Last week I asked if you believed in the existence of God. Today I want to ask a similar question with another obvious answer.
Do you believe in the Word of God?
Before you answer, remember: the Christian faith is dramatically more than just an intellectual belief.
It's not enough for us to simply believe that the Word of God is true, living and active (Hebrews 4:12). Our faith in, and study of, the Bible should radically change our life at street-level.
I love what Hebrews 11 says about the faith of Abraham and Sarah.
"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going." (11:8)
"By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised." (11:11)
I'm convinced that these verses can help us strengthen our street-level faith in the Word of God. There are two principles that stand out to me:
1. Have Faith In The Revealed Will Of God
The Christian faith is Word-based. God has spoken, and we are to listen. Our responsibility as believers is to live within the boundaries of what God has revealed through his Word.
Our calling is not to discern the secret will of God. Notice how Abraham didn’t try and infer where he was going; he simply obeyed what God had revealed.
Faith is not about figuring out what the Lord is going to do next in your life. If you spend energy on that, you’ll be confused, discouraged, and ultimately trying to dethrone the Almighty God.
Strengthen your faith with simple, child-like faith. Read the Bible. Listen to others who teach from the Bible. Discover what God has revealed, and be at peace not knowing divine secrets.
2. Have Faith In The Promises Of God
The Christian faith is also promise-based. What's a promise? A declaration or assurance that one will do something or that a particular thing will happen.
In other words, a promise involves waiting. Typically what happens when we wait is that our faith weakens. Doubt, envy, fear and bitterness creep in.
But not Sarah. Instead of meditating on her emotions, she meditated on the goodness of God and worshipped her way through the wait.
Before you throw your hands up in despair because you’re nothing like the heroic Abraham and Sarah, let me remind you: this man and woman were deeply flawed Christians.
They strayed outside the boundaries of God's will. They tried to figure out what was a secret. They were afraid of the unknown. Just read the narrative of their life!
But, in the end, Abraham and Sarah were committed to allowing the revealed Word of God and his promises restructure their faith and radically change their life.
Will you do the same today?
- Is your personal devotion time, church attendance, or small group participation at risk of becoming "intellectual" in any way? Think of specific dangers.
- What has God chosen to keep a secret that you would like revealed? How is your heart responding? Give real examples.
- How can you take steps today to develop a stronger child-like faith and rest in the revealed will and promises of God?
- How can you minister to others who are struggling with the will and promises of God?