Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:6-7
Little faith, great faith, perfect faith, is there really a difference? Isn’t faith, just faith?
Recently I was challenged by Pastor Chapin Marsh’s book “ The Faith Factor.” He expounds on the Three Stages of Faith first preached by Charles Stanley. According to these men, the first stage of faith is “little faith.” I know this stage very well and can identify with it, often finding myself in that stage saying I know God can do it but will He? This faith relies on logic and experiential information at our sensory level and it is a restless faith. The next stage is “great faith” characterized by God not only can do it but will do it. With previous experience with God’s work, I can relate to this stage and dwell there often as well. The last stage is “perfect faith.” It says, God can, will and has already done it! Wow! That is perfect faith and the place I want to be most often. These penetrating descriptors of the stages of faith has challenged me to such a degree that I began to look at circumstances of my life and held them up in reflection. Where am I? I found conviction in knowing that I often walk in “little faith” but was also able to find a time in my life where “perfect faith” was displayed. Remembering a specific season; it was about a year and half before James’ death when in prayer, the Lord led me to a heart of “perfect faith.” After all those years praying for God to deliver James, change his heart, bring him back to God and his family, he did it. I resolved that day, that I had prayed for James long enough, it was done, I just couldn’t see it yet. I walked in “perfect faith” and found rest. Less than a year later, I saw the evidence. James returned to his God and his family and our relationship was restored. We lived the evidence of this changed life and restored family for almost one year before God took him home. He completed the work in James and now he is glorified in heaven.
I decided to walk in “perfect faith” in the most current situation in my life right now, the 5k swim for Operation 300. Upon registering for the event, they ask for a fundraising goal of $500. Aside from training for 6 weeks, 5:30 a.m. in the gym pool for an hour in preparation for a 3 mile ocean swim, I needed faith to believe that God would provide the donation. Using “great faith” I made Facebook posts, tweeted the need, and even texted the link to several people. The donations were not coming in as I thought they would and I began to resort back to “little faith”, knowing God could but would He? God was calling me to a bigger faith, He wanted me to have “perfect faith,” so I prayed, “God I need $500 for my fundraising goal, please provide, I am releasing it to You and believe it is done.”
I decided to read some of Pastor Chapin’s book including the Three Stages of Faith to my high school students today. I confessed that I was choosing to walk in “perfect faith” with my fundraising goal. I even prayed the same with them in class. Later that day, a bumped into a friend at work. We engaged in conversation when he said “Hey, I donated to Operation 300.” I smiled and thanked him, thinking he probably donated $25-50. Then he said “And, your $500 fundraising goal is met.” Apparently after viewing the webpage he was compelled to donate the entire $500! I asked him when he did this, to which he replied, “yesterday.” As I was praying with my students with “perfect faith”, expecting that it was done, it was! Can you imagine the smile on my Savior’s face? I am not sure what brought me greater joy, meeting the fundraising goal or knowing that God was pleased. Actually I do know because He whispered this to me… “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
PS: Any other donations I receive will go to providing books to the widows of these fallen heroes. See my home page of this website for Operation 300 video, webpage and my donation link.