Monday, August 30, 2010

Two Types of Faith

I read the following today in a Bible Study I've been going through by Beth Moore called Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit.  I cannot tell you how timely this book has been for me every time I pick it up.  God has definitely led me to this Bible Study, and He blows me away with how applicable each day is for what I am going through day in and day out. 

This week I am studying about the Fruit of the Spirit that is Faithfulness.  In trying to learn about the gift of the Holy Spirit, Beth Moore is leading the chapter by discussing the faithfulness of God.  I was totally convicted by this chapter.  She asks a question that totally struck me:  Do you base your faith on what God does or who He is?

Unfortunately, I too often base my faith in the Lord on what He does.  Even today, I was tempted to despair when a circumstance arose that didn't end like I thought it should or wanted it to.  It was something that God "didn't do" for me.  So, to be honest, I questioned His goodness, His love for me.  This is SOOOOO wrong.  And I know that.  I fully believe that "All things work together for good for those who love God and who are called according to His purpose."  I know in my heart that God doesn't keep from me any good thing.  But, my faith is weak.  I was encouraged by these quotes from this chapter and I thought I would share.  I hope you don't feel condemned (because I didn't), but I have become excited about pursuing a faith that focuses not on what God does, but on who He is!

"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."  Hebrews 11:6

Do you ever tire of riding the roller coaster of faith? of being up one day and down the next? of believing Him one minute and not the next? We can exercise our faith in God in one of two ways.  One leaves us at the mercy of life's constant ups and downs. The other is the key to steadfast faith--the way off the roller coaster to begin walking with God and practicing a faith that can't be "greatly moved."  Every believer falls into one of these two categories on the basis of his/her answer to one simple question:

Do you base your faith on what God does or who He is?

A person with [faith based on what God does] lives by the unspoken motto: I believe God as long as He does what I ask.  His/Her faith is built on how often and how well God answers prayers.  Such "faith" depends on results and is fueled by sight.

[. . .] What about those times when God does not work according to your requests or expectations?

[. . .] We will rarely be able to perceive God's actions, though they will always and ultimately be wonderful.

Genuine faith walks steadfastly with God for the pleasure of His company not for His results. [. . .] Why is faith based on a God not "greatly moved"? Because it focuses on a God not greatly moved! It increases our understanding of His ways.  Prioritizing WHO He is will help us more accurately interpret WHAT He does.  We must prioritize WHO God is over WHAT He does!

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I just ordered this today! I'm excited to read it. Thanks for telling me about it!