Monday, August 12, 2013

By Faith

We had a really good discussion in bible study yesterday.  We are going through Hebrews 11, the great "by faith" chapter, and this led to a nice discussion on what makes us as Christians different.

We live by faith.  We view the world by faith. 

We are not mere empiracists, trusting only what can be counted, observed, and repeated.  We cling to what God has said, even if it is what eye has not (yet) seen or what ear has not (yet) heard.  If God says it, we believe.

Sure, Sarah is barren and old, and Abraham is good as dead - but faith hears and believes the promise that Isaac shall come.  Not by their strength, not by their own good deeds, not by their powers or moral character - but simply and solely by the power of God.  By faith Sarah and Abraham saw this, apart from themselves.

The danger for us today in our modern world is to forget that we live by faith.

We want to live in a world of sales techniques and business plans.  We want to live in a world of numbers and demographics.  We want to live in a world where if we just follow the right formula or do the right moral song and dance that all our dreams will come true: be they dreams for ourselves, our family, our congregation, our Synod, our country... whatever.

But that's not living by faith.

That's paying attention merely to what is seen, to our plans and desires, rather than clinging simply and solely to Christ.

That is forgetting that the Spirit works when and where He wills.
That is forgetting that many of the blessings God gives looks like suffering to the world (for the world has no idea why we can call Good Friday "Good").
That is forgetting that we live saying, "If the Lord Wills..."
That is forgetting that it is no longer I who live, not my passion, my wants, my desires, my plans - but rather it is Christ who lives within me.

Our reason, our strength, our powers - these are the things the world trusts.  But we are not of the world - we live by Faith. 

Do not let the world pull you astray into simply carnal thinking.  We live by faith.  We live trusting in Christ and His great mercy for us.

No comments: