Two weeks ago today was my husband’s birthday. I rarely bake but decided to make him a birthday cake. Betty Crocker I’m not, so I decided to go with something simple – pound cake to be served with strawberries and whipped cream. My mom makes the best pound cake ever, so I called to get the recipe. I planned my trip to the grocery store to purchase all the ingredients and was looking forward to my afternoon in birthday preparations.
Once home from the store, I began to organize everything I would need. I had all the right ingredients, measuring cups and spoons, bowls and the beaters for the mixer. No mixer. I checked every cabinet only to discover that it had not managed to make the move with us. It’s somewhere in storage. Bummer. Now, I realize that it is possible to make a cake without a mixer. I personally have never attempted this and quite honestly, have no desire to. This was supposed to be simple. Disappointed, I put away the ingredients and utensils and made a quick call on Sara Lee to save the day. Thank you, Jesus, for Sara Lee.
No matter that I had all the right ingredients, without mixing them together there would be no beautiful pound cake resulting. It was just easier to go to someone else who had already done the work.
“For indeed we have had the glad tidings (Gospel of God) proclaimed to us just as truly as they (the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them); but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith by those who heard it.” Hebrews 4:2
How many messages have we heard that have had no effect in our lives, even when we believed the words were true? How many times have we read our daily devotional or selected a passage out of the Bible, read it, mentally accepted it as truth, but never gained a benefit from it because we didn’t mix it with faith?
Are we pleading with God, waiting for answers to prayers, but not really believing? It is impossible to please God without faith. Hebrews 11:6 Faith is what gets His attention! Faith in Who He is and in what He says He can and will do!
And let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just easier to rely on someone else’s faith. We go to those we know have strong faith, those who have invested the time and work to develop their faith. We ask them to pray for us because we don’t feel our prayers are good enough to move God in our situation. Don’t get me wrong, I believe we should go to others to ask for prayer. And when someone of strong faith prays with us and for us, it can help our faith grow. But if that’s the only effort we make to develop our faith, we remain babies and never grow to maturity. Compare it to physical fitness – if you had a personal trainer that taught you how to exercise properly, but the only time you exercised was when you met with them once a week, your results would be minimal. It’s the same concept. We have to exercise our faith.
Faith is the assurance of the things we hope for, the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality.” Hebrews 11:1
How do we exercise faith? Believe. Whatever God says, choose to believe it and refuse any other option. When we are being tested, we must continually confess what the word of God says to stay focused on it. It is believing that God is faithful to His word and will do what He says He will do. When we need answers, we must go to the word of God and find out what He says about the situation. We take His word and mix it with faith. We choose to believe Him no matter what our circumstances may look like.
My husband did not come home to the wonderful aroma of a freshly baked cake that day. But the evening wasn’t really about the cake, it was about him, celebrating his life.
Our life on this earth should be lived as a celebration of Who He is and all that He has done for us. Because of Jesus, we are the wonderful aroma wafting up to God…
“For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ unto God….” 2 Corinthians 2:15