1 John 5:14-15 (NLT2)14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.
Mark 11:22-24 (NLT2)22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.
Audacious faith is the kind of faith that Joshua had when he prayed and asked God to make the sun stop in the sky until the Israelite army defeated the Amorites.
Joshua 10:12-14 (NLT2)12 On the day the LORD gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the LORD in front of all the people of Israel. He said, “Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.”13 So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies. Is this event not recorded in The Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and it did not set as on a normal day.14 There has never been a day like this one before or since, when the LORD answered such a prayer. Surely the LORD fought for Israel that day!
The Perhaps Paradox
Excerpts from the YouVersion Reading Plan Sun Stand Still Devotional by Steven Furtick (Edits mine).
If you'’re not daring to believe God for the impossible... you'’re sleeping through some of the best parts of your Christian life. And further still, if the size of your vision for your life isn't intimidating to you, there’'s a good chance it’'s insulting to God. You should be living by audacious faith every day. Audacity is not just for “elite Christians.” It’'s intended for every believer. So today we’'re beginning a spiritual journey toward trusting God for what seems impossible. I'’m thrilled to think about what it’s going to do for our lives and our world.
1 Samuel 14:1-15 (NLT2)1 One day Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to where the Philistines have their outpost.” But Jonathan did not tell his father what he was doing.2 Meanwhile, Saul and his 600 men were camped on the outskirts of Gibeah, around the pomegranate tree at Migron.3 Among Saul’s men was Ahijah the priest, who was wearing the ephod, the priestly vest. Ahijah was the son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the LORD who had served at Shiloh. No one realized that Jonathan had left the Israelite camp.4 To reach the Philistine outpost, Jonathan had to go down between two rocky cliffs that were called Bozez and Seneh.5 The cliff on the north was in front of Micmash, and the one on the south was in front of Geba.6 “Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”7 “Do what you think is best,” the armor bearer replied. “I’m with you completely, whatever you decide.”8 “All right then,” Jonathan told him. “We will cross over and let them see us.9 If they say to us, ‘Stay where you are or we’ll kill you,’ then we will stop and not go up to them.10 But if they say, ‘Come on up and fight,’ then we will go up. That will be the LORD’s sign that he will help us defeat them.”11 When the Philistines saw them coming, they shouted, “Look! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!”12 Then the men from the outpost shouted to Jonathan, “Come on up here, and we’ll teach you a lesson!” “Come on, climb right behind me,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “for the LORD will help us defeat them!”13 So they climbed up using both hands and feet, and the Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer killed those who came behind them.14 They killed some twenty men in all, and their bodies were scattered over about half an acre.15 Suddenly, panic broke out in the Philistine army, both in the camp and in the field, including even the outposts and raiding parties. And just then an earthquake struck, and everyone was terrified.
The army of King Saul has been locked in a standoff against the Philistines. And Jonathan, the king’'s son, has become so aggravated with the inaction of his fellow warriors that he decides to make a bold move. He enlists his armor bearer to join him on a two-man commando raid.
His battle plan is potentially God inspired— - and a little ludicrous. The two young men will openly approach the enemy outpost. If they get a go-ahead sign from God, they will attack. A borderline suicide mission. But if God is with them, Jonathan figures, nothing can stop them.
In his motivational speech to his bodyguard, Jonathan seems to be speaking out of both sides of his mouth: •
- Nothing can hinder the Lord.
- Perhaps the Lord will act.
At first glance this seems like spiritual schizophrenia.
But perhaps Jonathan isn’'t schizophrenic. Perhaps true faith always feels this way. On the one hand, I know that God is able to do anything. On the other hand, I think He’'s willing to do this specific thing. I know God can. And I’'m pretty sure He will. But I can'’t be completely sure.
That’'s where audacious faith comes in.
Audacity isn’'t the absence of uncertainty and ambiguity. Audacity is believing that God’s promise is bigger than my perhaps.
The Bible says that God’'s Word is a lamp unto our feet (Psalm 119:105), not a floodlight beaming to our destination. So, armed with the confidence that there’'s a decent chance and an interesting possibility that my impulse might be from God (perhaps, in other words), I start investigating.
We'’d all like to live in a world where God lets us do big things that require minimal risk. Where the voice of the Holy Spirit carries for miles and miles, piercing through static and fuzz, jeers and taunts. The fact is, though, that the land where the sun stands still is a land where promise and perhaps must coexist. Audacious faith does not eliminate doubt and fear. It eclipses their power one decision at a time. You know God’'s will by doing God’'s will.
Jonathan and his armor bearer ended up saving the day in a spectacular way. Their act of audacious faith tilted the fate of an entire nation.
How much of God’s miraculous power are we unable to experience because we never pray prayers that are bigger than us?
Pray prayers beyond the scope of your own life, and watch what God will do in your own life.
There’'s nothing our world needs more desperately today - —in individuals, families, businesses, churches, and communities— - than God’s saving, supernatural acts. And God is ready to act if we will be bold enough to ask, not just for a good day or a better life, but for the impossible and then will step forward to act in audacious faith.
God has an incredible life for you beyond your imagination. But to get there will require taking bold risks. It will require stepping up and facing your giants… and the unknown. Audacious faith goes hand in hand with trusting God’s will. This is an opportunity to leave your comfort zone and bravely move to where God is calling you.