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25 September, 2013

Faith - Part 3

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

This morning I was all set to use the post that I have already prepared two days ago which is about how God walked me step by step to understand the faith that is pleasing to Him. But, I have this habit which I hang on to very close to my heart when I am writing a post that I personally feel is a heavy subject.  A heavy subject for me is when you take the stand and you are basically alone in your belief. Times like that, my heart is closer to God for two reasons:
1)    I feel the loneliness of standing for something that I know is true and the only way I will be vindicated is when the world will be no more. So, I need God’s friendship
2)    The other reason is that I would rather die than knowingly or unknowingly lead people in the wrong direction that would lead them to Satan or away from the arms of my Father.

So, I have a habit of going to God even though I already know what the subject should be. I learned to practice this habit a few years back when I learned what David did in 2 Samuel 5 after he was crowned king over all Israel. In verse 17 when the Philistines were at his doorsteps in the valley of Rephaim, instead of going straight out there and fight them, David inquired of the Lord, just in case God had another plan. David did not pray because he was looking for a sign from God, but because of his faith in Him and His relationship with Him.

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So, as I sat there, meditating on His word and His will, my heart was heavy because I would hate to know that I wrote anything that was just my opinion to some extend. I was looking for some bread crumbs from Him just to confirm that I should continue posting or not, then, He met with me. He knew what I was looking for, He reassured me of His will and He said to me. You are not as alone as you think you are and this question of  “fall away” that man is trying to put their own spin on, is right there in the Bible. I said, well I know it is all over the Bible but…. , before I finish my thought He said I am referring to the story of Adam and Eve that is right there in the Bible.  Only then, I realized that I never thought of it this way. Then He said if Adam and Eve had all the privileges they received through me and one of them was to walk with me so closely, yet their lack of belief in me caused them to fall away from grace, why would Christians be exempt?

I am going to say something that will make me sound so stupid, but I have to share it anyway.  Only when I heard God say “their lack of belief in me” I realized I always see Adam and Eve disobedience, but I never focused on what they did as a lack of faith in Him. Yes, I can hear myself saying that, I also realize this is something that even a babe in Christ already knows yet, it totally escaped me. The conversation between God and I went on and on, and I was truly happy and felt free.

Then I sat down while thinking about faith, I came to the conclusion since the word “faith” is about taking God at His word to the point where we can confidently act on what comes out of His mouth, then it all makes sense. What comes out of His mouth is so precious that He promised and warned us that Heaven and earth will pass away, but His words shall not pass away! He also said His word abides forever. God takes what comes out of His mouth seriously. So serious that He tells us that it is a matter of life and death.

Adam and Eve did not keep God’s covenant with them, they questioned His integrity and second guessed His word. Whenever we break God’s covenant with us, we do it because there is unbelief in our heart.  Any time we act contrary to God’s word, we reject Him over and over again. Whenever we act contrary to God’s word, we tell Him we do not believe that He has integrity. Hence the writer of Hebrews said in Hebrews 11:6 much more than “we must believe” he added onto it that we must diligently or earnestly seek Him. This word means a life purposely lived for Him. This word also involves a deeper commitment with complete awareness of Him. But, Satan fills our mind with unbelief, he keeps us occupied with our shoddy Christianity and tells us that we will be okay. He helps us find joy in saying those verses chapters after chapters when in reality, inwardly, we do not reflect what we profess. While Satan cannot see what is in our hearts, but 99% of the time, Satan finds the foothold that he needs to mess up with us simply because he watches us. He can tell what brings us more pleasure, he can tell where our weaknesses are, and what to use against us to undermine us in our walk of faith with Him.

As God reassured me this morning, when we do not have faith, we reject Him pure and simple and we reject everything He is offering us. We are living in a culture where the emphasis is put on God to keep His word.  If I read one more time that God cannot lie, I will die. Yes, it is good to know we serve a God who cannot lie, but that is not where our problems really lie. People are not interested in telling others that we too, God has given us guidance to follow through His word and we better get in line with His plan. Our culture makes it look like even when we reject Him we will be okay. But it is not biblical at all because the Bible keeps warning us. Without faith it is impossible to please God and God will always test our faith through trials, adversities and pressures of life to give us an opportunity to respond and show that we truly believe beyond our words and beyond our activities.

Faith is the only catalyst that brings us through a life of intimacy with Him. We have something to say about whether we want this life or not. When we decide to go our way while we are paying Him lip service, we force His hand and He cannot do anything else but act according to His nature. How many times God has to explain to us that every time we reject His grace we will lose. Lucifer tried that, as well as Adam & Eve. The stubborn Israelites also learned it the hard way, so why, with all these examples and warnings we still tempt God? 

The Israelites thought they were superior because they found grace in the eyes of God so they felt and acted like He owed them. Doesn’t that remind you of us Christians today? When we take His Salvation for granted we put God through the same thing the Israelites put Him through. We act as if everything is permissible for two reasons.  One of them is that Christ died for us and the second one is that God cannot lie.  Yet, we keep saying with our mouths that we serve a God who does not change. So, if for a minute you are thinking without Satan’s blocking your mind can you see how this does not make sense?

The next time you are trying to convince yourself that shoddy Christianity is good enough because God cannot lie and He has to honour His word ask yourself “ Have I honoured my commitment to Him?” Do I truly live a life that shows that I take Him at His word? Do I stand on all His word or few verses that make things easy for me? TEST YOUR OWN FAITH!