A Powerful One-Two Punch
“And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.”
Some things naturally go together. For instance, whenever you think of peanut butter, you also think of jelly. When you think of bacon, you can’t help but think of bacon and eggs. One of the classic desserts people like to have is apple pie and ice cream. These are all great one-two combinations that naturally go together.
The verse above shows a one-two combination that naturally goes together, but they not only are natural together, but they are also a powerful combination. The verse above says that Stephen was “full of faith and power.” That one-two combination produced “great wonders and miracles among the people.” The whole reason that Stephen’s life made such an impact on the Apostle Paul in his lost condition is because he had the powerful one-two combination of faith and power.
If Christians today had the same one-two combination in their life, they could also make the same impact on others as Stephen did. Stephen’s impact was not an anomaly but is normal when you put faith and power together. The only reason we might think it to be an anomaly is because we rarely see individuals with this combination. Let me share several statements with you concerning this powerful one-two combination.
First, faith must be exercised before power can be realized. No Christian needs the power of God if they don’t step out and live by faith. As long as you live in the confines of what you know to do and can do yourself, God doesn’t need to empower you to help. It is the Christian who steps out by faith in God’s Word and will for their life that qualifies for God to empower them.
My friend, stepping out by faith is stepping out and doing something for the LORD that you cannot do yourself. For instance, when I went into full-time evangelism many years ago, it was an act of faith. I quit my job with four meetings planned and a couple hundred dollars in my checking account and decided the LORD was going to have to provide. For over two decades the LORD has honored that act of faith the same way He will honor your act of faith if you will step out and trust Him.
Second, it is the act of faith the requires the power of God to survive. What is so interesting about this one-two combination is that once you step out by faith, you will cry to God for His help, and He will empower you to do what needs to be done. The empowering of God’s Holy Spirit is a natural byproduct of stepping out by faith.
Third, the degree of your faith determines the degree of God’s power on your life. One of the reasons God used men greatly in the past is because they exercised more faith than many do in our present generation. God’s power has not waned over the years, but man’s faith in God has diminished; thus, we see less of God’s power working through men. It all comes down to your degree of faith in God.
Christian, the world is in need of this one-two combination. The more that sin worsens in this world, the more this world needs Christians who are full of faith and power. You can’t be full of faith and power if something else has taken its place. Empty yourself of you, step out by faith and trust God, and He will empower you to the degree of your faith.