Merriam-Webster’s definition of faith:
1 a: allegiance to duty or a person: loyalty
b (1): fidelity to one's promises (2): sincerity of intentions
2 a (1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
b (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust
3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially: a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant faith>
Biblical definition of faith:
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
So in reading the definitions of faith, it looks like something that one has or enters into, blindly.
By these definitions of faith it’s no wonder there are skeptics, no wonder there are those who think that those who have faith in God are foolish, or that to have faith in God is foolish.
These definitions for faith are almost contradictory to much that I believe and the kind of person that I am. God has given me a practical mind, which means that I’m not terribly emotional (I have my moments, but for the most part my mind is ruled by logic). I can most often take the emotion out of conversations, situations, and decisions, I am able to weigh out the evidence for or against something; I’m also methodical and direct (direct isn’t the same as mean). From a practical stand it doesn’t make sense to enter into something blindly… not even an itty bitty bit! If God asked me to follow Him blindly, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t!
Hebrews 11 entails the Heroes of Faith and almost every verse starts with “By faith”. “By faith” each of “the elders obtained a good testimony.” “By faith Abel”, “By faith Noah”, “By faith Abraham”, “By faith Sarah”, “By faith Moses”… And with each “By faith” statement there was an action. Each of them did something “by faith”.
Why did they do it?
Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
They heard the word of God; that was their evidence!
Hearing is considered evidence. I mean law enforcement and our legal system uses hearing as evidence all the time, even Homeland Security trusts it as evidence of terrorists or would be terrorists.
Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
The Heroes of Faith, all diligently sought the Lord; because they were diligent, they had communication with the Lord, they were faithful to Him and He was faithful to them.
The Heroes of Faith were not all perfect and odor free, meaning that they had their issues; but God used them and blessed them anyway, because of their faith.
So why do I have faith in God? Because when I’ve been diligent in seeking Him, I’ve heard from Him. I know that it’s the Lord speaking to me, because He is usually asking me to do something that is out of my comfort zone. When I’ve been obedient (usually after a lot of kicking and screaming) God shows me that it needed to be done in order to affect a change for the better.
The converse of that; when I get caught up in everyday life, and I don’t take time each and every day to seek the Lord, I don’t hear a thing from Him…Silence, stagnant, and empty! It’s not that He’s not talking; it’s that I’m not listening. The remedy to that would be to take the time to listen!
When we diligently seek the Lord, when we have that faith that comes by hearing, when we are obedient; then we are able to see God, not physically see Him, but see that change, that protection, that provision, that love.
Can I get a Ya Hoo, a Whoopee, even a Glory Hallelujah and an Amen!?!
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