We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled up all of our sin, everything we’ve done wrong, on Him, on Him! Isaiah 53:6 (The Message)
Relationships and faith are two of the bedrock terms of a Christians life. I always find it somewhat amusing to hear a Christian say, “I’m ready for my Father to take me home, I put MY faith in Him,” when they are going through a particularly difficult time in their lives. Yet, as soon as a fortunate blessing enters into this struggle, their attitude shifts to more of, “The Lord has rewarded MY faith with this blessing and He wants me to stay here and enjoy it!”
While there is an ironic source of amusement in our ability to check in and check out of faith as if it were a hotel, I believe that there is a much deeper issue going on here. Where does faith come from? What is the source and who sustains it?
If I address any relationship in my life, I can pretty quickly capture how it stands. Is this a person that I would rely on to drop me off at the airport on time? Would I lend them money? Would I leave them alone in my home without worry? Without even realizing it, we have an ongoing relationship checklist that we are constantly engaged with. Over time and experience in this personal interaction, we gain firsthand knowledge of this person and some fruits, both good and bad begin to bear. Issues of trust, character, integrity, and faith, begin to emerge and solidify our more knowledgeable understanding of both the other person involved in this interaction and also the ultimate reward of every relationship that we encounter, a greater understanding of ourselves.
It has occurred to me that my faith in God is based on a similar process. The presence of faith in my life can only come from my relationship and knowledge that I gain from my personal interaction with my Creator. I simply cannot rely on self-willed faith or someone else’s understanding and explanation of God. The strength of my faith is born out of how well I truly know MY Jesus. It must be first hand and it must be face-to-face. This pursuit is seeking to know our Creator. This is on us, something we can and must do if we are to be truly Godly people.
I must position myself in a place of humility, not as peer to peer, for what kind of creature of measurable hours on this planet tells anything to the One who created the sun, who gave birth to the earth and will witness its last days? If you truly desire to strengthen your faith in Christ, you simply must get to know Him as you would the closest personal friend you have. By doing so, the fruits of His Spirit will bud in your life in Him and bloom in the relationships that He has blessed you with in this earthly life.
- What is your faith based on? Is it fashioned out of your changing fortunes in this world or out of your personal knowledge of God?
- If you were to wake up tomorrow and all you had was what you were grateful for today, what would that look like?
Lord Jesus, I want to know You in a way that quiets my intellect and fills my heart with desire for You. I want to welcome You with uncontainable joy and be Yours in this life. Teach me who You made me to be and enable me to recognize Your love, so I seek no other love, as my heart has no more space to give! Amen.
PC3 writer Dermot Gibney wrote today’s devotional.