Lifelines: Faith is ‘picking up the stone’
by Bettie Marlowe
Aug 22, 2014 | 388 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Faith is manifested by the action it prompts. Because we believe Christ died for us, we receive His pardon. Because we believe God, we pray. Because we believe God is leading us, we walk forward. Because we believe God loves us, we trust Him.

Acts 17:28: “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

When David faced the giant Goliath in 1 Samuel 17, it was with faith. The shepherd lad had refused Saul’s armor. He didn’t have a sword. But what he had was faith in God — a faith which had been proven to him by experience. And this faith prompted action. His weapon was familiar to him — a sling — and his ammunition was simple. God was directing, but David had to pick up the stones (by faith).

1 Samuel 17:40 (KJV): “And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.”

Sure, our Almighty God could have killed the 9-foot Philistine without David’s doing anything. He didn’t need a sling or a stone.

How many times do we lay a problem before the Lord, and pray, “Please, dear God, fix this,” not waiting or listening for His instructions to us. Of course, God can “fix this,” but our faith has to be interjected and the action it prompts is a factor. Otherwise, our faith (without works) is dead. A person must be willing to “pick up the stone” and use what God has provided.

James 2:20 (KJV): “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” James 2:26 (KJV): “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

“Oh God, my neighbor is in need. Please help them.” Pick up the stone.

“Dear God, my friend is discouraged. Please lift him up.” Pick up the stone.

“Dear God, I have a friend who is facing a heart-breaking situation. Let him feel your love.” Pick up the stone.

“My heavenly Father, I know someone who has lost a loved one. He needs your comfort.” Pick up the stone.

You are the finger of God, don’t you see?

You know somebody who is in need,

Point him to Calvary, show him the way;

You are the finger of God today.

And for God’s intervention in our own trying circumstances, we must act in faith —“picking up the stone” in obedience.

When Jesus went to the pool of Bethesda by the sheep market in Jerusalem, he found many people who were physically impotent — blind, crippled and so forth. They were waiting for the “moving of the water,” believing they would be healed if somehow they could get into the troubled waters in time.

Jesus’ attention was drawn to a man who had suffered 38 years with an infirmity. We don’t know how long the man had waited on healing. When Jesus asked him, “Will you be made whole?” he replied he had no one to put him in the water.

This day would be different because on this day he would meet the Healer and Savior. “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk,” Jesus said. There was no questioning, no faltering, no call for a lift — the man immediately rolled up his bed and walked. His actions were prompted by faith.

No longer would he have to be carried and left somewhere to wile away the hours and be looked upon with pity or disgust. He could now live, be a part of the community, be mobile and be productive.

And it happened with a simple act of faith — “Take up your bed and walk.” There had to be a deliberate effort to obey. That obedience was the result of faith in the One who can do all things.

Let your actions be prompted by faith always.