Saturday, July 26, 2008

Faith and Folly

As I age, learn and grow in my relationship with God I seem to be coming to some sort of resolution. My journey began with Denial and roughly followed to > Rebellion > Awareness > Acceptance > Desire > Fulfillment > Joyful Resignation > Contemplation.

In hindsight the temporary folly in my journey was an obsession with and an over emphasis on the importance of reason in one’s relationship with God. Contrary to all that Jesus taught (eg. John 6:44) I allowed myself to be distracted by forays into evidence, proving, justifying and convincing others and myself that what I believed, was in fact true. Notice, it wasn’t what Jesus said that was my emphasis. It wasn’t His gospel of salvation that I wanted to communicate. Rather, what I believed and why I believed it took on a importance that again, in hindsight was not only distracting but probably destructive to those with whom I was interacting.

It was like, Now that I know this is true, now that I have a solid, vibrant, exciting relationship with my Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ, I need to lay out the evidence for what I already know to be true. For some reason I needed to justify to myself my relationship with Jesus. It was like I was convincing myself all over again. In truth, out of fear that others might think less of me, I had this need to justify my relationship with Jesus to non believers, especially to those who seem condemned to live within a very narrow band of awareness. Yes we are to be able to give an explanation for why we believe, but we must not confuse that explanation with the work that the Holy Spirit does in a yet-to-be-believer's soul in bringing that person to salvation. People are not saved by evidence. They are saved by hearing the Word of God in general and being exposed to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Those that demand further proof are simply not at a place where any decision for redemption can be made. God may bring them to that point some day but for now, simply laying out God's plan of salvation through Jesus is all that can be done.

I now see that an emphasis on reason, while interesting in it’s own right, is superfluous to, unnecessary for and theoretically at least contrary to the initiation and development of faith. It is God who calls, God who grows, God who saves and sanctifies. Anything that we are or ever will be is from God and God alone. Knowing Him, really knowing Him is a purely spiritual affair, devoid of any need for proof save that of God Himself and His stirring in our souls.

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