As we continue our discussion on Faith the thought comes to mind that we don’t always follow directions. Sometimes we don’t even read them. Somehow we think we can figure it out without the guidance of someone who has been there. How is it that we think we know the way? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Developing faith that follows starts with understanding who has the correct information. Then we need to put that into action. We’ll deal with the action component next week. So where do we go to get the information that will lead us to the right place?
We draw on many things to guide us; experience and knowledge being the primary. The flaw with that is none of us know everything or have experienced it all. Let me tell you the path is shorter if you seek guidance from someone who has walked it. Someone who knows the way. Someone who knows where the pitfalls and traps are. They can help you avoid the mistakes made by themselves and others. They can help you find your way without as much struggle.
But we do struggle, don’t we? Why is that? Remember the reasons we talked about; pride, arrogance, ignorance, envy, rage, misunderstanding, all of these contribute to our reluctance to follow. We somehow think we should have it figured out and view looking for guidance and direction as a weakness. Nothing could be further than the truth.
When we look at the life we have been given in Christ and our desire to live the best life possible we must draw on the knowledge of the creator of life himself, God. But that is where faith comes in, we question whether God knows what we need. The thought comes to mind; Will God do it or does he need my help? We sometimes think that we need to lead God to where we think He should be working.
The truth is this; there are some things God tolerates that we do, there are some things God allows us to do, but there are things that only God makes happen. God’s Sovereign Will, will be done.
There is a story in the Bible about a man who developed this faith. Recorded in Genesis 12-25 we find the whole story of Abraham. I’ll be referring to it and encourage you to read it. Let’s look at some of the milestones along the road.
· God called Abram to a land He will show him.
· Abram moved with his wife Sarai, his family and possessions.
· God promised descendants that no one could count.
· Abram doubted and he and his wife took matters into their own hands.
· God provided a son in spite of their lack of faith.
· Isaac was born and God asked for a sacrifice.
· Abraham learned to have faith in God and follow Him.
What can we learn? Well for starters, don’t take accomplishing God’s plan into our own hands. When God calls, respond and follow. God knows what he promised and it will come to pass in His time.
How many things in society have been called good but in fact are against the instructions of God? How much have we taken things into our own hands and corrupted the things of God? At times our actions encourage others to act in a way contrary to God’s Will. Our influence allows them to justify their actions when in fact we are not acting in a way that honors God.
There are a couple things about God we need to accept. These are not things up for debate; this is the truth about God and His character.
God is Sovereign; God has absolute control over His creation and determines the outcome of all things according to His wise, just and righteous purposes.
God is Good; God not only controls everything but he reveals his character in the outcome of His plan, it accomplishes good and is beneficial for us.
Whether we believe it or not! When we fail to acknowledge God’s sovereignty we become, as James described, tossed about.
James 1:5-8; NLT: 5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
Anxiety, worry, fear, stress and dread will overwhelm us if we focus on the world’s evils, just watch the news, it will rob us of the peace we have in Christ. We will never be satisfied if we try to find our own truth, try to define things and sort things out in our own mind. We do not have the capability to grasp the fullness of it all. But God Does!
At times we get too practical. We want all the answers before we commit. That is not a faith that follows. At times we get impatient and think God needs our help. That is not a faith that follows. God expects us to submit to His power and authority and show a faith in Him that He can and will bring about His will.
When it does not seem likely. When it does not seem possible. When it does not make sense to us. Then it has to be God!
Hebrews 11:1-2, Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
Our goal in life is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. To do that requires faith, not in our abilities or understanding, but in God’s Sovereignty. I encourage you to develop a faith that follows Christ!