If our faith doesn't require us to step outside of what we know, understand or can achieve ourselves, it is not faith in God; it is faith in ourselves.
The other day I was listening to a sermon on-line. The pastor was speaking about contending for the supremecy of Christ in our post-modern age. He spoke about the unbiblical view of Christ that has emerged in many churches...a Jesus that is neither supreme nor omnipotent, one that will not return as Judge, but rather is some sort of good-hearted, sensitive type, verging on effeminate. There is no talk of wrath or holiness or hell. There is no acknowledgement that Christ died to save us from God and His wrath...which we rightly deserve. This "side" of God doesn't jive with the whole love vibe. The human mind can't reconcile wrath and love. We're not supposed to and we don't like that. But the bible is clear: God is love and He is holy. We are sinful and have a debt to be paid...one we could only fully pay in eternal hell. Because He is love, He sent His son to pay that debt once for all. His sacrifice grants us access to God where we might receive forgiveness and be reconciled to God...forever.
To use the vernacular" That don't make no kinda sense!
But God said it and it has to be true because it is impossible for God to lie. So what we are left with is (BIG REVELATION HERE)...we are not God. His ways are not our ways; they are higher and at times simply cannot make sense to us. That is where faith comes in. By faith we can see the plan of salvation, by faith we believe and accept it, by faith we walk it out every day, by faith we can hope for God's glory to be revealed in and through our lives, and by faith we await our inheritance: seeing Christ face to face in Heaven.
Face to Face. What a thought! And, it can only ring true and fill us with yearning by faith through the gift of the Holy Spirit.All of His promises require the gift of Spirit-empowered faith to believe and claim and live. But if our "god" is nothing more than a prettied up version of us, we require no faith at all because we are never going to be required to get outside of our own heads and experiences. There, the impossible is never possible, neither is true endurance, perserverance or hope.
Oh God of the impossible, God of the Bible, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob...grant us the gift of faith. Grant us faith that sees you rightly, not as some sort of super human but as All-mighty, Sovereign, Holy, Loving, Just, Powerful God. Let our view of you not be limited by what we think or understand or by our past experiences. Be BIG...bigger than our minds can concieve. Be big in every area. Be bigger than our intelligence, than our past, than our present, that our imagination, than our pain, than our disease, than our puny wishes, than the evil we see in the world, than our apathy, than war, than our age or size, than our sin. So big we have no choice but to surrender our all to our very Big and Holy and Good God! For Your Glory and Your Name's Sake...amen!