Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Faithfulness does not equal perfection

How often have you thought that faith is the same as belief? I have done that often and today while I was reading in Hebrews a whole new thought struck me which led me on a search.

Faith is MORE than just believing. Faith is belief, action, trust, righteousness and dependence.

God desires to grow our Faith in the bigger picture. We tend to focus our thoughts on the here and now. We look at His promises often times as promises that will be delivered on earth. God will fulfill His promises, but did you ever consider that the fulfillment of these may not be on earth? I think when we are so focused on our "needs" we forget that there is more than what we see. We expect and often demand that our "needs" be met in our time otherwise we do not believe God is fulfilling His promises.

Hebrews 11:13-16
13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Take a look at some of the verses that show that Faith is so much bigger than just belief.

Hebrews 11:3
3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Hebrews 11:6
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.

James 2:14-18
14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

James 2:26
26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

1 Thessalonians 1:3
3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 11:1
1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see

Romans 4:4-8
4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."

Hebrews 11:17-19, 39-40
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

God shares in His Word about so many people that are considered people of great faith. They were not perfect, they failed, they lacked faith, but they were still considered men of faith. So, if that is the case, faith can never be perfect here on earth. God allows us to fall on our face. He rejoices when we get back up and run to Him before we take our next step.

Hebrews 3: 5-6
5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.

God desires to see Christians encourage one another in their daily walk. Do you do this? Do you find yourself more inclined to jump on a soap box about how you have been wronged, but not encourage your friends to turn and run to God? We need to long for people to help us as much as we need to help others in love. Do not boast that you have arrived. None of us are acting on our own...God is helping all of us with all our accomplishments. Do not run from helping others. It is not an easy thing to do, but it will grow the relationship and God will find you faithful.

Hebrews 3: 12-13
12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

What do you need to give up to God and use true Faith in God that requires us
  1. to believe (God will take care of it)
  2. to take action (Let Go)
  3. to trust (God has His best in mind for us)
  4. to depend (We cannot do it alone)
  5. to see our righteousness perfected (stepping outside of ourselves allows us to see the bigger picture of who God is and how he wants to use us)?

Faith does not need to be free from all concern before you can exercise it...We will not be able to act in perfect faith or prove to be perfectly faithful.

1 comment:

  1. As someone great once said, can't remember who . . . Faith is simply acting like what God says is true.