Summary: Part 4 focuses on our having prejudicial faith.
We Walk By Faith Part 4
Last week I shared with you that our faith in God (and Christ) comes through hearing and understanding the Word of God. A key factor in our ability to believe God unquestioningly is the teachings that we hear and believe? I shared with you last week that Paul instructed Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15 to study the word of God so that he will have the confidence he needs to be able to teach it truthfully and never be ashamed because of something he did not know. What Paul was directing Timothy to do was to study and understand so that he could not be shaken by the thoughts and/or beliefs of others. This morning I want to encourage you to do the same. I want you to begin to study so that you will not be shaken when someone questions your faith.
Before I go any further I have a confession to make. I am prejudice. I know whenever people hear this word or hears someone confess this it brings up a lot of emotions, but I am who I am. But before you totally tune me out, let me tell you in what area. I am prejudice in my faith and I hope through this message you will begin to think about joining me.
The word prejudice often brings up negative connotations when we think of it as it relates to race or different groups of people. However, there are situations when it is okay to be prejudice and one of those situations pertains to our faith in God. Let’s begin with a definition of prejudice that applies to this situation so that we will all be on the same page. One of the definitions of prejudice is “The act or state of holding unreasonable, preconceived judgments or convictions.” Believe me when I say that when it comes to my faith in God it is unreasonable and somewhat “preconceived” based on other things that I know. As it relate to our faith and belief in God, this is one time when it is okay to have some prejudices. Now please understand, I am not saying that it is okay to “be prejudice” against someone based on your beliefs, but to have a prejudicial faith. Because what we believe cannot always be proven with hard-fast proof, we accept it by faith. When we accept it and refuse to change, it becomes prejudicial. You hold a conviction that is not based on what man would call a valid reason. When you know what you know and your belief is grounded you’re not easily swayed when others disagree with you.
Let me give you a natural example. Let’s say the police knocked on my door and said that they have arrested my wife for a gruesome murder of five people. They tell me that they have evidence and that their evidence is strong. My response to them would be “laughter” because I know my wife. I know it is not possible for her to do something like that. I have faith in her. My belief in her would seem strange to the police who has gathered a lot of evidence against her and so to them I would come across as “unreasonable” and/or prejudicial in favor of my wife and they would be correct. My evidence of her innocence would be different from their evidence of her guilt but just as strong. Because I would refuse to believe that she is guilty because of my own evidence, I would therefore be considered prejudice because I believe in her innocence regardless of the evidence they have against her. This is what I am talking about as it relates to our faith. This type of belief does not just come to you; you have to choose to walk in it. It is not something that can be forced upon you, you have to choose it. Let me walk you through this analysis so that you will understand why we’re where we are as it relates to our unquestioning belief in God.
II. Seeking God
I often play hide and seek with my dog Eli. He runs downstairs thinking I am on my way down and then I will remain upstairs and hide. When he realizes that I did not follow him downstairs, he comes running back upstairs searching for me. Most of the time because of his sensitive nose, he finds me, unless we are playing in total darkness then even though he finds me with his nose, he doubts because he cannot see me. (Remember this for later.) Now how many of you ever played “hide and seek” as children? The purpose of the game is to find the one who is hiding. At the beginning of the game, you choose the person who is going to be the seeker and everyone else hides and the seeker must find them. If the person who is supposed to hide just stands out in the open or hide somewhere that is obvious, the seeker finds them easily. But the goal is to make it back to the touch point before the seeker finds and touch you. Our relationship with God in some ways is reflective of this game. Consider the following from Isaiah 45:15 and Matthew 6:33 and 7:7: