October 25, 2018

Living in Faith

Why is it that faith can so often feel like climbing Mt. Everest, especially in difficult times that require seemingly impossible results?

Faith is like the plane I am sitting on right now as I write this blog post. As the plane thrusted down the runway a few moments ago, I couldn’t help but wonder to myself, “Are we going to get off the ground?” Even though I have flown many, many times before, that thought always seems to come flooding back into my mind at takeoff. Maybe what I am really pondering is, “Is flight possible for this heavy object, and is there enough power to make it a reality?”

In Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) it says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Faith is like the confidence we have for flight. Faith is being open to the possibility of something unbelievable happening–like a heavy vehicle floating on air. It’s surrendering control to God, similar to when we allow a pilot to steer the plane. It’s knowing that ultimately God’s hands hold you like the airplane itself, as He softly carries your life from one destination to another. It’s knowing that His power is the engine that makes it all possible. When we are full of faith, our lives can achieve spiritual lift off and begin to soar to new heights of possibility.

There are four key principles that I like to remember when it comes to faith. These are concepts that help me personally add explosive power to my small amounts of faith.

Faith helps to make obedience to God possible

Hebrews 11:6a (NIV) says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God…” Many people think that in order to please God you have to do certain things or be a certain way. The sad part is that a propensity to turn relationship into religious ritual is what ultimately kills faith. We can be as obedient as we want, but without faith, we are just going through the motions.

Faith, instead, is more like an invisible love letter to God that says, “God, I love You enough to trust You with my life and future. I can’t earn Your love through good deeds. Instead, I will love You, fully knowing that You hold my life in Your hands.” When we trust God and live in obedience, we bring Him joy.

Faith is a spiritual discipline

Hebrews 11:6b (NIV) says, “…anyone who comes to him must believe that he (God) exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” It takes discipline to accomplish anything of value, especially anything of eternal value. Having a lack of faith is our first instinct–it’s called anxiety and fear. It’s easy to doubt or try to take matters into our hands in the midst of trials. Faith takes discipline because faith is a muscle. One of the most important ways that faith flexes its muscle is when we look to God through prayer. When the faith muscle is flexed enough, it will produce spiritual, muscle-memory that makes believing and seeing new possibilities our first instinct.

Faith is always future-oriented

Faith has everything to do with believing what could happen in a future sense. Faith is always about believing that something is possible and could happen through God’s Divine power. This allows us to not stay focused on our current situation, but instead focus on a God-injected future. Eliminating the fixation on trials that unravel right in front of our eyes allows us to raise our gaze toward Heaven and a preferred future of what God may have for us.

Faith is a choice

Faith is believing the future can be changed and that belief ultimately impacts the present. Faith always impacts the present because it changes the way we feel now. When we have faith, the emotion of hope begins to follow this choice.

At take-off, I had to believe we were going to make it to our destination. Faith is so needed in life. Life is always providing us with turbulence and cross winds that hinder our forward progress, but when we trust God during these times, we will find ourselves rising above the difficulties below. Our faith sends the ultimate message to God that we love and trust Him.