2018 Faith


2018 will be a great year to abandon “pretend faith” and live by the kind of trust that works.

Let me explain what I mean by “pretend faith.”  That is the brand of faith that isn’t anything more than a naturally developed level of confidence.  It’s the kind of faith that one talks themselves into by repeating scripture verses.  Although it sounds reasonable to repeat the truth over and over until it sticks, it is a “works” method of attaining faith. In my opinion, based on my own experience, there’s a better way.  A rest filled way.

I believe that the Apostle Paul had a revelation of a more excellent way of the life lived by faith.  He had just had a profound spiritual awakening that he had been crucified with Christ.  He then states in Galatians 2:20,

“I no longer live, but the Messiah[a] lives in me, and the life that I am now living in this body I live by the faith of the Son of God,[b] who loved me and gave himself for me.”

The word “of” from ‘faith of the Son of God’ is a significant Greek preposition.  It is ek which indicates something being drawn or taken out of a source to be placed somewhere else.  Paul discovered that the life God gave us through Christ was based on faith that came out of Christ…not from Paul, himself.  He no longer had to rely on “getting his faith right.”  His success did not depend on him being able to work up enough faith.

He made the same point to the Romans in Chapter 7 when he said, “the things I don’t want to do, I do.  And what I want to do, I don’t do.  However, he didn’t stop at that point.  No joy there!  But, he discovered Jesus had settled the issue.

In Hebrews 12 the same revelation arises, “Looking unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of faith.  Jesus initiates the story and continues it to completion.

I believe Paul would say the same thing to many of us as he said to the Galatians in Chapter 3, “Why did you start in the spirit and attempt then to continue it by natural means.”

In my experience, having faith is no more of a struggle than I allow.  I know that’s a big statement, but I believe it’s true.  I look to Jesus expecting Him to write faith in my heart.  When I feel my emotions start to distract me, I give my issue back to Him to bring to completion.  I know I will fail, no matter how hard I try to convince myself, by attempting to do the faith formula just right…until I supposedly I have ‘enough’ faith.  But, that’s a deception.  A person cannot have faith in their own faith.  They have to submit to the fact that without the faith of the Son of God, there is no faith to be found or had.

It’s all about the rest of a relationship.  The relationship is with Jesus; not the scripture verses.  The purpose of the scriptures, as Jesus told the Pharisees, is to point to Me where life resides.  There’s no .life in Bible verses as an object of faith.

Embrace your relationship with Him.  He will write faith in your heart.  You can end having confidence in your ability to believe.  You have none.  He has plenty, and He’s willing to share!  It’s just a matter of relearning who the actual source is.

Gary

P.S.  I am not discounting the importance of Bible promises from God.  You don’t know what they are without the Scriptures.  However, the ‘good fight of faith’ isn’t about your struggling to have faith by struggling to talk yourself into believing the promises.   The struggle is with keeping your eyes on a relationship with Jesus rather than trying to prove to God that you really do believe Him.  He knows your heart better than you do.  Rest.  He is faithful to His care for you; not your ability to ‘believe right.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Steve Baker

    What a great teaching and awakening to one who is an avid teacher of faith. Thank you Gary, for this timely lesson.
    After reading this, I found there are times I have just had faith in my faith. But when it comes to pass, I find just giving it to Jesus is what brings it.