Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Do You Want More Faith?

Do You Want More Faith?

We are told in 1 Peter1:7 that our "faith is far more precious than mere gold." Why is our faith so important to us and to God?

My wife said this to me the other day, something we have both been reminding ourselves: Change your thinking, change your life. This is so true...  how we think affects our lives dramatically.

And Faith IS how we think. It is the lens we choose to see through, and affects everything in front of us.  When I get offended with someone or lose trust in them, every future interaction is now tainted with suspicion and an expectation of more hurt. Or what about a product or company? When we lose confidence in it/them it totally affects how we will interact in the future. We may be wrong, but it doesn't matter. Having faith in something affects everything.

It works the same with our faith in God. If our trust and confidence in Him is strong, we can be hopeful and unshakeable. But when our faith wavers, when we "lose faith" in Him and His love for us, we move into a dark place of fear and confusion.

So how do we work on our faith?
How do we get that infectious, positive, rock solid faith that some seem to have?  Let's look at a powerful discourse between Jesus and His Disciples in Luke 17:3-10.
"Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”

Do you see what happened? Jesus' disciples were confronted with a radical expectation of forgiveness, and they realized it would take a faith they did not have. I can imagine them thinking: "How can we forgive that much? How can we do that? We don't have that kind of faith!"

Look at Jesus' response:
6 “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,” the Lord said, “you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
7 “Which one of you having a servant tending sheep or plowing will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 Instead, will he not tell him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, get ready, and serve me while I eat and drink; later you can eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did what was commanded? 10 In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, ‘We are worthless servants; we’ve only done our duty.’”

Jesus responded not with how, but with VISION and PERSPECTIVE.

VISION:  We need a vision that faith MAKES A DIFFERENCE.  Jesus is telling us that if we will only trust God, mountains in our life will move! But, if we don't get a vision that life will be better WITH FAITH, we will never pursue itAnd I don't think He means a faith or trust that is strong and unshakeable. I believe mustard seed faith is that barely-hanging-on, quaking-in-my-boots, Lord-I-hope-you-show-up faith. Faith that reaches desperately for the love of a good heavenly Father, but has no clue how He is going to respond or come through.  I think that is OK with God!

Jesus wants us to believe that it will be worth it to follow Him in trust. God is not asking us for super-hero faith. Just get a vision that any faith will make things better and will release God's love and grace into our lives.

PERSPECTIVE:  Jesus is telling us to remember that we deserve NOTHING. Our obedience toward God is not something God is ENTITLED to reward.  He so often does so because He loves us.  But we must not move into entitlement and presumption toward God when we begin to trust and obey Him.  If we do, we dangerously box Him into our expectations of reward, and I guarantee you God does not work well within our boxes.

We must remember the CROSS. We are saved by grace, and unworthy. We are saved because of the lavish love of our God and His Son. Every good thing that we trust God for and ask God for must come with a view of His grace to us in Christ. In fact, we are actually guaranteed hard times and trials that are ordained in love for our good.  When I can trust God from His love and with a right view of grace, I can endure the times of trial and suffering, and I can rejoice in them and accept them as a part of His plan for my good as well.

VISION grows our desire for faith, and PERSPECTIVE allows us to persevere in our faith. That's what Jesus' answer was for His disciples. See what God wants for you, and see His great love for you, and your faith will grow!

Do you have a vision of how much better your life would be if you walked in faith?
More peace, more joy, less fear, more love from your Father?  Do you have a perspective of grace and lavish love, that allows God to be God and do things His way, not yours?

Get that vision!  Fan the flame of desire for more faith, and watch your life move onto the path of intention and see God answer you with greater faith!


Post a Comment