“‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Mark 11:22-23 (NIV)
A little faith will save the soul but great exploits are done for God through great faith. With faith we can do all things through Him Who gives us strength. Without faith we have no inclination or power to be of service for Him whatsoever. God gives those of great faith strength to match their days enabling them to boldly go forth “slaying giants”. Much like Joshua and Caleb who, with ten other Israelites, Moses sent to spy out Canaan – the Promised Land. Both Caleb and Joshua – in great faith - came back with glowing reports ready to fight hard for what God had promised them. Unfortunately, the other ten - out of fear from what they saw - were naysayers and because of that they had to wander and waste away in the wilderness. But not Caleb and Joshua. Oh, they had to wander with the others but they lived and did not waste away. Indeed, they both lived and forty years later fought and inherited the Promised Land. The difference was in their faith – not faith in themselves rather in the Lord.
They went forth on His Word and in His mighty power and serve as excellent examples of what God will do through willing vessels that go forth equipped with His strength. He looks for willingness of heart – not reluctance. The same is true for us. Indeed, after the forty year sojourn in the desert Caleb and Joshua came through with great vigor. And Caleb at 85 remained strong both in body and faith! They were still seeking to fight giants because they served a bigger God!
Great faith ponders the promises of God’s Word and prays these promises over their unique situations and their lives and the lives of their families. And God empowers them to do mighty kingdom works. Think David and Goliath and a myriad of other faithful giants in Scripture. Great faith rests with unwavering trust in God and His omnipotent power and His unfailing goodness. We are to wait upon the Lord and keep His way letting our expectations be from Him. May those who come behind us find us faithful as well.
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated-the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:32-40 (NIV)