Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about faith and living by faith. I really don’t think in my own life faith is necessary. Ok. I know what you’re thinking, and yes that is a problem, but just stay with me for a few minutes. I mean look, I make a decent salary. My home is paid for. Everyone in my family (2 adults 3 kids) all have vehicles that are paid for. I have 2 kids in college and somehow I have managed to pay every semester’s tuition, books and their living expenses. We always have food, and we have more electronics in our home than will ever be necessary. So where’s the faith? It really doesn’t take me depending on God daily. Really, it doesn’t.
Then along comes God and He begins to plant this dream/vision in my heart. It becomes so big that I must begin to act on it in some way. I do my best …. in my way. Somehow it’s not enough. So then I begin to get a feel for what I think God really wants. Now I’m in crisis! “But God, how will I pay for my kid’s college?” “How will I continue to give my family this life that I’ve been giving them?” “What will people think?”
Next, enter our new Associate Pastor of Education. He begins this little study called “The Time of Your Life”. Last week we watch a video segment by Andy Stanley. Pastor Stanley begins to talk about the passage from Matthew 6:31-34
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
He then begins to really focus on verse 32 where it says that God already knows everything I need. He asks. “Do you really believe that?” That question has been haunting me since last Sunday. God has been searing that question in my spirit every morning as I sit with Him in my rocking chair on the deck (you see, my hammock tore. Guess I’ll have to “go” get a new one!). Do I really believe that God already knows and cares about all my needs. Really? We have had a little saying here in our church for many years, “What you do says more about what you believe than what you say.” You see, it’s easy to say it, but will I act on it? If I’m unwilling to act on it, then do I really believe it? I think this may be what James was getting at in James 2:14-18.
Eventually I concede. “Alright God, let’s develop a plan and put it in place. Let’s make sure it is going to work and then I will proceed with the next step of faith.” God then asks, “Is that really faith?” (2 Corinthians 5:7). If you can see it is it faith? If it’s not faith does it please God? (Hebrews 11:6). Where’s my faith? After all these years. Do I really believe?
I recount in my mind the early years, how God provided in miraculous ways when we wondered how we would buy milk and diapers. Those thoughts begin to fan the flames of a smoldering faith. Turning off the sports talk radio and listening to God’s prophets proclaim His Word breathes some life into a tiny, flickering flame. Still there is one step remaining …. to actually take a “step”. In faith. Without seeing ….. just believing.
I’m sure my church members will be somewhat discouraged to find that their pastor struggles with living by faith. But there it is. I sincerely love God with all my heart. However I’m just a guy struggling with really living a life of faith. That’s just the way I see it.