They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. Acts 5:6.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. Hebrews 11:1-2.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6.

Today your LORD (יהוה) God says:

Great people. My idea is not always the world’s idea. I said no man born of woman was greater than John the Baptist but the least born into the Kingdom was greater than he. But I identified John as great in My eyes. What did he do? He did not invent anything, or have huge amounts of money, he did not start any business, or build any buildings, not even an orphanage or a place for the homeless. He did not qualify for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. He got in trouble with Herod and an unbelieving and jealous woman caused his life to end.

And then you look at Joseph, the son of Jacob, and he accomplished great things in the world, he ran the Egyptian empire and fed the people of Egypt and the people of all the nations around it in time of famine. And I called him the prince among his brothers. I was with him.

Consider Abraham, I call him My friend. He never did anything people today would call particularly glorious and great except win a battle over four kings once but other than that he did not venture into military strategies. He moved about quite a bit and he got himself into some troubles that I got him out of with Sarah. But I called him great in My eyes.

And consider Moses. A leader of over a million people. He went against Pharaoh to redeem My people out of slavery to that nation and triumphed to lead all My people out of Egypt, even though Pharaoh told him he would not let the people go. I worked magnificent wonders like the world has never seen again at his hands. And yet I tell you he was the meekest man on earth. I entrusted great revelation to him, the Torah and so much more. A great man of great accomplishments.

And think of Joshua and Caleb, leaders in battle of My people, conquering the Promised Land at ages over eighty years old. Amazing men of valor.

But think of Rahab the harlot. Not much in the eyes of the world, but so great to Me I made her an ancestor of My Son according to the flesh. And the same with the Moabite woman, Ruth. These were hidden women. But think of two other women who saved nations in positions of power, Deborah and Esther, and I called them great also.

And then consider David. A man after My own heart. He did major accomplishments that even the world would call amazing and great. And he became the greatest king Israel ever had. He was famous and well known by all the nations around Israel in his day. He was feared by his enemies but loved by his people. But even his enemies loved him when he hid from Saul among the Philistines. Everywhere he went I gave him favor. My gentleness made him great.

And then consider Mary, the mother of My Son, the greatest and most blessed of all women, and yet she never what the world would call rich or famous in her life. She did not do things that put her in the world’s spotlight. While she was on earth, worldly people would not have called her amazing.

And how about her cousin Elizabeth? The mother of John the Baptist, an older woman, advanced in years that you don’t hear anything about except she observed all My commandments. And Anna, the widow that stayed in the temple fasting and praying the whole day long, and yet even as a baby in Mary’s arms she recognized the Messiah.

And then there is Daniel, the man of excellence who pleased Me greatly. He was the advisor to three empires and was sought after by kings and people of high rank for his wisdom and ability to receive revelation from Me. He was great with Me and in the world.

And think about Lydia. A very successful and accomplished businesswoman who helped to support Paul and had a church in her home. And she too is great in My eyes.

And think about Peter, Andrew, James and John. They were fishermen. Not influential, not famous, not what anyone considered well educated and they left everything to preach My kingdom until they, all except John, were martyred by those who opposed My gospel. And yet they are great and did great things for you by passing down to you My Word and the faith in Jesus.

Think about Stephen. He waited on tables so the apostles could pray and teach. He was a helper. But he was great in My eyes. Jesus stood up in Heaven as Stephen was attacked by the jealous crowd and received him up when Stephen asked to go.

But then think about Jehoshaphat and Hezekiah, great kings of great influence. And they both were pleasing to Me and were great in My eyes.

And so were Elisha and Elijah, but they went about in rough clothes and were prophets of My Word to the people, who often mistreated them. Yet I took Elisha up to heaven in a fiery whirlwind and Elisha’s bones had so much anointing in them even after death that contact with them raised a young man from the dead. Great men.

Jeremiah was a son of the High Priest and a well educated and mighty man that kings sought counsel of and I called him great too. I called him from his mother’s womb.

I would have you consider Isaac and Jacob also, neither one particularly outstanding in the world’s idea of fame and glory, but I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and proud to say so.

