PT3: Faith for Lay Guys_Getting it Sincerely Wrong
Updated: Jan 1
I’m struck with the images of the thousands of people praying to Buddha in the midst of the crises where the young succor team are trapped within the underground canyons of a mountain range in Thailand. Images of candles being lit, incense rising, and people bowing before idols of Buddha are all over the screen. And when the kids were released thousands of people sacrificed and offered offerings to a bronze idol. One woman is expressing her thankfulness to Buddha by conscripting her son to become a Buddhist Monk when he grows up.
Make no mistake. Buddha didn’t save those kids. God chose for that to happen that through his goodness and compassion. Buddha had nothing to do with it, despite their sincere faith.
Another example of sincerely misguided faith is the "Titanic." Huge faith in the unsinkable ship didn’t prevent it from going down. The faith was real but it was placed in an object or god that fell short of God.
And to be fair, there are followers of Christ who are no less superstitious in their faith. People who add the essential “and in Jesus’ Name we pray” under the guise that their prayer will be more readily answered because the magic formula has been spoken, or those who expect God will bless them because they decided to tithe, or even those who believe a special blessing is their's because of their adherence to the KJV are no greater off than the Buddhists or misguided faith-ers in the Titanic.
When the object(s) of our faith falls short of the character, Personhood, and heart of our Father in Heaven we are in grave deception. While it is in a way noble to have faith in our Christian superstitions, dogmas, liturgies, to theologies (because they are, at least, Christ-centered), God is so much bigger than that kind of faith, if indeed that is faith at all. He invite us away from the minutiae of those faithful activities and into someplace entire different.
Even when Jesus says we must have the faith of a child in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, he is not suggesting to have faith in the things of God anymore than having a child-like faith in my daddy is about all having having the assurance that he’ll mow the yard, wax the car, and bring home the bacon. It’s not a stepping stone mentality which leads us into Who he is. He is saying that we must have faith in him to get into that sweet spot.
This particular level of belief falls short of the Real Deal because, regardless of its sincerity, places its energy and belief into stuff that is of him but not him (a subtle yet game-changing difference). While God lives and in the realm of faith - indeed it is impossible to please God without having faith (Hebrews 11:6 - it this isn’t just any faith he invites us into. It's a specific faith. Faith in him, the Persons of the Godhead. This is the faith he;s taking about. Faith in him and him alone.
At this time I invite to look away from the screen and prayerfully search your heart with the illumination of the Spirit. Are there areas of your walk with Christ that you are "faithing" in, areas where you're expanding energy or belief (such as right doctrine, sound liturgy, christian formulas, etc) that fall short of faith in him? As God to reveal it so your faith would remain soley in the soul of you Father.
Father, peel away any behaviors or paradigms of belief in me that falls short of Who you are, your heart, and your sovereign love for me. In Christ I pray through the Holy Spirit. Amen.