Candy blogs: Faith is one of a Christian’s pillar words, isn’t it? We’ve all heard the word faith over and over. We think we know what it is; we think we have it. Me, too. But when I sat down to really think it through, it got bigger than my mind could grasp. Beth Moore to the rescue!
Beth makes the distinction between ‘faith’ and ‘faithfulness': Faith being a response to trusting in God’s faithfulness. I’m not talking about the faith through which we’re saved. Hear these words in the definition of faithfulness:
♥ firm persuasion ♥ conviction ♥ belief in truth ♥ veracity ♥ reality ♥ steadiness ♥ sureness ♥ steadfastness ♥ trust ♥ honesty ♥ safety ♥ certainty
Strong words. These words can be ascribed to God Himself. He is all these things. He is real. He is believable. “The faithfulness of the believer is his belief in God’s believability.” This verse describes God’s faithfulness and believability.
3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! 4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. Deuteronomy 32:3-4
He is a Rock … his works are Perfect … his ways are Just … he does no wrong … he is Upright …
1 Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. 2 For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.Praise the LORD. Psalm 117:1-2
… the faithfulness of the Lord endures FOREVER.
One of the most revealing concepts to me in studying this characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit was that we must base our faith on who God is rather than on what He does. God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours; we don’t always understand why God does certain things. But we can always trust that God is always working for our good, for our benefit, and will always lead us toward our purpose and calling. We can’t let ourselves be led by what we see or by results we are expecting. What God does changes but God never changes. His heart never changes toward us. He always acts out of love; He can’t do otherwise.
“Genuine faith walks steadfastly with God for the pleasure of His company not for His results. God does not call upon us to seek His works. He calls upon us to seek His heart.” Isn’t that an amazing thought?! It isn’t faith when we ask things of God, expecting certain results and then being disappointed and question His faithfulness if He didn’t answer us the way we expected. That is based on feeling. Faith requires that we accept God Himself as enough, no matter what He chooses to do. Only this kind of faith will transform our character.
Sometimes keeping the faith requires a fight. In the armor of God, faith is the shield protecting us in battle from the enemy’s flaming arrows. The enemy knows exactly where to aim, straight for our weakest spot. He would try to tempt us into not believing God to keep us from doing battle. When we agree with Satan’s lies, he builds and builds the lies until we are defeated and we stop fighting. Our shield of faith drops and we are open to a full on attack.
No one enjoys doing battle! But when we try to avoid it or go around it instead of through it, we miss the transformation. It’s the battle that builds our spiritual muscles, where we learn how to handle our shield of faith. The battle may be the harder way but it is the shorter way to transformation. We can become mighty and powerful in battle if we keep fighting! We perservere in the things God has taught us to do.
Beth Moore says, “We keep looking for someone mighty to come … we are them! We were meant to have faith to conquer dark kingdoms in our generation.”
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13
Such an inspiring study, don’t you think? How often in the past I have tried to avoid the hard lessons and floundered around in spiritual limbo when God wanted to build my spiritual muscles and make me a hardened, faithful, CONQUERING soldier.
We will never think, speak or act perfectly but we can live in victory if we keep fighting and choose not to live in sin. I would love to hear your God stories of when He has been a shield about you.