I like one of the more popular Christian acronyms and that is the one for FAITH: Forsaking All I Trust Him. Like is the case with many things in our Christian culture, this makes a great refrigerator magnet and bumper sticker, but when the rubber meets the road we often times do the opposite.
It is our natural tendency to trust our senses before we trust our faith. Thatâ€™s because we have faith in our faith instead having faith in God. Jesus taught His disciples an important lesson when it came to faith when they came upon the withered fig tree:
â€œNow in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, â€˜Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.â€™ So Jesus answered and said to them, â€˜Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, â€œBe removed and be cast into the sea,â€ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.â€™â€ (Mark 11:20-24)
As is usually the case, the â€œname and claim itâ€ false teachers have misused this verse while preaching the prosperity gospel. Atheists mock Christians for believing they can cast a mountain into the sea if they just believe hard enough. Obviously Jesus was using a metaphor when He taught this. He was also teaching that if we have faith in God, then the things we pray for will be God-honoring and will bring glory to His name. When we place our faith in God through Jesus Christ, our attitudes about life change from the temporal to the eternal.
The Apostle Thomas is known as Doubting Thomas, but I actually like Thomas. He didnâ€™t try to pretend to be some Super Christian; he was honest about his doubt. This is why Jesus appeared to Thomas after Thomasâ€™ affirmation of his unbelief:
â€œAnd after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, â€˜Peace to you!â€™ Then He said to Thomas, â€˜Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.â€™â€ (John 20:26-27)
Since seeing is believing, Thomas of course recognized Jesus for who He was. Jesus replied that Thomas believed because he saw the Risen Christ and put his fingers into Jesusâ€™ wounds. Jesus said that we who believe in Him without seeing Him are blessed. Thatâ€™s because it takes faith.
Faith is what sustains our Christian walk with it becomes tough. If youâ€™re not facing challenges in your walk with Christ, then it is doubtful you are exercising your faith. The only way you can get the attention of the enemy is to be about the Fatherâ€™s work. This is why the shield of faith is so important as part of our spiritual armor:
â€œAbove all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.â€ (Ephesians 6:16)
This is such a well-known and important verse, however Iâ€™m afraid too many Christians leave their shields of faith in the corner when they go out into this world. Warren Wiersbe explains why the shield of faith is so important:
â€œThe â€˜faithâ€™ mentioned here is not saving faith, but rather living faith, a trust in the promises and the power of God. Faith is a defensive weapon which protects us from Satanâ€™s fiery darts. In Paulâ€™s day, arrows, dipped in some inflammable substance and ignited, were shot at the enemy. Satan shoots â€˜fiery dartsâ€™ at our hearts and minds: lies, blasphemous thoughts, hateful thoughts about others, doubts, and burning desire for sin. If we do not by faith quench these darts, they will light a fire within and we will disobey God. We never know when Satan will shoot a dart at us, so we must always walk by faith and use the shield of faith.â€
Have you been harboring doubts in your mind about God? Have you had hateful thoughts about others? Has the desire for sin been burning within you? These are the fiery darts of Satan and without your shield of faith, you can bet Satan is going to take the easy shot at you. Who wouldnâ€™t take a shot with his bow and arrow at an enemy who was walking into battle without his shield? Only a fool would do so and his almost begging to be shot.
Donâ€™t be a fool. Having a living faith that includes always walking by faith and using the shield of faith.
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Copyright Â© 2014 David Jeffers