What’s the basis of Christianity? Faith.
Faith that +2000 years ago God sent His son to live among men.
Faith that His Son died for our sins.
Faith that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
Faith that He ascended into Heaven.
Faith that He bestowed the Holy Spirit upon us.
Faith is a powerful thing.
When you ask a Christian what faith is, they will usually bring you to Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” That is absolutely right. However, what does this really mean? After spending a life in church, I really couldn’t tell someone. At the beginning of the summer, God changed that.
I looked at the word “faith.” After a very simple word search, I found out that “faith” in the bible translates back to the greek word “pistis,” which means “conviction of the truth of anything.”
What does that mean? First, faith is all about conviction. Anyone who believes anything is firmly holding to it. That is what faith is. Now to put that definition in a Christian context. Faith is firmly holding onto the truth, which is the gospel. Not slightly holding on to it. Not picking it up and putting it down. Not tossing it up in the air. It is firmly held onto.
Well what does that mean? It means that with every breath we take, we breathe the Gospel. I breathe it in, reminding myself of its power, because I can forget. Once I breathe the Gospel in, I breathe it out for others to hear.
Inhale, exhale. Hear the Gospel. Preach the Gospel.
So why bring all of this up? Why define faith? Why NOW? It’s because God spoke to me several times this week. These are a few things He said.
Remember your love for Me and love Me earnestly again. Do not doubt Me, but trust me.
Do not doubt my power.
Both of these were big for me. By the way, these were spoken within 24 hours of each other. Scary, yet awe inspiring. The first one struck me hard. I thought, “God, why would you think I don’t love you? I love you with all of my heart!”
He smiled, and had me re-read what He told me. God never said I didn’t love Him. He wanted me to remember how it was when I first fell in love with Him. He wanted me to remember that moment when I recognized that God loved me, despite who I was. He wanted me to remember that night I spent crying out to Him out of joy. He wanted me to remember feeling redeemed, feeling free.
And I did. And it brought me to tears. See, that cold March night in 2010 in Dahlonega, Georgia was the night that God sparked a fire in my heart. And just like any fire, it flamed up really high. But, over the years, it grew down to a more consistent flame. Still there, very consistent. Comfortable to sit around and roast marshmallows on. I feel like we as Christians do this a lot. We are on fire for God, but we get used to that fire. I know that I did. I still loved God with all my heart, but some of my zeal was gone.
And He was calling for it to come back. And when God commands something, He expects it to happen, right then and there. So I’m trying to grow my zeal for Him again. Of course, this doesn’t happen without Him. I want to thirst for God more than anything else in this world.
Being on this missions trip helps a lot too. God has been reminding all of us about our identity in Him. It felt like I had never heard it before. It felt as if someone poured lighter fluid on my fire.
It was awesome.
The second thing God told me was actually repeated in the first. He said,
Do not doubt my power.
Some of you, probably most of you are reading this and saying, “Why would you doubt God’s power?” Great question. Let me ask you couple questions that kind of explain my logic.
When was the last time you saw a massive act of God? I have seen small acts, but not large ones.
When was the last time you saw a physical miracle? I don’t remember if I have,
Do people still speak in tongues? I guess?
What about demons? Are they real? Do they posses people, and have you ever seen one cast out? Demons are real, but I don’t know the difference between a possession and some mental disorders.
See, my logic limited the power of God. If the bible is as real as it is, then everyone of the questions I asked should be answered confidently. And my dependence on me seeing things put God’s power into a box of my imagination.
Sad but true.
Now, God is changing that. He has called me to do something I couldn’t imagine. Something ridiculous. Something that will only happen with expectant faith. This is faith that expects God to move. This is believing God will do what He has said because He has in the past. And since submitting to Him, and trusting Him, this has been an amazing ride.
Have expectant faith. Don’t doubt the Lord of Angels Armies. His power is limitless.