Darrel Pace was a world champion Archer. He won four consecutive world championships from 1973 through 1976 and Olympic gold medals in 1976 and 1984.
One time Pace put on an archery exhibition in Central Park. TV reporters gathered to watch him shoot steel-tipped hunting arrows with flawless accuracy.
At one point Pace asked for a volunteer. “All you have to do,” Darrel explained, “is hold this apple in your hand, waist-high.” ABC correspondent, Josh Howell, boldly stepped forward to volunteer.
As Howell stood there with a small apple in his hand and a larger one in his throat, Darrel Pace walked 90 feet away. Turned to face Howell. Took aim. And THWACK! He perfectly hit the apple in the center as it exploded in Powell’s hand.
As the crowd applauded wildly, Howell, greatly relieved, was all smiles. Then his cameraman came up to him and said, “I’m sorry, Josh, I didn’t get it. Could you do it again?”
Josh Howell is a good example of facing life with faith. It’s one thing to believe Darrel Pace could hit an apple in the palm of your hand, but quite another to put your life on the line and prove that you believe.
Real faith moves you from the academic to action! It’s the kind of faith God requires of Christians. It’s the kind of faith that will change your life.
#1 Your Faith Develops as a Product of Your Thoughts.
Thoughts are powerful. Emerson said, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.” The wise man of the Bible proclaimed, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he” (Prov. 23:7).
Thoughts tend to be negative or positive. Negative thinking says, “I can’t do it.” “It won’t work.” And, “I can’t believe it.” Positive thinking says the very opposite.
The positive and negative are contrasted in the account of David and Goliath. (1 Sam 17). On one hand we see the negative, doubting attitude of Israel when facing Goliath. They were fearful and faithless. David, however, courageously said, “I can do it.” He believed God was on their side and would bring down the godless giant.
The Bible says, “faith comes by hearing. And hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17) Do you desire greater faith? Get into the Word! Think on the things of God. And you, too, can defeat the giants in your life.
#2 Your Faith Triggers the Power to Do.
Why did Noah build an ark when there was no empirical evidence of an impending flood?
Why did Abraham leave his family, friends and familiar territory to journey into an unknown land?
What moved a handful of discouraged fisherman into a band of zealous, dynamic evangelists?
Faith triggers action! James challenged, “But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (Jas 2:18).
#3 Your Faith is the Yardstick by which your Portion in life will be Measured.
This principle is stated by Jesus when two blind men came asking for healing.
He asked them: “Do you believe It am able to do this?”
They replied, “Yes, Lord!”
Then Jesus said “According to your faith, will it be done to you.” (Matt 9:29).
Jesus constantly called upon people to believe before they would receive anything from Him. The entire thesis of the Bible is faith. Believers are rewarded. Unbelievers fail. James admonished that our prayers should be founded in faith. If not, we should not expect to receive anything from the Lord (Jas. 1:5-8)
#4 Your Faith Makes All Things Possible.
A father once brought his son who suffered seizures and convulsions to Jesus. He asked, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus replied, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
With tear filled eyes, the father cried out, “Lord I believe! Help my unbelief!
Immediately, Jesus healed the lad (Mark 9:20-26).
Too often this passage has been misapplied to something that violates the revealed will of God, something that is selfish, or just plain ridiculous!
Within the realm of God’s will and our purpose in life, all things are possible. But faith is required.
Jesus calls on us “Have faith in God!” It will change your life!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman