"Is your faith affecting the way you live?"
- Francis Chan, Crazy Love
We are, what I would call, beckoned to faith. Faith is not merely suggested in scripture or mentioned as a side comment; faith is required of every one of us. Whether you would consider yourself a Christ Follower or are completely apathetic to religion as a whole, we are all called to account for what we believe.
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. SO THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE.” (Romans 1:20)
However, our savior God is not merely sitting on his heavenly throne waiting for us to come to him, but rather he is beckoning, summoning, us to come to him. God in all of his glory and power sent His Son to die for us so that we could be saved by our faith. But what is faith really?
Faith calls us to action. When Noah was called to have faith, God called him to build an ark. What in the world was an ark? When Abraham was called to have faith, he was told to sacrifice his son. Abraham was prepared to go and sacrifice his son in order to live his life according to God’s will. When Moses was called to faith, he was going to be leading the people of Israel out of Egypt. Not only did Moses have to have faith, but the Israelites had to trust that God would provide manna daily. When Paul was called to faith, he was leaving his stature and lifestyle behind to live a life by the grace of God. Paul says:
“Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” (2 Corinthians 11:24-27)
These are not passive faiths, but rather faiths that lead to action. James 2 says that if we have faith it will be displayed in our actions. So where have we gotten the idea that we are called to live an “American Dream” Christianity? Since when has God called us to live, as Joel Osteen puts it, “Your Best Life Now?” Honestly, if you are living you best life now you are destined to hell. This phrase is strong and may lack tact but it is awfully true. When Heaven is the standard, our world as we know it pales in comparison.
So if we are seeking Heaven wholeheartedly and unreservedly then what does Scripture say?
“Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it— the LORD is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:2-3)
The LORD is beckoning us to come to Him and He is saying that is we call to him he will reveal his will to us. The condition of his revelation is that we have to cry out to him. We have to first cry out to him in order to see him work because we have to have faith to see him work. The problem though, God, is that I already have a plan for my life. I want the wife, the kids, the white picket fence, the good job that allows me to golf on the weekends, just the good ol’ American Dream as the world sees it, but God has called us to much more. How can we claim to have it all figured out when God is waiting for us to call to Him as a condition to Him doing great and mighty things we don’t even understand. God is beckoning us to seek Him, but that requires action from our part in crying out to Him. As we seek God, He will in turn honor our steps, and Scripture even points to God lighting our path. We will never be able to see 10 years down the road what God has for us, but if we are seeking Him and actively living out our faith we will continue to see God placing no limits on us as we place no limits on Him.
Jason Walters is a youth pastor in Pennsylvania and blogs at Two Youth Pastors, One Heartbeat: OneBeatBlog.
[CC Image • ExeterAnna on Flickr]