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 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

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Just one Easter Monday, I went, with my mechanic, to the vehicle parts market at Abossey Okai in Accra, Ghana. I needed parts to fix my car. Even though the market was deserted, we knew some traders would still come around to wait for people like me and make some extra cash. Soon enough, we got a good bargain and my mechanic left with the man to bring the items. 

While waiting, an argument erupted in the next shop. A man shouted, “How can I be sure that Jesus died for me? What shows He didn’t die just for the Jews?” I listened awhile to the arguments and started towards them. He had heard many sermons but was not convinced. Had heard many Bible texts, including the “God so loved the world” and “whosoever” in John 3:16. But he still was not convinced. You know he is not alone. Many people are waiting for some supernatural encounter or feeling before they can believe. They want to have a vision or revelation. Until then, unfortunately, their decision to reach their fullest potential has to wait.

Our text, Rom 10:17 reveals that faith cometh as a result of hearing, hearing the word of God. Pure and simple. God acts on our faith expressed, which results from hearing God’s word preached. Our Saviour wants you to keep close to Himself so that He can keep you happy. But, you say, if I could only know that He is my Saviour! Well, what kind of evidence do you want? Do you want a particular special feeling or emotion to prove that Christ is yours? Is this more reliable than pure faith in God’s promises? Put your whole weight on God’s promises. That is faith.

Afadja (name changed) was raised as an atheist. He was training to be an Olympic diver. The only religious influence in his life came from his most faithful friend, Boreba, an outspoken Christian. The young diver never really paid much attention to his friend’s sermons, but he heard them often. He was sure that one day, his indefatigable friend would get tired. Then the sermons would stop. For now, he had to endure all Boreba’s passionate appeals.

© Credit NOAA (https://unsplash.com)

One night Afadja went to practice in the indoor pool at the university he attended. The inside lights were off, but as the swimming pool had big skylights and the moon was bright, there was plenty of light for him to practice. The young man climbed up to the highest diving board. He turned his back to the pool on the edge of the board and extended his arms out. Then, he saw his shadow on the wall. His shadow was in the shape of a cross. Resistance broke inside him. Sermons and illustrations jumped up at him. Instead of diving, Afadja knelt right there and asked God to come into his life. Then, after the prayer, as he stood up, ready to continue his diving practice, a maintenance man trudged noisily in and turned the pool lights on. The diver looked down as the man descended into the pool, fully dressed and holding his tools. The pool was empty![1] 

Imagine with me that one more time, Afadja rejected the Holy Spirit’s call for any reason at all… Imagine that he decided that after the swim… that he put off his decision one more time… just one more time…. Tell me, long will you also keep struggling with the Holy Spirit?


[1] Adapted from The Olympic Diver (sermonillustrator.org)