Motion-activated faith

Published 11:19 pm Thursday, October 10, 2019

By Tonya S. Swindell

As a relative prepared to walk out of the door onto my back porch one night, she seemed hesitant to step forward because of the darkness she encountered.  I assured her that if she did, the motion-activated light would come on and enlighten her path.  After hearing that, my relative moved forward with greater confidence.

I recalled seeing a television commercial in which individuals followed a pastel green light that gradually appeared on the ground in front of them. As they moved forward with trust, the individuals received subtle guidance about where to place their feet. In my opinion, the commercial provided a good illustration of how faith works.

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By faith Abram moved his entire household from a place of familiarity to a place of obscurity.  According to the New International Version of Genesis 12:1-5, “The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’

“So Abram went, as the LORD had told him…”

Moses’ faith was activated when he moved in the direction of his destiny despite his initial hesitancy. Exodus 3 records how the LORD directed him to confront Pharaoh, an Egyptian ruler, who enslaved God’s chosen people, the Israelites. According to verses 10-12, the LORD said, “Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”

“But Moses protested to God, ‘Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?'”

“God answered, ‘I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.'”

Exodus 4:20-21 indicated, “…Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff of God.”

“And the LORD told Moses, ‘When you arrive back in Egypt, go to Pharaoh and perform all the miracles I have empowered you to do.'”

While carrying the staff that symbolized God’s presence and power, Moses played an integral role in events that allowed the Israelites to flee Egypt. Miracles included releasing of the 10 plagues and parting of the Red Sea.

2 Corinthians 5:7 from The Message Bible indicates, “…It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going…” According to James 2:17 of the New International Version, “…faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead.”   Scripture suggests that when we move in faith, God moves on our behalf.

Tonya Swindell is an occupational therapist. She is also a teacher for Kingdom Building Institute ( She can be reached at