Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The work of faith

If God does it all, do we have any role to play? Absolutely. As I said earlier, our part is to be willing. Paul wrote, “ out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13). God is at work in us to choose and to perform His good pleasure. Our part is not to do it. Our part is to be willing. Our willingness is expressed as faith, or trust. “I am willing for You to be living Your life through me this day, and I am trusting You to do it.”

Life for the believer operated by faith, not by self-effort. Sometimes people hear the full message of God's grace and respond, “But doesn't God call us to be obedient?” There is an obedience God calls us to. Paul called it the obedience of faith (Romans 1:5). You obey by believing. You became a believer through the obedience of faith. You believed that Christ died for your sins. You having died with Christ works the same way as Christ having died for you. In both cases, you have to put your faith in an unseen and eternal truth before you begin to see it operate in your life.

The work of faith is not to try to do the dying. The work of faith is to recall that fact that the old you did die, and to live out of that fact. We remember and count on the revelation fact.— The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out, page 159

<idle musing>
That little word, faith, keeps showing up, doesn't it? Last night Debbie and I were on our walk and we were talking about how easy it is to desire to walk by sight, rather than by faith. "Sight" can be more than vision, too; it can be knowledge, emotions, etc. Too many people are addicted to the emotional high they get from "worship" times, but when the high is over, they are spiritually adrift. We used to see a lot of this back in the early 1970s, in the Jesus Movement. We used to say they came to Jesus for the high; about 3 months later they would drift off and never be seen again. The high wore off, and they went looking for the next high. I fear that too much of today's "worship" experience emphasis is just trying to extend the high... What do you think? How far off base am I?
</idle musing>

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