Did you every have that moment? You know the one where just one idea uttered from someone’s lips or some cutesy comment made on Facebook or Twitter makes you think you might just go off the rails?
“Faith is a process”, did it for me.
I don’t need, or want faith to be process for me. Faith is NOT as the definition states, “a series of actions or steps towards achieving a particular end.” What would be the end? The end-the very particular end-would have to be Christ himself. Whatever level of faith we may possess or that God may decide to develop in us, we have that particular end already. Christ encourages us to take the faith we have and trust him with it. It is not the great faith we have, but the faith in a great Savior. If our faith has grown at all, it will be in the greater knowledge of how much we still need Christ. Faith sees two things. Our weakness and Christ’s strength. The more we see Christ’s strength, the more we see our weaknesses and as a result our greater need for him.
Faith is also not “a natural series of changes.” Is there anything LESS natural than faith in God? Prior to Christ, we are dead in our trespasses and sin. Faith is not natural to us. In fact, faith is something given to us-a gift (Ephesians 2:8). Even after this gift is given, we still wrestle with the old faithless nature that wants to pursue its own desires. We have a faith holds onto us, not the other way around.
So, please don’t tell me about a process.
For there to be “a process”, we’d have to have a series of actions to incorporate into our lives to get to the end of that process. Some steps or habits, that if we do every thing just like “this”, we would then have a greater faith. That would make faith, or the process of obtaining faith, a law. It’s not. It can’t be. Because the law convicts and says we are guilty. Guilty of not being able to keep the law, even a little. What it does is remind us that we need someone to intervene on our behalf. Someone to present us with a perfect record in place of our own. We need grace. And by that most wonderful gift of grace given to us by God, he gives us another gift, faith. Faith to believe and trust that there is a perfect record to replace our own. Christ’s perfect record, which he lived to give us.
What faith is, is an act of grace. 100% undiluted, crystal clear, naturally sweet grace from the throne of heaven. It’s grace, because it’s something God gives to us that we don’t deserve. It’s grace, because it doesn’t need to be paid back or worked off. It’s grace, because even on our worst day, when we are faithless, and those words of scripture assumes we will have faithless days, God is faithful. It’s grace, because he lets us in our unbelief cry out for His help. Faith is from God, grace is from God, salvation is from God. At best, the only thing we could do with our faith, or any of those things, is reject it.
Please don’t tell me that God gives us faith, but to build it up, the ball is in my court, because I’ll dribble it out of bounds. I guarantee I will strike out, fumble, shoot wide of the goal, fail to stick the landing, and every other sports analogy that makes it clear. If I have anything at all to do with growing my faith, I will fail, …miserably! I’m not in this to be better, stronger, faster (sorry for the 70’s TV reference), I’m in it to be saved, rescued and restored. I’m here to say, I need you God, every minute, of every hour, of every day.
Faith is not a process.. It’s a gift, like everything else God has ever given us:
All great and wonderful gifts that we squander sometimes like any other gift when we become all to familiar with it. The difference is these gifts keep giving, even when we do squander it. These gifts still cover, and save, and forgive, …and love. These gifts still pour out grace upon grace. These gifts bring us back again and again as we bow a knee in repentance and tears.
Take the gift, take the faith God gives you, and believe in His Son..