And I could go on and on. But I want you to note, these people may seem very different, and, at this point, you may be wondering what it is that pleases Me and what it is I call great when they are all so different in their assignments and state of life. But I look for one thing to determine who is great and who is pleasing in My eyes. And My Son told you He is looking for it too. And when He prayed for Peter that was the one thing He prayed that would never fail in Peter. Do you know what it is that I am looking for? It is very simple because they all had it and that is what makes them all so great to Me. It is FAITH. It is impossible to please Me without faith. They were all fully persuaded that I would perform what I promised. They believed My Words. Remember? Elizabeth told you why Mary is so great! “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” Luke 1:41-45. Do you see? “And BLESSED IS SHE WHO BELIEVED THAT THERE WOULD BE A FULFILLMENT OF WHAT HAD BEEN SPOKEN TO HER BY THE LORD.”

Before he had set foot in the Promised Land, before had conquered the giants in the land that was to belong to his tribe, the tribe of Judah, do you remember what I said about Caleb because he stood firm with My promise while the rest of the Israelites grumbled and wailed in unbelief of My Word? “But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.” Numbers 14:24. I said he had followed Me fully and he had done nothing yet but believe that no matter what the obstacles and enemies of the Promised Land looked like, if I said they would win and take it, as far as he was concerned it was a done deal. Faith. The spirit of faith. Believe My Word in your heart and speak it with your mouth until it is fulfilled in your life. And that is what everyone I have mentioned as great did.

And remember what I tell you about Stephen of the early Church? He was full of FAITH and the Holy Spirit. That goes together. Acts 6:5.

And you have the same spirit of faith. You got it when you became a new creation in Christ. In fact, you used it to get born again. You believed in your heart that I raised Jesus from the dead and spoke with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and you knew you were made righteous and you were saved whether you felt anything or not. That is faith. You just know that what I said, what I promised you, is sure, even if everything looks contrary.

If I said it, you know you have it. That is faith. And that is what makes you great with Me. Jesus said when He returns, He would be looking to find faith on the earth. He prayed that Peter’s faith would never fail. I am looking for the one who has faith. And that is the person I can partner with to do great things, even if the world does not know the greatness of it, I do.

Just read Hebrews 11 and you will find out some amazing things that I call great. Like Sarah having faith to conceive in old age. And Noah building a huge boat preparing for a flood when it had never even rained before. And Abraham packing up and heading out when I told him to go when he did not even know where he was going. The worldly probably would not call any of these things great or even very wise. But it proved great and wise in the long run.

Faith pleases Me. Why? Because it enables Me to connect with you and perform My Word in your life. Faith is the conductor of My power into your life and the lives of others. It is the conductor of My POWER into the earth—to stop storms, stop earthquakes, move nations, take down kingdoms of worldly power, rescue multitudes, and take territory. And if you note, in all those things I mentioned, they were done by one person. Joshua even made the sun and moon stand still. Esther saved a people from destruction. Mary gave the whole world the Redeemer. Samson knocked out an army with the jawbone of a donkey. David took down Goliath with a slingshot and Paul turned the world right side up and wrote the majority of the New Testament. And think about Noah. Do not think your life cannot make a HUGE difference. If you have faith and you have a heart to pray and intercede with Jesus your great High Priest, you can do more than you can ever even dream or imagine. Why not start now? Start declaring and prophesying My Word. Start speaking to the mountains instead of finding them a barrier that you cannot cross.

And what pleases Me the most is that faith is a relationship. It means you have connected with Me and trust Me and believe I love you and reward you. It means you are My friend. And that is what I called Abraham and Moses and what Jesus calls you who believe. Friends. Close friends. In fact I called Moses My intimate friend.

Faith is of the heart. You believe in your heart. That is why I do not look so much at outward appearance, as I told the prophet Samuel, I look at the heart. So greatness is not from the outside in, it is from the inside out. Think about that.

I love you. What is in your heart today? If there is doubt, get it out. Flush it out with a good dose of washing with the water of the Word. That is how Jesus cleaned up His disciples, by the Word He spoke to them. Faith comes by hearing and hearing My Word. Not yours, unless you are speaking Mine, like Caleb. Stop talking so much about what you feel and say what My Word says on the subject. Feelings change but My Word does not. You who are reading this know what I mean. If you develop a relationship with Me, faith is natural, it comes by knowing one another.