You know those moments when you find yourself so inspired that you stop everything else you’re doing and rush to implement the thoughts that are racing through your mind? This is one of those moments for me.
I’m up to my eyeballs in Bible study homework right now, which is always a fun place for me to be. I read but one line of the study I’m currently in, and it was all I could do to finish that page of homework before rushing to type out these words for you—well, for me, too.
The study I’m in right now is all about aligning the threads of your life with the purposes God has for you. It’s all about using your passions for His glory. It’s all about seeing the need around you and stepping into it to meet the need. It’s all about saying “YES” to a big God, trusting that He will do what He says He can do in and through your life.
As you might imagine, I’m absolutely loving it!
Here’s the one line that I came across tonight, though, that stopped me dead in my tracks:
“Everything that does not come from faith is sin.” Romans 14:23b (NIV)
That’s steep, y’all. That one sentence right there causes me to stop and reflect on much of my life. How much of what I think, say, and do comes from faith? How much of it doesn’t? Everything that I think, say, and do that doesn’t come from a place of faith is sin.
And sin displeases God.
How easy it has become for us to wander from faith and into doubt. Because we can’t see, we don’t believe. Because we don’t understand, we doubt. Because we determine to do things our own way, we display lives that don’t look all that different from our unbelieving neighbors around us.
So, where do we get this faith? How do we live in places of faith even when we can’t see and don’t understand? How can we think, say, and do all things from a place that is rooted in faith? How can we possess and maintain a faith that is not moved by the circumstances in our lives that seem to be changing faster than the second hand is ticking on the clock?
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 (ESV)
Where do we get this faith, a faith that pleases God? It comes from hearing the Word of God, friends. Faith isn’t magic. It isn’t superstition. It’s certainly not a good luck charm. Faith is hearing and believing the Word of God, in spite of your circumstances. Faith is clinging to the unchanging character of our God, knowing He remains good even when our situations are not.
I sat next to a good friend tonight at her baby shower watching her open all of her gifts with such joy. As she got to the final gift, tears streamed down her face as she opened it and read the words written on it—the lyrics to “Good, Good Father.” You see, about a month ago, the doctors gave her an her husband the news you never want to hear when you’re expecting a child. Every day since that appointment has provided each of them, their family, and their friends with a choice:
A choice to trust God or a choice to embrace fear.
She has chosen the former, and she’s done so by embracing the words of this song. Despite her circumstances, she believes that God is a good Father. Despite her circumstances, she chooses to believe that she is loved by her good Father.
This is faith.
Tears streamed down my face just watching her respond with such faith in the face of such uncertainty. And I can’t help but believe that her ability to daily choose faith is rooted in her devotion to God and His Word. Because faith comes from that place. Faith comes from hearing and believing the Word of God. And everything else that we do that does not come from faith is sin.
Let’s start walking in faith, friends. Let’s start walking by faith. Let’s position ourselves under the truth of God’s Word. Let’s start being a church who is marked by faith—a faith that pleases God.