked, so did my finances. And what did I do, I increased my investments, doubled my tithes and buried my head in my pillow as the economy took an even faster and more steady nose dive, leaving me flat on my face.

When it was over, and I regained consciousness, I had little regret. You see I learned early in my corporate career that big rewards require bigger risks. The more risk you take, the larger the expected return. “Risk and return go hand-in-hand.

And if you think about it, that’s a good faith lesson as well.

For years we have been taught that if we just ask for what we want and trust God, then He will give us what we desire, making life easier. Not much required from us, except belief.

But truth be told, simply “believing” is passive and faith without action is just hope.
Faith requires risk. It forces you to get up out of your easy chair and follow God into a life of adventure. It invests in the future regardless to what the “right now” looks like. It doesn’t comply with ordinary. It walks, talks, thinks and acts differently from the status quo. It’s not passive or shy; it’s assertive and sure; compelling us boldly forward, not in asking for what we want, but grabbing it and heading confidently in the direction of our dreams.

Faith is alive. It doesn’t look for guarantees; instead, it risks it all. It doesn’t hope for the best. It jumps head first into it, expecting something dangerously wonder full to happen. That kind of faith is action and it doesn’t even exist until you start moving.

So many of us live in distress; day after day wanting something more and praying that the god of the lamp will make magic of our lives. So many of us live disappointed and in pain, praying and fasting and believing and still, wondering why life just won’t make sense.

But our lives are our responsibility. And until we move, until we take action, until we risk it all, we only have hope. So go ahead, get up, do something spectacular today… make that phone call, defy your fears, live your dreams. Go out on a limb! After all, isn’t that where all the fruit is?

Are You Positioned to Recieve from GOD?

Demaryius Thomas, Eric DeckerLast night my friend, Harvey told me that he loves playing flag football. It reminded me of a time when I was a young girl—how I loved playing football with my brother and his friends. We’d gather in the courtyard outside our home and choose up teams. I was never first choice because even though I was fast, I struggled with catching the ball.

My brother Lawrence often got frustrated with me because he’d have to explain the rules of catching over and over again. He’d yell at me to put myself in line with the ball and then just “receive it.” He’d say, “That’s why they’re called receivers Leslie.” Needless to say, I didn’t get in the game very often.

So here I am, XX years later, still not in the game, but I finally know the rules. I know that I must get my shoulders in line with the ball and keep my eyes fixed on it… focusing on it alone and NOT being distracted by all the movement around me. My arms must be extended so that I can receive the ball through a focus created by my hands and I catch with soft fingers that are strong, powerful, slightly bent and straight.

My brain went right away to the parallels of receiving God’s best in my life.
I think that in order to experience a truly supernatural life in Christ Jesus, we need to correctly position ourselves to hear AND receive from Him. We must get our lives in line with His word, focusing on God alone and NOT being distracted by the movement around us so that we CLEARLY hear that still and small voice of the Holy Spirit. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the (“rhema”) of God.” “Rhema” is the revealed word – a word that God has brought to light, which is specifically directed at you.

As good receivers, our position is on the offense and our goal is to defeat the opposing team by first receiving from GOD everything that He has directed toward us… even in a crowd, above our worries and in spite of the enemy’s accusations. And so perhaps, it’s not enough for us to just know the rules – perhaps we should get in the game, position ourselves for a good catch by doing what He says – whenever He says it…despite the chaos around us…otherwise, we just get tackled and drop the ball.

I don’t know. Just thinkin…