faith to let go
Updated: Mar 15, 2020
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Faith To Let Go
An old preacher’s story I've heard is of a man who was running along the rim of a canyon when he slipped and fell over the side. Fortunately, he was able to grab a branch on the way down, thus sparing his life for the moment. However, two probabilities terrified him. One, he did not know how long he would be able to hang on to the branch. Two, he did not know how long the branch would hold his weight. The probabilities each provided a disastrous result. If he could no longer hang on or if the branch were to pull out of the side of the cliff, the man would most certainly plunge to his death. So, he began to cry out, “Please! Is there anyone up there who can save me? Instantly, he heard a calm voice call out, “I can save you.”
“Who is that calling out to save me?
The voice replied, “This is God. Do you have faith?
“Yes, I have faith,” the man called, “Please, God, save me.”
I will rescue you if you will simply let go of the branch.”
The man thought very hard for a moment, then cried out again, “Is there anyone else up there?”
A favorite Bible event from the Old Testament of mine comes from the adventures of the great prophet, Elijah.” It is found in 1 Kings 17. Because of the disobedience and idolatry of King Ahab and his evil wife, Jezebel, God had sent a drought upon the land and the entire region. It would last for 3½ years. The king had called for the execution of all of God’s faithful prophets, especially Elijah. So, Elijah had been on the run for most of that time. Elijah came across a widow in the region of Zarephath, whose husband had been executed for being one of Israel’s prophets. You can imagine her pain and bitterness toward the God who had not defended her godly husband.
After some discussion, the prophet, who, being a prophet of God had every right to do so, asked the widow if she would bring him a jar of water. As she went to get the water he also asked, “while you’re at it, would you please bring me a little bread to eat. The woman explained that times had been so rough that she had been gathering a few sticks for fire and was determined to use the skimpy bit of barley flower and oil that she possessed to make one last loaf of bread for her son and herself so they could eat one more time, expecting to die soon after.
Elijah assured her that if she would make him the bread, God would take care of her. When she was obedient to the Lord’s prophet and gave sacrificially, she found that each day after, when she returned to make bread there was always just enough flour and oil to make what was needed for her son, herself and the prophet. Because she let go of the branch she had been hanging on to, her faith was rewarded.
It has been the experience of many disciples of our Lord that sacrificial giving has always been rewarded with enough. When Jesus gave us the model prayer, he included a powerful phrase, “Give us this day our daily bread.” He did not request an abundance, only enough for each day. When the children of Israel were collecting the manna provided by God in the wilderness, they were ordered to pick up only enough to get through that day. If they picked up more, the next day it would be filled with worms.
How much faith do you have? Do you have the faith to give, even when you don’t have an abundance? Those are the times when God proves his presence and dependability. Giving in all circumstances shows us how much God loves us and provides for every need.
Do you have the faith to let go of the temporary things that you are depending upon?
This Sunday we will share Part 2 of our series of messages on Generous Giving. This message is titled Generous Giving allows you to overcome financial fear and worry based on 1 Kings 17:10-16; Genesis 28:20-22; Matthew 6:24. I trust you are reading your daily devotional guide titled Open-Handed Giving in a Tight-Fisted World.
\Joining you in Letting go,