How to Have Off-Road Big-Tire Faith

Sharon Jaynes Living Free, Living Fully, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For 24 Comments

He called it a dune buggy. I called it a death trap.

My friend, Harry, invited me and some of my friends for a ride over beach sand dunes in his big wheel jeep. I like sand. I like rides. Sounded like fun. It was not.

We buckled in and Harry revved up the engine. We did not ride over the sand dunes; we flew. Bouncing. Jostling. Screaming. Crying for him to slow down. All the while, Harry laughed and had a good ole time, mainly because he was the one controlling the steering wheel.

One thing I learned that day, besides don’t get in a jeep with Harry, was that you need big tires to go off-road over big hills and deep valleys.

Likewise, you need big faith tires to leave the well-paved highway of religion, where the masses travel along listening to Pandora and tootling along.

Jesus often taught about little faith and big faith. When the disciples panicked because the winds and the waves on the Sea of Galilee were too much for them to handle, Jesus said, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26 NIV). He said those same words several other times as well (Matthew 6:30, 14:31).

When Jesus talked about “little faith,” He wasn’t talking about the amount of faith a person is given but the size of the faith a person has. Paul wrote that we are all given “a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3 NKJV). They had a measure of faith given to them, but they hadn’t exercised it. It was still small.

For example, we are all born with a certain number of muscles. We don’t get more muscles; they just get bigger. A person who exercises his or her muscles has bigger, stronger ones than those who don’t. Likewise, we have been given a certain amount of faith. We don’t need more faith to experience God’s power in a big way, we need to exercise and strengthen the faith we already have.

Right before the disciple’s Galilean Sea experience, they had heard Jesus preach the Sermon on the Mount, watched Him cleanse a leper’s skin, heal a centurion’s son, and take away Peter’s mother-in-law’s fever. THEN, they got in the boat to go to the other side and had a panic attack.

You and I might be thinking…If I saw Jesus do all that, I’d have big-tire off-road faith. But that wasn’t true for the Israelites in the Old Testament or the disciples in the New.  And I wonder if it would be true for me and you.

Maybe we’ve got it backwards. Rather than If I saw more miracles, I would have more faith we should flip it around to If I had more faith, I’d see more miracles.

And how do I have, not more faith, but bigger faith? Off-road big-tire faith that takes me on exciting adventures?

By exercising the faith that I do have.

By believing that God is Who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.

By trusting that God is always working.

By believing that God is for us.

By taking risks to obey when we’re scared.

By standing on the truth of Scripture.

By praising God when we might not feel like it.

By practicing, lifting, stretching.

If Harry invited me to go off-road in his jeep again, would I do it? Absolutely not! However, when Jesus invites me to go off-road with big tire faith, off the well-paved path where believers for centuries have traveled mundane, mediocre, safe-faith roads, I’m all in.

The Gentile woman in Matthew 15:21-28 is my role model for today. When Jesus passed through her town, she begged Him to heal her demon-possessed daughter. Jesus appears to rebuff her but was really testing her. She persisted with her off-road big-tire faith banter and wouldn’t let Him go. Finally, Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment (Matthew 15:28 NIV).

I love how one paraphrase of this verse says it, ““Oh, woman, your faith is something else.”

That’s what I want to hear. That’s what I want to live. I think you do too.

LORD, help me to exercise my faith to make it grow bigger and stronger. Show me the ways I’ve played it safe on the well-paved path of milquetoast faith rather than living the adventurous faith I was made to live. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What is one way you can exercise your faith today? Leave a comment and let’s share! You might spark a dream in someone else!

Are you ready for the mountain-moving, giant-slaying faith that God intended all along? Then check out my book Take Hold of the Faith You Long For and discover the untapped sources of confidence and courage that God has already placed in you.

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Comments 24

  1. My faith in marriage restoration even when my husband’s actions and word say the opposite of what God said. I believe God is doing what He said.

