The concept of faith is mind boggling.
Is it really?
The Eiffel Tower sits majestically on the Champ de Mars in Paris. You have never been to Paris, meaning you have never seen the Eiffel Tower. You have never walked the grounds surrounding it, you have never dined in the restaurants featured on the first and second level, and you have never ridden the elevator up the beloved monument fondly known as the Iron Lady. All you have are pictures and perhaps, perky narrations by friends of this structure. Yet, you are fully persuaded/convinced that it exists.
Seeing the unseen so to say, would you now say that this defiles all human intellect?
You would have to trust that the pictures you have seen are real, and that the narrations you have heard are true to discipline yourself long enough to save up, and have ample courage to calm your beating heart when you click the pay button on the screen, purchasing an expensive ticket for a trip to France. Once the ticket is purchased however, you are consumed with excitement, because you know that you are one step closer to seeing Iron Lady. You find ways to slip it into conversations with friends, who after a while are probably tired of hearing about it. They can’t wait for you to go because yes they are excited for you, but they also want you to shut up about it…at least until you return with a mouth full of tales. Evidently, you can hardly wait to see it, and every waking moment, even while asleep, you are crossing off and writing items on your to-do list, in preparation for your departure.
Let’s pause for a second.
If you sit and think it through long and hard, chances are you will begin to over analyze, leaving room for doubt to creep in. In that state, you run the risk of convincing yourself that either the adventure isn’t worth the cost, or that the Eiffel Tower does not exist; even in the face of facts. You could reason that there is a possibility that the pictures are fake, and your friends are liars. The only truth you know is that you cannot be certain that the Eiffel Tower exists because you have not seen it with your very own eyes.
The stories in the Bible are quite grand, and God’s promises are very ambitious and somewhat illogical. We hear of people like Daniel who was thrown in the lion’s den and came out unharmed, Sarah who bore Isaac at the ripe old age of 90, Moses who parted the Red Sea, Elijah literally flying into heaven in a chariot, Mary who got pregnant without having sex with a man, the adonis that was Samson who had the combined strength of a multitude, and Jesus restoring the sight of a blind man with a mixture of his spit and mud. It all seems very far-fetched, and each story could serve as a Hollywood blockbuster if you throw in a bunch of a-list movie stars, that are currently all the rave. As if that isn’t enough, we hear of promises like; the spirit of life in Christ has set you free from sin and death (Romans 8:2), I am giving you a kingdom that can never be shaken (Hebrews 12:28), my great peace will guard your heart and thoughts in Jesus (Philippians 4:7), I will meet all your needs so you can overflow with good works (2 Corinthians 9:8), if you remain still, I will do your fighting for you (Exodus 14:14), because of Jesus, you are free from all condemnation (Romans 8:1), I will be your safe place in difficult times (Nahum 1:7).
You read these stories & bold promises and you are thinking….really though?
Faith is beyond feelings, it is a conviction. There is a linear progression from hope (a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen) to believe (accepting something as true) to faith (complete trust or confidence in someone or something) to trust (firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something). Faith does not deny the existence of a problem, it simply sees beyond that problem. Faith sees the bigger picture, it apprehends the results and answers. Faith is the key that unlocks the door to fruits in a barren situation. Faith is aware that there may be road blocks along the way, but considers only the final destination (big picture). You could say that faith is a husband to a woman who doesn’t even have a boyfriend. The husband is the Eiffel Tower that she is convinced exists even though she has yet to see it/meet him. Faith is not a free pass to laziness or passiveness. Faith requires you to prepare for what you know is yours. As you prepare (study, meditate, grow, talk to), your faith is strengthened and soon, you enter the realm of trust. You have faith that IT (whatever IT may be, is yours) and you trust that God is working on your behalf. Put differently, you know that your passport and ticket guarantee your entry into France because you trust the authenticity of both documents. In the event that issues arise, you also trust that the embassy of your country and/or the travel agency you purchased the ticket from will confirm/back you up.
Finally, you make it to Paris. You tour the grounds of the Eiffel Tower, and you take pictures every step and turn. You dine at its restaurants, and explore all that it has to offer. You have experienced the Iron Lady, and now, because of your leap of faith (ticket purchase), you have your own story to tell.
Why is it easier to believe in the existence of the Eiffel tower than to believe in God? Why is it easier to put your faith in the systems of man than in the principles of God? Why is it easier to trust the words of man than to trust the words of God? Many are afraid to tap into the unknown/unfamiliar, and understandably so. But opportunities and experiences are missed as a result. The Bible contains the word of God, which expresses a Father’s love, His promises & truths about who you are and all you could be. You have heard of testimonies and miracles, and you have also heard of people who have had heavenly encounters when in a coma. You are curious about this God, you want to know more, but you are crippled by doubt and fear.
God is more accessible than the Eiffel Tower and all the wonders of the world you hope to knock off your bucket list one day. You only have to ask Him to reveal Himself to you, and be willing to receive what He has to offer. You only have to shift your focus from the entertainment of the stories in the Bible to the guiding principles in the stories. You only have to locate yourself in the stories, meditate on the words until you see pictures, write down what you see and speak what you see. The people we meet in the Bible were courageous because they trusted God. They were faithful in their walk with God, and through them He did many awesome, out of this world, mind boggling things. It all started with a first step, a decision to live beyond the limitations of human intellect and experience God.
The only way to build trust is to practice trust, and that requires effort. I encourage you to take God at His word. When you desire something, ask Him for it, listen for His voice in His word concerning that particular thing/situation, remind Him of His words/promises, ponder on those words, see His word for you in pictures, and prepare for your answers/harvest.
Like a blank cheque, faith offers infinite possibilities on a gold platter.