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Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Trouble with Faith

Many Christians don't understand their own faith. They see it as a means of helping them in this life. They see it as a way of giving them comfort or encouragement when they are down. They lose the concept of a total commitment. It is merely one of their commitments. It has its place but it does not need to intrude into every area of their lives. They may have a little faith but it is extremely little. It would never get out of the boat and walk toward Jesus.

Do people seek safety over Jesus? Absolutely! They would rather stay in a safe boat than take a "chance" at walking toward Jesus on the water. They already know that they can't walk on water. The difference between Peter who got out of the boat and those who stayed in the boat was that Peter understood that the Man who was walking on the water could give him the ability to also walk on the water. The only reason Peter didn't complete his journey was that he began to notice what the ones in the boat couldn't take their eyes off of. He doubted when he saw the wind and the waves. That which we can see often gets in the way of our faith.

Therefore, members of churches are scared as they fail to meet their budgets. They cry when they see that they can no longer keep the buildings in good working order or that they are struggling to make the note payments. They fail to understand that the Christian life is all about seeking God and His kingdom. He will add every need if the people will simply do that.

Maybe that's it? Christians already know they will not seek Him first or His kingdom so they have no expectation that He will supply their needs. Therefore, there is a need to be worried. The supply is not coming because the doubters can expect nothing from the Lord. How many times have you heard in a church meeting, "If the money is going to be raised, it is going to be given by us!"? The natural man can understand this. It should make the spiritual man sick. We might as well give lessons on walking on water. "If we are going to walk on water it is because we have learned how to walk on water." What a crock!

The trouble with faith is that it cannot be something that people work up within themselves. It is a gift of God that causes us to believe. It is something directly opposed to our natural order. It rejects "seeing is believing" and accepts "believing is seeing!"

Faith flies in the face of the practical non-believers. These are the ones who are deemed practical by the majority of the church. They are the ones that church members say keep them safe. They are the ones who also keep people from seeking Him and His kingdom. They balance the budget but also see no miracles. Their faith is one of staying in the boat that God gave them rather than getting out on the water for a close walk with Him. They will accept good over best consistently if it involves true faith.

But we can't expect our churches to be different if we aren't different. We can't expect our church to step out in faith if we will not trust God with our tithe. We can't expect our church to reach people if we won't step forward to reach them. We can't expect our church to know and teach God's word if we will accept something less. We can't expect our church to walk toward Jesus if we won't take those steps to do so as well.

The real trouble with faith is that it is so easy to fake. We can look like true believers and live very self-preserving lives. We can say that we have faith because we tell people that we know we are going to heaven. The truth is that people don't really have any faith if they say they can trust Him for eternity but can't trust Him for this next Friday. I suppose they want to say that they believe because they know they really can't do anything about their deaths. They might as well say they are going to heaven. Maybe that's why so many "believers" are so scared of dying. They really don't believe and the evidence is found in how they always stay safe while on this earth. The average Christian can't really point to an act where they had to depend upon God or they would sink. It is as nonsensical to them as it is to a non-believer.

The trouble with faith is that it goes against the ways of the world. Few people want to do that. They would rather stay in the boat.

Matthew 14:28-29 (NIV)
And Peter answered Him, "Lord, if it is You,  command me to come to you on the water. And He said to him, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.

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