Why is faith such a challenge? Why is faith the subject of so many life lessons? Can’t we learn the faith lesson and move on to something else? The answers may surprise you, challenge you, and you may not necessarily like them. But faith is not only the key to eternity, it is the key to meaningful, daily living! Let’s see how that’s true.
Life Lessons: It’s NOT Pick-&-Choose
Most readers of this blog would connect this discussion with the great faith chapter in Hebrews. But the author of Hebrews has a great deal to say about faith before chapter 11. In the second warning (chapters 3 & 4), a negative example is used. The writer points out Israel had faith in God to get them out of Egypt but no faith God could get them into the Promised Land. Seems odd, doesn’t it?
God the Father promised to rescue them from Egypt. He displayed mighty power in doing that very thing. The Promised Land was His provision of rest and reward to His own people. Their part was to believe (have faith) God would enable them to conquer the land. They failed the faith test. How dumb was that?!? We see their failure, shake our heads, and just know we would never do such a thing. Really?
Life Lessons: One-time Faith is a Myth
Many people in the Church today are repeating the mistake of those Israelites. Don’t think so? Let’s see the similarities. As a Christian, you have:
- Been freed from captivity (to your sin)
- A Guide (the Holy Spirit)
- A Journey (through an earthly life)
- A Rest & Reward (eternity in the presence of your Savior)
Israel looked back and saw God’s mighty deliverance. It was historical fact. It had already happened. That thing about going into Canaan by faith was in the here and now. There would be battles and struggles and someone was going to get hurt. Fear would say:
The person who gets hurt or killed might be me! I can’t take that step.
Today, we see our own deliverance (our salvation experience) as historical fact. That exercise of faith is over. People trust what God has already done. And like those Israelites we also have to face some giants. Here’s a short list:
- Daily integrity
- Loving the unloveable
- God-honoring stewardship of what we have been given
- Following God-ordained leadership in our lives
Each of the things above requires faith. We either handle them in the ways God prescribes (by faith) or we don’t. When we don’t, it’s just like saying:
God, I am glad You rescued me from eternal punishment, but I can take it from here.
Faith is never a pick-&-choose affair! Those ancient Israelites tried that. And didn’t we shake our heads in amazement at their mistakes?
This is just the beginning of Life Lessons on faith. It is absolutely necessary for faith to be a recurring lesson. Why? Tomorrow…