Faith, the problem or the Answer?Posted: September 5, 2013
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. — 1 Corinthians 13:2
How often have you seen this sight while driving through the country on a Sunday afternoon? Not very often, if ever, I would dare to guess…! So, wonder why not? ..Does the Bible not say this is possible? This idea is stated very literally in the verse above; “… and if I have a faith that can move mountains…” is that not what it says? …Herein lies the problem of “biblical literalism” and also of “modern etymology” , both big words, describing big problems in the Church today…
Now please don’t misunderstand me! I believe in bible literalism to a point, but sometimes things can just become highly exaggerated. …Don’t you agree?… Etymology is a study/history of words and how the meanings can change over time and use in different cultures. When you put the two together you get, exaggerated misunderstanding, mistranslations, and misrepresentations of biblical truth… Ask yourself this; …Is exaggerated truth, the truth at all??…
Back to the title: “Faith, the problem or the answer?” … my answer to this is Yes, it is both the problem and the answer… What do you think? ..It is not that faith in and of itself is the problem, it is our modern understanding of the word that’s the problem.
~ Let’s Explore ~
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. Hebrews 10:38-39
The Scriptures above all speak of Faith… believing faith, faith we live by and faith we are saved by… agree?
Now, are all of the three examples referring to the same type of faith? …Do you know?…
Most believers today do not know, therefore is word “faith” is often used interchangeably where other words like trust, hope, believe, security etc. would be better choices.
I am not going into all the technical and theological jargon on this because it would take too much of my time today and most of your day and evening to read… So, please select the link above on faith and explore on your own if you choose…
I would like to give a personal example of a misuse or misunderstanding of this word and how it can wreck and damage.. or change a person’s life and faith forever.
In 1996 I sensed, Our Father may have been calling me into the ministry so to speak… All Christians are called to minister, but I believed this to be a “calling into full-time gospel ministry” ..based on how I was raised and the denomination of Christianity I grew up in. I was a Design Technical Specialist at the time with 25 years of service and the money was great. Also I really loved the type of work I did… but my company had begun to require much more travel than I was comfortable with and into areas that I was very uncomfortable with… I had just experienced a major shift in my outlook and philosophy on life commonly called (mid-life crisis or sobriety) and I believed I had the “faith to move mountains”… I discussed this with my wife who was not nearly as excited about the prospect as I was! … I quit my job… and began to pursue God’s will for my life! …
Was this a mistake? …I will let you decide.
I will tell you this. Things did not go as I had planned… as I had been brought up to believe they should go.. if you just had the faith like Abraham.. to pack up and leave, not even knowing where you were going… I believed and I stress the word believed that God would provide for us just as He had for “Abraham” and for “the children of Israel in the wilderness” and Elijah when God sent the crows to feed him by the creek, and, and … you know all those faith filled miraculous stories we hear about all the time don’t you? … Well let me tell you something; “they are all true, so very true… but not necessarily like we have been told.. or have understood them…
You see, when we hear a sermon or message, most of the time the messenger is giving you their rendition of the facts in the Bible, their take on the situation… they may or may not have ever actually been in that situation themselves. They could be telling you about someone they know who went through something similar and such… but that is not normally what you or I are hearing. I cannot go into all the data available on how people listen and which points we pick up on and how you or I interpret, retain and file away information. …Let’s just say; “we all hear and understand things differently.” If you don’t agree, try talking with someone from another culture or the opposite sex for that matter.. you know what I mean? 😉
I cannot say God did not work in my decision, I cannot say my “leap of faith” was a mistake, I cannot say that we were not taken care of and feed by the “birds” and the “angels” at times. We were, most assuredly we were! ..But.. it was not.. like I had expected. I will not go into all the details of this excursion, however I wish I could.!!! They are amazing and “my/her/our faith” grew greater than it had ever been before, but now as “true faith” not “imagined faith”…
I Hope by now you are beginning to see the problem and the answer! Like I said before, I believe “faith” as it is commonly understood today can cause many problems and on the other hand, “true faith” which has been lived, tried and tested by fire (life) can be the answer to many of the problems.
If we have faith only in what we believe, we will have and cause many problems. If we believe by “true faith”… which has been proven true and correct by our own personal experiences with God in Christ Jesus, then and only then do we possess the “faith to move mountains” ..because by this time we also have realized, that it is NOT our Faith that moves the Mountains it is the FAITH of Jesus Christ in US that has the power to cause the Earth to Shake… It is not so much our faith in Christ as it is CHRIST’s faith in us that brings us through… Amen!
Love in Him
…and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:2b