What is faith?
I’ve grappled with this question over the years. My Dad was a true man of faith. You can read a brief synopsis of his great faith here. So I was raised in a home driven by faith in God.
And yet, while I’ve seen God do some ridiculously amazing things, I’ve also noticed that God doesn’t do everything in the exact way we hope or believe he will, even when we think we’re exercising faith in the proper manner.
My experiences have led me to think about faith…A LOT. So here’s my basic conclusion.
Faith is fundamental to the Christian walk. Without faith it is impossible to please God because without faith you can’t even believe in God. But once you believe and follow Jesus, it seems that many Christians begin thinking of faith as a magic wand.
Faith becomes the thing we can exercise to move mountains and, often times, get whatever it is that we’re pining for.
Many groups create formulas and creeds of faith. They have a whole language of faith. They believe that if you speak just the right amount of positive things and refuse all the negative stuff, then you’re exercising faith.
People put this type of formulaic, magic wand faith into practice in hopes of fulfilling all the desires of their hearts, often times believing for new cars and bigger bank accounts, unfortunately.
While I fully believe there to be a gift of faith that releases the power of God to do the supernatural among us (which I’ll write more about in the weeks to come), faith is much more than this. It’s not just a magic wand that we wave in a formulaic fashion.
I’ve come to define faith in this manner:
Faith is handing God the controls of your life.
This is the deepest meaning of faith in God. By doing this, you are saying, “My life belongs to God, not me, and I’ll follow God wherever he may lead.”
The formulaic, magic wand type of faith seems to lean toward maintaining the controls of our lives, not handing them over. It wants to wave the wand of faith to make MY desires happen.
But when we hand God the controls, we long for his desires to be fulfilled rather than our own.
When our desires match his, and we start believing for what he wants rather than what we want, good things begin to happen.
I believe this to be the essence of the faith that “pleases God.”
So, don’t just wave the magic wand. Hand over the controls.A few more thoughts on faith: It’s Okay to Trust in God: a testimony of faith and healing When Faith Gets Messy When God Fails, Can You Still Trust Him? Words Fail, But Prayer Does Not Did God Lie To Me?