Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Faith In God

Some people have done amazingly stupid things in the name of "faith". Doing something unsafe, unwise or unnecessary just to prove you believe God can do something miraculous to save you from the normal consequences of your actions, is not biblical faith.

People have accomplished amazing things when acting by faith in God. Noah built an ark and saved his family - and ultimately, the world. Abraham was ready to sacrifice Isaac because of his faith. But these men did not just decide to do something risky and trust God to help them. God told them to do something that was impossible for them to do alone - they trusted in what they could not see. Obeying God when we don't know how everything will work out...that is faith. Faith leads to obedience, as Paul wrote in Romans 1:5:

"Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith."

Here's the comparison: It is not faith that causes you to give money you don't have, hoping God will repay you miraculously. Faith causes you to give whatever God calls you to give when He calls you to give as you listen to Him speak through His word and by His Spirit.

"Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 'If you are the Son of God,' he said, 'throw yourself down. For it is written:
`He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in
their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'
Jesus answered him,
'It is also written: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "

- Matthew 4:5-7

Don't confuse "acting in faith" with "putting God to the test". There is a big difference between testing God and trusting God.

1 comment:

Scott said...

If I might venture my input, faith is no guarantee that a sovereign God HAS to answer, "yes". As God said in Exodus 33 and Paul refers to in Romans 9, "I will have mercy on whom I CHOOSE to have mercy, and compassion on whom I CHOOSE to have compassion." Faith attracts God's attention, but God still makes a choice regarding His answers to prayer, based on much better criteria than we had when we asked. So faith then must also accept His answer, believing He made an informed decision.