Anglican Morning Devotion for 20 July 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:11-13 (KJV)
What is real faith and what possibilities does faith open up for us in our lives? Faith in the right objectives is the greatest of all enablers. But misplaced faith can be disastrous. What did Paul mean in his comment, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me?” Did Paul mean that he could defy the natural law of gravity, or turn lead into gold? Not at all! Paul was referring to that well-placed faith in the Maker of all things and the Savior of Souls. In that faith he could do all things through Jesus Christ. What things? All things that it is the will of the Lord to accomplish. All things we do through Christ to the glory of the Lord are certainly possible for it falls within the parameters of His will to see accomplished.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the object of our faith: “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21 (KJV) The tricks and passions of our personal desires are not the effectual evidence of faith, but only those things that glorify God in our lives.
There is much power in right faith, but never anything contrary to God’s will for your life. “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21 (KJV) and, “7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;” 1 Corinthians 12:7-9 (KJV)
Faith has a proper means of transport – the very Word of God. “16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:16-17 I read no part in Scripture in which God assures us of palaces and bulging treasures. Our true treasure is on deposit beyond the Gates of splendor. I read no part in which God must provide every desire that we demand in prayer. Our prayers are as often answered with ‘No’ as ‘Yes.’
God is the giver and originator of faith. Faith is the power with which the Spirit imbues us to draw us to the Throne of Mercy and Grace – not any meritorious quality in our own souls. “ 20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. 22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.” This drying of the fig tree overnight was a miracle that served the purpose of the Lord in demonstrating that those whose faith produce no fruit shall wither away as that fig tree.
When I served in the role of the training and management of military flight students, those students who came to experience flight for the first time often doubted their ability to master the art. I usually showed them a brief video of a young lady born without arms in Arizona in 1983. She refused to use artificial limbs and came to be able to do all her personal care with her feet – play the piano, type, replace her contact lenses, and, most amazing of all, pilot an aircraft. She was the first (and only) person so handicapped to be granted a pilot’s license, and she flies her light fixed wing aircraft with the ease we enjoy in driving an automobile.
The young lady is today a motivational speaker in great demand around the world. She refused to allow her handicap to hold her back from fulfilling her dreams. Her strength comes from her faith in God. She says:
“My name is Jessica Cox, and my faith in God has helped me break down barriers and find true inner peace.”
The example of Miss Cox should allay the fears of those of us with all our limbs of being able to pilot an aircraft. We are shamed by the fact that we should fail to do so having 50% physically more at our disposal than the valliant Miss Cox. It is her faith in God that enabled her to overcome insurmountable barriers to accomplish her dream to His glory. God can do the same for you!