Faith is the subject that has been on my mind all day. As I wrote this morning’s blog entry on standing firm in our faith, I felt a bit uneasy – as if I had left something out. I still can’t quite put my finger on it. So tonight, I want to take some time and just reflect on the notion of faith.
I’m always amazed at people for who faith seems to come easy. (Please note, I said “seems.”) Faith really runs counter to the way we are taught to live. Have a plan, set your goals, know where you are going, right?
But that’s the problem. We don’t know where we’re going. We may think we do. We may have life planned to the nth degree. And – don’t misunderstand me – it is great to plan. We need to plan for the future.
However… we cannot let the plan run our lives. As I wrote earlier, we are all traveling down the road of life, and we can only see what is right in front of us. If you can look me in the eye and tell me you know, without a shadow of doubt, exactly what life is going to bring tomorrow – or even in two minutes – you are either fooling yourself and/or full of yourself.
Listen, faith is a conundrum for some of us. Faith in God requires an admission of frailty on our parts. We have to be willing to accept the fact that we do not control our lives, we cannot know everything, and that is actually OK. For a control freak like me, who likes to have all the facts and analyze every possible outcome before moving forward, faith can be agony. Waiting on God! I’ve got things to do!
Consider this: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” – 2 Peter 1:3 (ESV). In other words, God is in control, not me. God’s “divine power” blesses me with all I need for life and godliness. So… if I have faith in God (as opposed to self), why would I ever sweat it when my plans crumble before me? If God has not granted me something, I must not need it. And if life has hit the fan, God must have a plan for me. I have to believe that.
And God doesn’t just say “believe” and leave it at that. He has left plenty of evidence to satisfy our inner-Thomases. In His Word we find “the knowledge of him.” In nature, we see the incontrovertible proof of His creation. We have the miracles of Christ. But at some point, we all need to be shoved off into the deep end of the pool in order to swim. We have to make the leap and simply say, “Yes, I believe.” And then begin to believe.
When doubt comes, squelch it. We have to walk by faith, not by sight. We have to believe every word of Scripture is true and accurate and right and God’s. We have to know that God loves us and is with us and never leaves us. That can be real tough in the deepest part of the middle of the night. But we have to grasp it. We have to let go of self and let God call the shots.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. – Hebrews 11:1-3 (KJV)
Faith is God’s way of doing business. It takes the onus of performance and perfection off of us and puts it squarely on God. The Lord doesn’t ask us to be perfect. He just requires us to be faithful. God enables us to be bold, because by faith all the realm of the Lord through Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ opens wide to us.
It’s funny. As I said, today I have been thinking a lot about faith. And it seems like every song I heard – on the radio, on my MP3 player – every song dealt with faith, and waiting on the Lord, and simply believing. It was when Michael Card’s “By Faith” came on that I decided the fix was in. So, tonight, I want to emphasize what I wrote this morning. Be strong in your faith. Build up your faith through studying – diligently studying – His Word and spending plenty of time praying – diligently praying. As Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8, KJV).
Faith brings a freedom to life that cannot truly be experienced without it. It is by faith that we are enabled to live and it is by faith that we are saved for it is by faith that God is experienced and it is by faith that God works.