Driving into work yesterday, I was listening to my iPod and a song by Sanctus Real came on titled “These Things Take Time” and the second stanza goes like this:
I wanna know why you gave me eyes
When faith is how I see
And tell me
Is it easier to doubt
Or harder to believe
I think that was the first time that stanza finally broke through to my heart, mind, and soul. I realized that those words were the type of question a child might ask, and yet it is so intellectually and spiritually deep you could travel through history and ask the greatest philosophers of mankind and never get a consensus.
And then I thought back to James chapter 1 where the brother of Jesus leaves us these words to meditate on:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:2-8)
If I’ve learned anything in this Christian walk it is that faith is not a noun; it is not a refrigerator magnet or a fancy paper weight. Faith is a verb, that is to be active, alert, and unwavering. How is that possible? James admonishes us in verse 6 to “ask in faith with no doubting.” How do you do that? Is it even humanly possible to ask without doubting?
Let’s come up with a profound, theological definition of faith, one that we can apply in a real way daily in our lives. You ready…wait for it…T-R-U-S-T. There, I even spelled it out for you, trust! Okay, so how do we get to the point in our lives where we trust someone? We get to know them, we gain confidence in that which we trust, don’t we?
You already know where this is going, don’t you? Stay with me.
How well do you know God, or to use what’s become in many churches the latest Christian cliché, “How big is your God?” Now I’m not mocking that question because I could probably write a book trying to answer that question, but too many peddlers of Christ in Armani suits fling that around like an American Express Gold Card with no credit limit.
How about if I introduce you to some verses from the Old Testament and we read them again for the first time, okay? When David and his army were fighting the Philistine giants of Gath, David grew faint in battle because of his age and was almost killed until Abishai came to his rescue. After the Philistines were defeated, David wrote a praise song found in 2 Samuel 22 and of particular note are these words:
“As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” (2 Samuel 22:31)
David trusted God because God’s track record was not only perfect, it was long. David lived the Bible; he had seen God’s deliverance over and over again to the point David describes God as a shield. In battle in those days a shield was your best protection.
Oh yeah but Bro Dave, King David, well he was David of the Bible! But what made David “unique” when compared to most Christians today? Rarely did David run and hide, and whenever he did, he records for us the embarrassing defeat he suffered.
Most Christians today are wimps, pure and simple. And I do mean that to be harsh and critical. To knock a barnacle off the hull of a ship you need a chisel and hammer. But after that it’s smooth sailing. How does a ship get barnacles? By not sailing! We have too many Barnacle Billy’s and Betty’s in the church today. We trust in money, jobs, homes, family, whatever this temporal world has to offer long, long, long before we ever trust God.
Beloved, that’s confidence in you, not God! Here’s another verse from David:
“Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!” (Psalm 31:19)
“…for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men…” Where’s your faith? Oh darn, I forgot! I’ll be right back! You go and get whatever lucky rabbit’s foot or idol that represents your faith and run back, “Here it is! Thanks for reminding me!”
My dear brother and sister, you don’t carry your faith around with you, you live your faith. I’ve been asked more times than I can remember or have heard conversations about how many of us, and at times I’m guilty of this, fear for America.
We need to stop that because our focus is on the wrong things. God is not beholden to America, America is beholden to God. God doesn’t need to bless America, America needs to bless God. While I am deeply concerned for my nation and what the current administration is doing to tear the fabric of our country in two, they didn’t start it and getting rid of Obama and his minions won’t stop it. Oh sure it will slow the rip, but it won’t stop it. Why? Because we fear what man can do and not what God can do! Again, we are trusting in the wrong things. Look how Solomon puts it:
“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)
Let me answer the question that is the subject of today’s devotional. For too many spiritually-slothful Christians it is far easier to doubt than it is to believe. Why is that? Because doubting doesn’t require you to move. Man you can doubt no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
But to believe?
Man, that takes movement! You gotta get off your comfty Christian couch or come off your spiritually-satisfying sidelines and get involved.
Do your knees quake and are you getting a sour stomach just at the thought of it?
Beloved, I’m not mocking you nor am I trying to minimize your fears. They are real fears, very real!
They’re just misplaced.
Stop fearing man and your circumstances and fear, in awe and wonder, and trust in God.
We start actually doing that as a nation, trusting in God, it will become more than just some cheap motto on our currency.
It will bless God.
If you’re receiving these devotionals for the first time and would like to receive them on a regular basis, please click here and use “Please add to Devotional List” as the subject.”
Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers