Saturday, September 11, 2010

Does God Notice our Faith?

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. -II Peter 1:5-8

If you read some of my recent posts you will recall my saying how much I have lately been enjoying some hiking.  One of the drawbacks of hiking this time of year, among other things (heat, mud, mosquitoes), are the spider webs that stretch across the trail.  You don’t always see them until you have walked right into them.  I am constantly amazed at the strength of those tiny webs.  If those spider webs were on the same scale for us as the insects they ensnare they would be the equivalent of stout ropes wrapped around us from which we could not escape.  The spider’s web seems to be fragile, but yet it is amazingly strong.  So it is with faith.  It may not always seem like much, but the power of faith is astounding.  Faith in Jesus Christ can lead us to do that which we would otherwise believed to be impossible.  

Does God take notice of our faith?  I believe that the answer is yes.  Jesus was frequently taking notice of the faith of those around Him, and sometimes He chastised people for not having enough faith.  
-Matthew 6:30 reminds us that God will provide: "And if God takes care of the birds of the air and clothes the flowers of the field, will He not provide for us – oh ye of little faith?" (KJV)   
-Matthew chapter 8 shows how it took a Roman centurion to show those who claimed to believe God what true faith looked like.  Jesus said He had yet to see such faith in all of Israel.  
-In Matthew 8:26 Jesus rebuked the storm and all was calm.  Then He rebuked the disciples and said, “Why were you afraid?  Oh ye of little faith.”  (KJV)
-Matthew 13:57, 58 shows how that Jesus would not do many miracles in His hometown of Nazareth because of the peoples’  lack of faith.   

The Lord Jesus often took notice of peoples’ faith, and He either commended them for it, or challenged them to seek after more.  Faith in God is something the believer cannot have enough of.  And we can always benefit from more.  Faith is that blessed power and force in our lives that enables us to rise up and seek that higher ground in Jesus Christ.  I love the theme of higher ground.  The follower of Christ must at all times remain and keep the higher ground.  Here is a term that I had never heard before, but the Lord gave it to me: Moral high ground.  This is where our lives are characterized by absolute moral integrity.  Getting to and maintaining the moral high ground is a faith walk; one that takes place each and every day.  The devil is alive and well and will continually be trying to dislodge us from the moral high ground.

Faith in Christ leads to some powerful and wonderful blessings in our lives.  When we add to our faith the Christlike qualities described in God's Word such as goodness, knowledge, and self-control, then we are empowered to let the light of Christ shine from our lives.

Do not settle for dull and lifeless faith.  Rise up in the power of Christ and seek faith that moves us forward in spiritual victory.  Take heart, have hope, and be of good cheer; victory is ours through faith in Christ.

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