Tell Him to Come!
March 9, 2021
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV).
My three-and-half-year-old grandson in Alabama was just released from the hospital after four days of misery. Forgive the picture, but he was so constipated that he was throwing up. His stay there was horrific with tubes everywhere. Nothing worked for three days. Finally, the dam broke. He is home now and safe. As he was going through the frightening struggle, when he first experienced bad things thrust upon him and into him, he cried out, “Call God, Mommy! Tell Him to come right now! I can’t see Him but tell him to come down and stay for 100 days!” Again and again through his hospital stay, that precious boy would cry out, “Call God, Mommy! Tell Him to come! I can’t see Him but tell Him to come!”
When was the last time you called to the God you could not see but needed to come? My grandson’s cry was a cry of faith. He knew God would come if Mommy called, even though he could not see Him. Do we believe in a God who will come?
In his book Life without Lack, Dallas Willard describes three kinds of faith, three ways of trusting God without seeing Him.
Faith of propriety is a faith that says God will take care of us because we are faithful to Him. Because we honor God, we expect Him to bless us, and often He does. Dr. Willard says, “God will bless that faith because God likes to bless people.” But God does not always bless us in the way we ask, even when we serve Him fully. People throughout the world follow Christ faithfully, even sacrificially, and their child still develops leukemia, or they are imprisoned and tortured because of their faith.
My little grandson’s faith was the second kind, the faith of desperation. It’s a faith that runs to God, falls on its knees and begs for deliverance, knowing that God will be there. As Dr. Willard describes, “The faith of desperation—trusting faith—digs in, holds on, clings tight and says, ‘I don’t care what’s going to happen, I am holding on to God!’” This is a faith that knows God will get us through our present crisis because He is a God who loves us and has the power to deliver.
Dr. Willard then describes how God’s great suffering servant, Job, arrived at the third kind of faith, the faith of sufficiency: not a faith that God will provide what we think we need, but faith that God alone is sufficient for our needs. As Dr. Willard writes, “One of the fundamental changes that takes place as we move from the faith of desperation to the faith of sufficiency is that we take our minds off of ourselves and place them on God.”
All three levels of faith are good and God-given. They are ours to grasp.
The faith of propriety blesses us when we follow God and serve Him faithfully.
The faith of desperation delivers us when the pain of a fallen world is more than we can bear. As my grandson cried out, “Come down now and stay for 100 days! Come now!”
God grant that each us may also someday discover the faith of sufficiency that cries out with the prophet Habakkuk:
“Though the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails, and the fields produce no food;
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3:17-18, NIV).
Please grow my faith.
*After I completed this devotion, I realized there is a fourth kind of faith in my life that carries me through much of life, a deliberate faith. This is the faith that does not rely on anything I have done, no propriety, is not in desperate need and may not even feel the sufficiency of God. It’s a faith that says, “I have committed to following Jesus, so I will follow Him—even when I don’t see Him, even though I may doubt, even though my heart does not at this moment long for Him—I have started this path, so I will finish it, and I trust Him that He will bring me home.