Reflections and observations on faith… and places where I want to walk.
May 30, 2017
Where does faith fit?
To what extent do my expectations drive my outcomes? Does “what I believe” matter? Are my expectations, beliefs, and the starting point in my thinking processes rooted in the truths of Heaven and the promises of God; or, are my expectations directly tied to earthly patterns and predictable and expected outcomes? What does it mean when it says in the Bible in Matthew, “and Jesus didn’t do very many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” Does my level of faith impact the degree to which God gets involved?
I have to admit that I have been addicted to reason and logic my entire life. Most of my thought processes and decisions have been firmly rooted in reason and logic. I have been a left brain junky. But, I am discovering that God’s ways don’t always follow the paths of logic… So, I’m confronted with these questions… What role does genuine faith play in my approach to life? What role do spiritual possibilities and the promises of God play in my decision making and thought processes? How do the truths of Heaven factor in? Do I walk in genuine interactive relationship with/and trust in the God – who is there, or have I reduced my interactions with Him to mere academic study of what (the impersonal) God has done in history? Is the extent of my faith simply intellectually agreeing with the contents of the Bible?
Hebrews 11:6 says “Without faith it’s impossible to please Him”… Romans 1:17 says “The righteous will live by faith.” Faith sounds kind of important…. What if it will actually “be done unto me according to my faith?”… Uh-oh.
When I say faith, I’m not talking about faith in the sense that it is often used, that is, what flavor of Christianity do you practice… People often ask… “what faith are you”? That’s not what I’m talking about.
When I say faith, I’m referring to the mountain moving type; the Hebrews chapter 11 type… when we see with our spiritual eyes the “evidence of the things hoped for”… and we reach a point of being convicted in our hearts regarding “things not seen”… The type where the starting expectation of our heart is for something that is not currently before us. That kind of faith. What role does that kind of faith play in my Christian walk?
Unfortunately, we really don’t often encounter people that walk in that type of faith… The modern-day American Christian “experience” is not a far cry from:
1. Establish an attendance record at the building.
2. Perform an academic review of scripture (occasionally).
3. Grin and bear it.
4. Keep a stiff upper lip.
5. Pray…… (maybe).
Now, If you can maintain at least 3 of these (or maybe even 2), we’ll consider you among our very best… sadly.
It would seem that God would have us cultivate something deeper than that… Perhaps we should become a people that behave like “new creatures in Christ” – People that act with the mind of Christ – People who recognize that their citizenship is of a higher place…people with an ever increasing awareness of the spiritual realm… people that are in the world and yet not of the world… perhaps a people that walk by faith and not by sight.
I’ve been giving some thought in recent months to how I can exercise faith in a given circumstance.
I can’t say that I have great insight here, but I’m growing more and more convinced that the starting point in exercising our faith in any circumstance is to begin by asking God questions.
Here are some good questions to ask in prayer…
What is true in Heaven regarding this circumstance? (There is always a higher truth than the earthly facts).
What are God’s purposes?
What does this mean?
What must we do?
Another good question I heard recently: What is it that God wants to be for us in this circumstance that He couldn’t be for us before this circumstance?
Ask, and keep on asking…
As we ask these questions we should be intentional about listening. One way (among many) that God will speak to us is through spontaneous thoughts in our minds and spirits. (Jesus said my sheep hear my voice).
Once we believe we begin to hear answers in our spirits in response to these questions… that is the point where we begin to “see” with our spiritual eyes the “evidence of things hoped for” (this is how faith is described in Hebrews chapter 11). Faith is looking beyond earthly circumstances to what is true in heaven regarding them.
Once we believe we are beginning to see with our spiritual eyes the “evidence of things hoped for,” then we begin to pray in this way: Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven… Prayer then, is calling down the conditions of Heaven into our earthly space.
May we all seek to break out of status-quo… academic-based Christianity to a new place of walking in an interactive relationship with the Creator of Heaven and earth, where we apply faith and connect with the Kingdom of God. May it be so.
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