Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Faith is the Conviction that Moves Us

This is part 3 in a series

In this post:  We all use faith every day - How faith guides my choices 

Any action I take is an act of faith.  

This is illustrated by Hebrews 11 where it says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1)
  • God created the worlds by faith — they “were not made of things which do appear”
  • Abel offered a sacrifice by faith — he did not see God’s approval until afterwards
  • Enoch had a testimony by faith first — he got proof later
  • Noah made an ark by faith — before the rain provided an imperative
  • Abraham moved toward the “promised land” — even though he didn’t know where it was
  • Sarah conceived and bore Isaac by faith — she was past the age of fertility and it was “impossible”
These great men and women received a promise and exercised faith in it before they saw proof.  They believed in things that were “afar off.”  All of us use faith every day.  We put faith in doctors.  We put faith in banks.  We make things using instructions that we’ve never tried before.  We marry.  In this video, my daughter jumps with more faith the second time.

Faith in God’s promises and warnings works the same way.  

When God says, “agree with thine adversary quickly whiles thou art in the way…lest…[he] deliver thee to the judge,” then my faith impels me to try to resolve my interpersonal conflicts quickly. (Matt 5:25)

When God says, “when the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby,” then my faith says that I must monitor my actions if I want to avoid that consequence whether literal or not.  (Ezek 33:18)

My faith is the conviction that guides my choices.  I have faith in the sacred state of marriage so my faith guides me to work at my marriage even when it is difficult rather than give up.  I have faith in Christ’s redemption so through faith I try to repent not knowing what a healed soul feels like.

That explains why Christ’s stories about the blind receiving sight are so moving to me.  His teachings give sight to those who can’t see and hope to those who can’t believe in future happiness.  He is “the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)  (Which is how the death referred to by Ezekiel doesn’t have to be literal to be true.)

Challenge:  Put your faith in God by acting on one of his commandments.

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