Thursday, July 30, 2009

What Faith IS and What it is NOT

How much do we really live by faith? Do we live the kinds of lives that really require us to exercise a certain amount of faith or do we base our goals and lifestyles on goals that are very achievable on the human level, within our own power? And further, can faith be merely equivocated with risk taking?

The most important aspect of faith is its object. If God is the object of faith, then it is faith. Why? Because God is fact. God is certain. God is absolute. If an educated guess or risky living is the definition of living by faith, then we are operating under an unbiblical definition, because the Bible says,

HEB 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

So under that definition, ideas like "confidence, assurance, and certainty" are necessary components to faith. This is only possible if God is the sole object. So that is why we can “live by faith” and not by sight, because we know that God is the author of life, the sustainer of life, is sovereign over all of life, and is the goal of life. So in the end, to live by faith is to trust God with all of life.

Therefore, “taking chances,” “risky investments,” and "counting the odds" are not what it means to take “a leap of faith.” Because in those things, there is no assurance and certainty of anything. Maybe it will work and maybe it won’t. But that’s not faith. Faith involves certainty. We would be much better to call those things “educated guesses.” Nothing wrong with educated guesses – just don’t call it faith.

So practically speaking, to live by faith then is to be certain that God will provide everything I need that He has promised. Not everything I want, but everything I need. We can be certain of that.

MT 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like it. I like it a lot. Thanks for the insights into the Word. If faith is a gift, we should be good stewards of it and not make it superfluous like so man do. It's another example of a word we toss around like popcorn but really think about at deeper levels.