Summary: The challenge of faith and how through faith one can lead a victorious Christian life
I am sure we have come across many definitions of a Christian:
Let me share one interesting definition:
A Christian:is one who is completely fearless, continually cheerful, and constantly in trouble and always having problems with his faith!
Faith is taking God at His Word – believing in Him and in His Promises.
More often than not; when things don’t work out the way you expect; you may continue to believe in God but could have doubts about the second part of God keeping His promises!!.
We have several analogies to explain faith – one very appealing one is to equate faith to a journey.
Abraham left his home town, family, possesions, all his ties and went out into a land which he knew nothing of or about into a new way of life in obedience to the Word of God.
All he knew was that he had now entered into a unique and amazing relationship with El Shaddai, the Almighty God – he had received a wonderful promise that he would be blessed and in him all families on earth would be blessed – based on one requirement – he would need to move out – to embark on a journey, to take up an unknown trail, to go into a strange land in search of a city whose foundations were laid by God.
Abraham did not know which path; but he knew the one who is the Way
Abraham did not possess any facts; but he knew Him who is the Truth
Abraham did not know about how he was going to live; but he knew Him who is the Life
Abraham’s vital and vibrant relationship with Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life – was good enough for him to leave everything behind, stake his future life on a promise and walk into the unknown with the expectation that all that had been promised would come to pass.
Faith, then is to start walking in an unknown direction into an unknown territory towards a destination without even a map – except for one singular truth: Knowing the one who has drawn the map.
Many times we do go on ‘faith trips’ – maybe a marriage, a house, a job, a project, a sickness or a surgery – once we see the promise fulfilled, the barometer of faith goes up; but when things don’t work out the way we expect, there is a drop in the barometer of faith.
If you want to know the true measure of a man’s faith – look at his lifestyle – and you find a cue; look at his works – and you get a clue; but it is only when you look at his worship – you will know how much of his faith is true!
The rich young ruler in Luke 18 had an exemplary lifestyle – all the commandments, I have followed since a child - Our Lord tells him …one thing you lack! Do you have the faith to give up all and follow me? To embark on your journey of faith, you need to Walk With Me My Way. To walk with me, you need to abandon your trust in your resources – simply taking me at my word.
In Luke 10:39 we see Jesus visiting the home of Martha and Mary. We find Martha caught up with preparation for dinner whilst Mary sits at the feet of Jesus. One is involved in Work; the other in the Word; Both are serving, but in different ways. Jesus gently chides Martha when she complains that Mary is not helping her with the chores. Martha, you are preoccupied with Doing; Mary is occupied with Being. You want to feed me Bread; But Mary has discovered the Bread of Life.
Jonah in the belly of a fish was as good as dead – like being buried alive. And from these murky depths we hear his wonderful voice of worship: I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with its bars was about me forever, yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.
And yet when God sends him a second time to preach repentance to Nineveh – his word is received and Nineveh repents much to his dismay. He goes into a sulk and when a shade plant over his head perishes, he is angry with God.
God reprimands him – You had pity on the gourd for which you had neither laboured nor made to grow, but what came up on its own – How much more should you care for a city with over six score thousand persons living in darkness apart from a large number of cattle?
Our life on earth is a walk of faith; our pursuits and priorities constitute the work of faith; but our intimate and ultimate relationship with God which we manifest when we worship Him– is the worship in faith.