Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Simple Faith

A lot of the time, we make faith harder than it really has to be. We spend our time wondering what it is that God would have us to do, wrestling with what it means to live a life of faith, agonizing over how God wants us to live, as though it's some great mystery, some big puzzle that God expects us to figure out. 

It's something you never see in the Scriptures. Not once. The people of God always seem to be clear on what it is that God wants them to do. They don't always just do it, of course, but that doesn't change the fact that they know what God wants them to do. 

Jonah, for example, knew that he was supposed to go to Nineveh. Abraham knew he was supposed to sacrifice his son. Noah knew he was supposed to build an ark. Jesus knew He was supposed to die. Paul knew he was supposed to preach to the Gentiles. Not once do we see any of these guys trying to "discern the spirit of God" and figure out what He wants them to do; they already know. 

They only had to discern their own spirits. 

Yet we think that discerning the spirit of God is not only the first step of the Christian faith, it is the highest step of the Christian faith. We think it's what we're supposed to spend our time, even our lives, doing - figuring out God. Figuring out what He wants. Figuring out what He's planned for us. We never get around to discerning our own spirits because we don't have to; we're too busy pretending that God is elusive and that faith is hard. 

This past weekend, my local news shared a story of a man who donated part of his liver to a baby girl he didn't know. He'd never met her, didn't know anyone in her family, didn't know anything about this girl. And the reporter asked him why he did it. His answer was profoundly beautiful.

"God loves her. God has a plan for her life, and He values her. I just decided I was going to stand in agreement with that." 

Done. He just shut up. Simple. 

That's the kind of simple faith that God calls us to, and it's really not hard. That man didn't have to take days or weeks or months or years to figure out what God thought about that little girl. He didn't hem and haw and pray and seek and knock and discern and argue and second-guess and wonder and wander and whatever. He knew the heart of God, the heart of God made clear what God thought, and the man decided that he could just believe that God is who God is. Then, he acted on it. 

What would your life of faith look like if you believed it was really this simple? (Spoiler alert: it is.) What would you do differently if you didn't have to figure God out, but just had to get on board with what is already clear? What would it change for you if you knew God's heart so well that God's will was not elusive? What if you didn't have to discern God's spirit all the time, but only had to discern your own?

What if faith is not hard?

It's not hard. Not as hard as we make it. In fact, it ought to be the simplest thing in all the world. (Note: I did not say "easy." Just simple.) All we have to do is know God, love God, trust God, and stand in agreement with Him. 

What would your life look like if you did just that? If you decided today to stand in agreement with God and just did so? 



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