Okay, so first things first. I want it known that we cannot earn anything from God. Everything we are given, including our very lives, are given as a gift from God under grace. As Zechariah 4:6 states, it is not by power nor by might but by God’s Spirit. Anything that we offer to God is our reasonable service.
It reminds me of how my parents raised us as children. We didn’t receive gifts for making A or AB Honor Roll. We received a pat on the back and a “keep up the good work” because making good grades was the least we could do. Plus, it was what they expected of us.
Likewise, whatever sacrifices we offer to God—whether they are offerings of faith, praise, fasting, or whatever your sacrifice might be—it is the least you could do. Furthermore, God expects His children to make these sacrifices to Him.
Yet, although there are certain things that are expected of us, the Bible does tell us that some of the things that God expects from us can actually get God’s attention. Scripture indicates there are things we can do that will make God move on our behalf. I’d like to go over just a few of these things if you’d grant me the pleasure.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
(Hebrews 11:6 NIV)
Faith, honey! You got to have faith. We see that the scripture tells us it is “impossible to please God” without faith. Therefore, if we want to please God, we need to have faith. We need to #1 have faith that God exists. And #2 we need to have faith that He rewards those who earnestly seek him.
I’ve discovered that many people can and will have faith until we face two different mountains: The mountain of trials and the mountain of waiting. It’s easy to have faith in God when there are no obstacles in our way. But when we are battling financial issues, health issues, emotional issues, on top of the issues Satan throws into the equation, our faith can falter if we aren’t careful.
And when we have these mountains of problems and still have to wait on God for deliverance… ugh, it can be so very frustrating. Yes, all we need is mustard seed size faith, but when we see looming mountains of troubles, we may struggle to find that small amount of faith left in us.
But thanks be to God that Christ knew our faith would be under attack. Christ told Peter that Satan desired to sift him as wheat. But Christ said he prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail (Luke 22:32). In Ephesians 6:16, we see that faith is our shield in spiritual warfare to extinguish the fiery darts of the devil.
Meaning if we don’t have faith, those fiery darts will pierce us. If we don’t have faith, we cannot please God. Furthermore, if we do not have faith, we cannot receive the promises of God. In the beautiful chapter of Hebrews 11, we see that it was faith that granted Father Abraham God’s promises. It was faith that allowed Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. It was faith that made the walls of Jericho fall. Surely you didn’t think it was their shout that knocked down the walls… no sir, no ma’am it was by faith.
Don’t allow your problems to kill your faith. Don’t allow your waiting on God make you lose faith in God. Abraham waited 25 years for his promise. Moses was a shepherd for 40 years. Before Joshua went on the conquest to Jericho, he also wandered 40 years in the wilderness.
They also had their fair share of problems. Abraham had trouble in his own home when his wife turned on his baby mother (what a sticky situation!) Moses had to continuously deal with a group of people who questioned his every move. And Joshua had to endure several members of his clan being killed when one member failed to heed to instruction.
But we have the audacity to throw in the towel when God hasn’t answered our prayer from 6 months ago? We have the gall to question God because we’ve been praying for 10 years but our request hasn’t been answered? Do we suppose promises are void of problems? Do we think rewards come without waiting?
Listen, I’m preaching to the myself as well. I’m absolutely taking a dose of my own medicine. I’m not saying it’s easy to hold on to your faith when you have to wait. I’m not saying my vibe is always “Hallelujah, praise the Lord! My faith is on 100,000 % and I will defeat Satan and his army today”. That’s not my reality at all.
I get tired. I become weary. I get attacked. I cry. I don’t understand why God does some of the things He does, nor do I understand why He commands me to do some of the things He asks me to do. There are things that I’ve been praying over for 5 and 10 years that has yet to come into fruition.
But I just refuse to give up or turn away from God. I refuse to let my faith go. I refuse to stop praying. We’ve got to have the Canaanite woman type of faith. This woman refused to cease asking Christ to bless her until finally He replied:
Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
(Matthew 15:28 NIV)
Can God look at us today and applaud us for our great faith? Are we pleasing God with our strong belief? I think we should clarify the distinction between having faith and having great faith. Remember how the woman with the issue of blood was the only one in the room that made Christ stop what He was doing to acknowledge that He had been touched?
Everyone in the room had faith to an extent. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been in the vicinity. But this woman didn’t have a basic run-of-a mill- faith. She had outstanding faith. The type of faith that grabbed God’s attention. I can’t speak for you, but I don’t want basic faith. I want great faith. I want "grab God’s attention" faith. I challenge you as well as myself to show God how bold and confident we are in Him and what He can do for us.
And when the mountain of troubles and the waiting threaten to block our faith, keep in mind what faith is. Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We can’t let not knowing how the troubles will pass or when the wait will be over deter us. We cannot let what we do not see effect our faith. That’s a direct contradiction to faith’s definition.
Not seeing is the entire point. God wants you to not see so that you can have faith. God doesn’t want you to know how everything will work out. If you knew how everything would work out, there would be no point of having faith. If you could see everything, you would have no need to trust in Him.
Not seeing is necessary to having faith. And having faith is necessary to pleasing God. It all works together. We wouldn’t need faith for what we can see. That doesn’t make sense. Why hope for something that is clearly seen and known?
And if we didn’t need faith, then why would we need to trust God. God has strategically set things up so that we can rely on Him. Because when we hope for something not seen, we are choosing to put our trust in God and what He promised. This is why it pleases God when we don’t see but yet believe.
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
(John 20:29 NIV)
So, if you want to please God, if you want to grab His attention, have faith. Have great faith. Reader, I realize I only covered one way to grab God’s attention in this article. There are more ways that you can grab His attention. But so that I won’t lose your attention by making this a lengthy article 😊 I’ll follow-up with a Part II next week if it’s the Lord's will. So, good-bye for now. In the meantime, stay encouraged, keep the faith, and may God keep you until we meet again.
Quin Arrington's debut book "And Then You Shall Have Good Success: Attaining Good Success God's Way" is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook format. Link to book listed below.