    1. I have been praying for and believing in God’s promise to restore my marriage too. In the years of my praying I continue to see many miracles in my children and those I love and pray for. Keep praying. Nothing is too hard or impossible for God. Blessings

  2. Oh this is one of my fav story…don’t give-up no matter what!!! My son’s wife passed way 2yrs ago and left 4yr old little girl so I have to sell my house and move to much smaller town with them and help him raise her and she has Autism and I ask God why am I here but I know why and I pray over her and like this Gentile woman I must ask and keep asking for my gbaby for healing and to do well and become Godly woman as well as my son to get to know God personally as he will see miracle of God to his sweet child…God is good!!!!!

  3. I am overwhelmed with my living situation. Please pray that God send the right people and right solution to help me dig out. My health is suffering and I’m 71 yrs old. I can’t do what I once could. Thank you Lord for getting me this far.

    1. Dear Ryoko,

      Your story touched me deeply..I have been studying Autism to help a friend whose grown son is autistic. Many resources are available to help your granddaughter and you navigate. Our first resource is Jesus. I will keep you and your family in prayer..God sure has a special purpose for you.

    2. Hi, Diane,

      Your comment really hit home. I turned 71 last month and struggle to perform many tasks that once were so easy. I will pray that the Lord sends you the help that you need. I am a widow with no biological family. But, I have been blessed with godly sisters in the faith. Frankly, we spend a lot of time on the phone supporting each other and praying. God bless you, sister, and comfort you.

    3. I agree with you in prayer that God will turn your situation around and provide for you in every area of your life.
      Hebrews 10:23 ” Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]..

  4. Loved your message about faith, as I do all your God-filled messages. This one certainly put things in perspective and bears out what Mark 11: 22,24 NLT says: “Have faith God…I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” That takes
    “off-road, big-tire faith.”

    Thanks for being my Girlfriend in God.

  5. To trust God that when I retire, he will provide for every need because I have done all that I can to ready myself. And things continue to mount, groceries, gas, electric, etc. It looks like I should continue working. I will trust him. God promises to move mountains. And I will just have to ‘do it afraid’.

  6. My faith in travelling abroad with my entire family even when i do not know how to go about it neither do I have the means nor capability or where to begin from, just trusting God to come through for me

  7. Excellent, just excellent. Perfect explanation of bigger faith! I am challenged to remember God’s faithfulness to me in the past. His love endures forever! God is for me! These are all excellent truths. Thanks you for this reminder today!

  8. Light house on hill shining a light to all of Australia and the world. It’s significant that at first it shines bright then it goes in a season of beware of danger stay away evil is present now the light is starting to break through again. Brokenness and fear is healing change is coming.
    The light is shining brighter than ever before. Praise God

  9. My Faith in financial break through that God will shift things around my life even when I don’t see the light I will trust that His ways are higher than mine!

  10. I will intentionally lift up BIG, BOLD PRAYERS, to grow my faith.
    I will always remember that our FATHER ALMIGHTY majors in the impossible.

    All for HIS glory!!

  11. Good Morning Sisters in the Lord.I see my wife and my 4 daughters in you all.I am grateful that you speak to my heart .You are all so precious to our Lord.Thank you all. You brother in Christ,David

  12. I agree with you in prayer that God will turn your situation around and provide for you in every area of your life.
    Hebrews 10:23 ” Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]..

  13. I will renew prayers and hopes for students who are absent from school more than they are present. My prayer is that God will plant a seed of curiosity and motivation in them or provide the support they need to get to school.

  14. I’m just coming out of a 7 year relationship that almost took me out. I used to have it all together, plenty of money my own flower business a healthy son who just turned 20 and doesn’t need me anymore. .my ex boyfriend has a heroin addiction that is way bigger and stronger than me, I was trying to help him but only God can take that away , I can’t help him if he won’t help himself. So I need prayers that God will help me to stay away from him , I need divine connections to help me to get back on my feet . I just turned 52 and have lots of skills but need to find a Job or start my business up again I do have faith in Jesus and need to trust that he has a perfect plan for me please pray that I can stay on his perfect path and I stay out of the way . Thanks

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