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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

In Faith, We Leap (Believe) Before We Can See

While in college I marveled at the people who dove off  diving platforms. I wondered if I could dive from the seven or ten meter platforms. I watched others climb the stairs to these platforms, look down at the water and walk back down. I had never been to the top before. I was afraid that I would back out if I climbed those stairs like so many others.

Finally, I decided that I would always wonder what it was like until I "took the plunge." I climbed the stairs until I reached the platform, took off running and dove before I got to the end. I couldn’t see the water but I was already committed to the dive. I admit, it did seem like a long way down as I got my first glimpse of where I would land. Entry was not very pretty. I did make a splash though I didn’t get hurt. I came up and said, "I can do better than that." I have made uncounted dives from the diving platform since.

Our faith with God may be like this for you. You have seen so many others take the plunge with their faith. Their efforts may not look so pretty. You may have seen many others get very close but back down. They have looked at it so intently that they have convinced themselves that they just can’t do it.

Most people never make a true commitment. They climb back down the stairs and say that they have had the experience of standing on the platform. They fail to tell you that they never really "made the plunge." They are like people who buy football jerseys but have never played football. There is no such thing as a vicarious faith in Christ but many people are carrying this very type of pseudo-faith.

Faith is a leap when we can’t see place we will land. It is a commitment to Someone we do not yet know. It is a hope in something that we will find after we have promised our obedience.

I can’t tell you exactly what God has in store for you. This is a dive you have to take on your own. I can tell you that you have to commit to the dive before you will receive the reward. I can tell you that a true commitment is thrilling.

God wants you to walk with Him in faith. The only question is whether you will jump or walk back down the stairs.

Hebrews 11:8 (ESV) 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.


Anonymous said...

A good metaphor used, to bring out the message of the scripture about Abraham's living faith.  

A living faith is not just a belief; belief is one part, albeit a significant part. Having belief is still not with operative faith; and a faith that is not operative is still a dead faith.  It is sad that overly grace preachers teach their followers that Abraham was counted righteous solely based on his belief as faith.  The text Ps Prentis quoted on Abraham clearly talked about Abraham's faih as a living faith or operative faith.  The components of a complete unit of faith or operative faith or living faith are firstly, a right belief, and secondly, a strong enough conviction, so strong that inaction threshold is busted, that there is action consistent with the right belief.

Whether it was the account of Abraham sojourning, as in the text Ps Prentis quoted, or the account of Abraham's attempt to sacrifice his son, Isaac, we see that belief was followed by action, consistent with belief.  Without faith it is impossible to please God, said Hebrew 6:11.  Dead faith alone cannot please God.  It is operative faith or living faith or "faith" complete with action expected, that is the faith that will please God.  Dead faith and vicarious faith are not sufficient.

Right standing must be accompanied by right living.  The very same preachers and believers who do not see the importance or need to embrace right living, are the same ones who would argue that there is not the living part of the faith, or that action is needed .  The very same people would argue on their same (erroneous) premise, there is no part of men, everything is God's part.  The same would also be suggesting to believers to adopt the Christian life as one that, one should just be basking in grace, having no need on our part to try anything, good or otherwise.  Because of the argument that it is all God's part, whatever will be, will be, God would move one to do anything if anything is needed to be done; no need to consider if one should or should not - absurd, yet many are deceived and are following such overly grace teachings and teachers.

Is it not right, one's action either justifies one or betrays one?!   We say,"where the rubber meets the road", there we will know.  Or talk is cheap, will you do consistent with what you said? Or will you walk the talk? God cannot be deceived or mocked!  Scripture said that one who practices righteousness is righteous, even as (or in the same way) Jesus is righteous; meaning Jesus practices righteousness even as He is righteous, and we are to do the same.  It is the same with faith, if you are with faith, you got to be practicing or living out the faith.  The test of the pudding is in the eating; I believe God employs it; and He is watching how you live your life, what you do or not do, vis-a vis your claim of faith.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions 

Anonymous said...

Without faith it is impossible to please God, above, is from Heb 11:6, not 6:11; sorry about the misquote.