Something that keeps jumping out at me in Scripture is faith. It’s everywhere. It seems to be very important. We downplay faith a lot in our lives and substitute the word “faith” in place of “religion” because it sounds better. We talk a lot about our own faith and its difference between the faith of others. We say our faith is important to us and is the reason why we live a certain way. When we look at Jesus’ life and see the miracles He performed we because of faith.
Take a look with me at Galatians 3:5. The Galatian church had some kind of teaching running through it that messed up the teaching of the gospel which they received by faith. For some reason they thought that now it was necessary to perform the works of the Law as well.
It seems to be easier to follow a list of rules instead of develop a relationship with God based on faith. Believing and obeying the Lord is more difficult and requires a lot more trust than checking things off a list that we’ve made to describe our own version of righteousness. But the righteousness of God comes through faith and nothing else. Righteousness is given to those who live by faith.
Read a little further and we can get a glimpse of God’s definition of faith. Faith is bigger than believing. It’s believing and living accordingly. Abraham wouldn’t have been considered righteous by God if he didn’t live according to the belief that God would fulfill His promise to him. Living by faith develops a relationship with God that’s based on trust that He knows what’s best. When we follow His Word over what we think is best, we begin to live by faith.
What hurts is knowing that most of the time I don’t. We don’t as a church sometimes either. Instead of believing that what God has given us is enough to do what He’s called us to do, we dig a deep hole of debt to have the state of the art stuff, a building that’s beautiful, and a coffee shop.
Verse five says something to me about the way we live. How can God perform miracles when we simply don’t allow Him to because of our lack of faith? We do do do and miss miss miss the lesson of faith. God’s timing isn’t our timing. His thoughts aren’t our thoughts. His ways are much higher than ours, like the difference between the earth’s surface and the sky (Isaiah 55:8-9). Yet we consistently bring God down to earth instead of us reaching up to Him. How long before we grasp the ways of the eternal? How long before we recognize our need for God? How long will it take us to learn to live by faith?
I believe we’ve lost the ability to see miracles as often as we could. He calls us to walk on water! To live differently than the world! And still Jesus turns to us like He did to the sinking Peter, “Where is your faith?” The moment we place it on ourselves the quicker and deeper we sink. We cannot rise above the water which drowns us unless we have faith, unless we believe and obey.
The miracles we long to see and to proclaim to the world can only happen if faith is present. God can still perform them. We all believe that He can. But the power of God being displayed through our lives gets stifled when we express a lack of faith, a lack of believing and obeying that God will be, like He always has been, true to His Word.
It begins with believing that He’s saved us from sin. But God wants to take it further than that. He didn’t just save us from sin, but also from the evil of this world (Galatians 1:4). It doesn’t mean we won’t have problems. It does mean that we can see things from His perspective now. I like what A. W. Tozer said in his book, “The Purpose of Man.” He says that the higher up we go with God, the smaller the things of the world appear. But the closer we get to the world, the bigger the problems appear and further away God feels from us. If His ways are higher than ours, we need to soar with God. Those of faith are promised to rise above, God renews their strength to soar above it all.
I want miracles to happen in my life! Don’t you? I want to see God work more and more. It takes me living like I believe God is true and will follow through. I just have to be patient for Him, be still and know that He is God.