Gather together a handful of people. Ask them what it means to live by faith. And you’ll probably get a handful of answers. There are times however, when we get backed into a corner in life and we are forced to have faith. How do you handle forced faith?
For I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to accompany us and protect us from enemies along the way. After all, we had told the king, “Our God’s hand of protection is on all who worship him, but his fierce anger rages against those who abandon him.” Ezra 8:22
How Do You Handle Forced Faith?
One spring day, my neighbor Glenn was getting his boat and motor ready for a summer of fishing. He secured the motor onto the side of a water-filled barrel.
Some neighbor boys were there watching his every move. He told the boys that God was going to help him start the motor within three pulls of the rope.
Pull number one, nothing. The second pull, still nothing. All eyes were on Glenn for that third pull. Much to his dismay, his motor didn’t start at all that day.
One Sunday, as I was delivering the morning message at our church, I started to say, “Faith will …” But I quickly changed that statement to, “Faith in God will ….”
You see, that day Glenn was trying to prove his faith to those neighborhood boys. I’m sure he thought he was being sincere. But was his real motive was to just get the motor running, immediately?
We can complicate faith because we are so results-oriented. At other times, faith becomes so real to us. They are quite often the times when we have no other options. When we have no other place to turn to but to God.
Once when we were on a foreign mission trip, and our 3-year-old son was sick. He needed an antibiotic to clear up a severe throat infection.
There were no medications and medical help was too far away. We had no one to turn to but God. I call that forced faith.
We were at the place of saying, God, you are either going to do it, or you’re not going to do it. Whether our son was healed or not, we still had to put our trust in God. (By the way, God did heal him.)
Forced Faith in the Bible
Elijah stood before 450 prophets of Baal and called fire down from heaven. He was experiencing forced faith. When David committed to slaying Goliath, he was too.
Ezra also put himself into a situation of forced faith. He said we had told the king, “Our God’s hand of protection is on all who worship him” And of course, there are many other biblical examples of people having to handle forced faith.
Sometimes we are put into a situation where we are confronted to have forced faith. Even at that, it comes down to a decision in which we have to make.
There are times when we get the wrong idea about faith. We pray about a need. But then we give God the answer that we are looking for.
That makes our faith then based on whether or not God agrees with the solution we have given to Him.
It is never necessary to suggest to God how to solve a problem. We must however put our trust in Him that he will solve it. His way!
You might be interested in reading my post called Our Ways Are Not God’s Ways.
Those 450 prophets of Baal never expected fire to fall from heaven. Goliath never expected to be done in by a smooth stone. And we didn’t know how God would heal our son, but he did.
I believe that God always responds favorably to forced faith, more so than to motivational faith.
Lord, thank you for being there when there is no other place to turn. I don’t want to just have faith—I want to have complete faith in you.
You would enjoy reading the cornerstone post on discipleship called How To Be An Effective Devoted Disciple Of Jesus.
Here are 4 other related devotions about faith.
- How To Supplement Your Faith In God
- Does Your Faith Embrace Honesty And Boldness?
- Is My Faith Being Tested During A Storm In Life?
- When Your Faith Is Tested How Do You Handle It?
You can read about Ezra’s Journey to Jerusalem.
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