Monday, May 25, 2015

The Right Kind of Faith

I sat on the hotel bed at 11:30 at night, considering the past few days.  I had just debated seven rounds, given speeches in three rounds.  Overall, I had given 20+ speeches and spoken for more than 150 minutes (that’s two and a half hours).  Now, as I looked over the past few days, I resolved to do better in the next speech and debate tournament.  I sat there on my bed and prayed, “Lord Jesus, I’m going to have faith that you will take my partner and I to finals this next tournament.”  You see, I had been learning about faith, and now I decided to test out an hypothesis.  I wondered that if I had enough faith, if we would indeed make it to finals.

Surely God would grant us this request if we simply believed.  After all, it didn’t contradict any Scripture.  It didn’t expressly go against the Word of God.  On the contrary, there were actually verses to support my position:
“Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” ~Psalms 37:4

I continued along with this perspective for the next couple of weeks.  My partner and I agreed that we would go to finals.  That was our game set, and I believed it was God’s as well.

However, something just didn’t seem right.  Around 10:30 PM (Just so you know, since I am most certainly not a night person, it has to be a special occasion for me to stay up past 10:00) Monday night, after our speech and debate class, I sat down with pen and paper, and my trusty Bible.  I asked the Lord to reveal how He wanted me to approach this next debate tournament.  For some reason that night, I brought along the Message commentary of the Bible.  It opened to Psalm 113:1-3, which says,

You who serve God, praise God!
    Just to speak his name is praise!
Just to remember God is a blessing—
    now and tomorrow and always.
From east to west, from dawn to dusk,
    keep lifting all your praises to God!”

From that verse, the Holy Spirit reminded me how the Lord is my satisfaction and my reward.  He is the most precious One.

Then the Lord pressed on my heart the verses that say we are to lay up treasures where moth and rust do not destroy.  God also reopened my eyes to a verse I had been trying to shove off in the corner: James 4:3, which says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”  When I really thought about why I wanted to not only make it to finals, but also win it (which by the way, means you’re the top team in the whole tournament), it was for my own selfish good.  It wasn’t so that God might be glorified or His kingdom might be advanced, but so that I might be glorified and my kingdom might be advanced.

So, I surrendered that desire to the Lord.  I no longer “believe” that the Lord will take me to finals.  I do believe that He can if He wishes, but I don’t believe that is His foremost goal.

I have learned an important lesson this week.  Faith is not necessarily believing that a certain thing will come to pass.  However, in the words of John MacArthur, “Faith is a God given ability to trust the future that God has promised you.”

You see, it wasn’t that Abel had faith that God was going to allow Him to be killed.  But he did have faith in God’s plan and that faith caused Him to step out in obedience through his sacrifice.

Enoch didn’t have faith that he was going to be taken up, but he did have faith that God was planning a good future for Him.

Faith must be grounded on the Word.  It is grounded in the promises.  If God’s Word says it will happen, we know it will.  God’s Word says that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  God’s Word says that when we ask for the Holy Spirit, He will be given to us.  However, God’s Word never promises a good life. It never promises a lot of money.  The Scriptures never promise that Allison will make it to the final round at her speech and debate tournament.

So now, as I approach this next tournament, I don’t know if we will make it to the final round.  I don’t know if I will win first place in any of my speeches.  But this I do know: Everything will work together for God’s greater good—everything serves a purpose, even losing (Romans 8:28).  I know that God’s grace is sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).  He will work in my behalf far more abundantly than anything I God ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).  He will be glorified (John 12:28).

Now those are promises to stand on.


Allison is a 15-year-old daughter of the King.  Her aim in life is to be pleasing and honoring to Him.  She has a passion for God's Word and has begun a ministry dedicated to encouraging others in its pursuit. You can check it out at:

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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”Colossians 3:17 (NIV)