Steve Maltz considers what a life of faith looks like, and the challenges to get there.
Faith is our free pass into the Divine treasure box. It is what makes us different from the world. It is what drives us, empowers us and sustains us. It's our acceptance of God's friend request. It's also the one aspect of our Christian life that is intensely solitary and personal; unlike worship, prayer and study it can only ever be a one-to-One.
Faith is the act of believing, where God is a challenge, a wrestling match. It's full-on engagement, it can even be a struggle. Sometimes there's a lot of bondage to loosen first. True long-lasting faith doesn't always come without a struggle.
We should look to God for everything that makes up our lives, from spiritual needs to very real physical needs such as health, family and income. In terms of that latter consideration, I believe that a healthy view should cut out the middleman (i.e. your employer) and always consider God as your financial sustainer.
If you operate within a mind-set of everything I do is for the Lord, then He will look after your financial needs, though not always in predictable ways.
Faith doesn't come cheaply, it's a serious undertaking. You're entering into a relationship that is going to take a lot of battering as you negotiate the very real challenges of living a godly life in a world that is moving further away from Him.
Faith is about asking questions and not necessarily getting answers in
your preferred timeline. It's an adventure, it's real, and it's
exciting. And all it requires is a "Yes, we can," you and God - what a
And once you have made that decision, the adventure really begins. There will be troughs as well as peaks, but the overall direction will be forever upwards.
It's over to you.
Sometimes God needs to nudge us into an attitude of faith. Sometimes we must dip our toe into unfamiliar territory.
A popular excuse among those who live in unbelief is that they are not
naturally spiritual people. Perhaps you should encourage them to gaze
at a stunning sunset, or visit an area of outstanding beauty, or hold
a new-born baby. All things that can snap us out of the mundane, into
somewhere else, perhaps a place they have been avoiding the whole of
We need to be led by our heart, rather than our mind. Our cleverness is not going to get us close to God.
For instance, we may have a good head knowledge from reading books on how to swim, but at some point we just have to take the plunge. Can you remember the exhilaration you felt when you made your first few stumbling strokes through the water, your feet dangling behind you, as you inched forwards? It can be very similar, when you make your first few steps, hand in hand with your Maker, as you learn to trust Him to guide you through life.
In the words of a famous Christian preacher, John Wesley, when he finally put total trust in God, after struggling for many years. My heart was strangely warmed, he admitted.
Perhaps your life has been leading up to this moment, even if you already call yourself a Christian? Perhaps your life needs a re-assessment, a spiritual MOT? It is never too late to get real with God, He is ever patient, though there is no better time than the present.
After all, who's going to turn down the possibility of having their heart warmed?The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
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