By Faith or Not By Faith – That is the Question

Faith is abundant, but shallow.

This applies not only to those “religious” but also those who claim not to be people of faith.

People place faith in many things.

We place faith in the other drivers on the road that they will also obey the same laws by which we are abiding. We place faith in our own planning that we can accomplish all that we’ve carefully designed and laid out. We place faith in professionals who shell out advice for every possible situation we face.

If you believe in God, you place faith in Him and what He’s revealed.

If you don’t believe in God, then you have faith in yourself and science that He doesn’t exist.

But when we talk about faith in the Kingdom of God, we’re talking very much about a true, all-encompassing faith in the character and nature of God.

Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. (Hebrews 11:1-2, NIV)

The legacy passed on to all who follow Christ is that of faith.

And yet, how often are we living by this faith?

Hebrews 11 goes on to tell us that “by faith” people made choices – decisions that had a profound influence on the generations that followed. They expressed a confidence in the hope of God. They had an assurance in a plan they could not see. They made daily decisions that culminated in a life lived by faith. And, they were commended for it.

How would we as The Church be commended today?

Can we say that we are making our daily decisions “by faith”?

  • By faith, we determined not to support the ministry.
  • By faith, we chose to abdicate our responsibility as a parent to have someone else train our children in the Lord.
  • By faith, we decided against sending that mission team.
  • By faith, we realized it was too difficult to align our ministries more with biblical teaching.

Would it be more accurate to say decisions are being made by “sight”?

  • By sight, we saw the ministry didn’t do everything we thought it should.
  • By sight, we saw someone else being more trained and ready to train our children.
  • By sight, we saw we didn’t have the funds and shouldn’t send the mission team.
  • By sight, we saw too many people upset with changing the programs and determined it was best to keep the peace.

If we choose to live by sight, we also are making another extremely clear choice – we are deciding to trust our character and nature over God’s.

It’s not that we can use our reasoning ability and share wisdom among one another. But following Christ was never about knowing all the answers. Jesus didn’t present a multi-year plan to His followers. He called them, they followed, and an adventure in faith ensued.

Our God is awesome, and His character and nature is good. He is perfect, holy and just. He is a God worthy of our complete trust and commitment.

When we make decisions day in and day out for our families and local churches, may we live the way the ancient were commended. May we be able to begin every statement of our decision with one simple phrase that makes all the difference in where our true heart and motivation lies.

By faith.

For we live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

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