Oct. 27, 2016

Level of Faith

 “But whoever drinks some of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14

When we first become aware of God’s love and presence in our life, we reach the first level of faith. The initial launch of this relationship is based on His grace and mercy; not our actions or attitude. So, yes, this debunks the myth that we will go to Heaven if we are a good enough person. None of us can be that good on our own.  It takes His presence in our life to cover us with forgiveness when we fail. 

The next level of faith is the desire to have a walking and working relationship with Him.  This means we don’t just want Him as our ticket into Heaven (and out of Hell), but we want Him to be the Lord of our life. In other words, everything we say or do will be run through the filter of His worldview. Certainly we all slip and mess up, but for the most part, we seek an active relationship with Him every day that involves prayer, studying His word, and gathering with His other followers.  No man is an island in the fountain of faith. 

There are various levels that fall into place after the initial acceptance and dedication we make to God. These levels vary from being in harmony with His teachings to being so Heavenly minded, we are no earthly good. I try to visit my spiritual condition daily, hourly, even minute by minute. I constantly pray for God to pour more of His Living Water into me and to pull out my wrong attitudes and opinions. Most of us stay stuck at a certain level. We believe in Him. We trust Him (sort of) but we really aren’t sure He knows what He is doing and we are definitely certain He needs our help. 

Most church-goers are functioning in the “You-are-a-good-God-but-my-way-is-best” mentality. This is when we seek to become clones of one another and fear breaking away from our comfort level. It somehow does not make sense to us that God’s got us covered in the here and now and in the hereafter. It takes courage to trust Him completely. It is just too uncomfortable to move from the shallow end of His pool to the deep end. So, we stand in between.  Our feet touch the ground but we make sure our head is always above water; just in case something goes wrong. We want a life preserver to keep us safe. It’s called self-reliance. 

At some point in our lives, and it isn’t based on physical age, we take the plunge and fully trust Him. This is scary territory because we really don’t feel the earth beneath our feet. We walk by faith; not by sight and definitely not by feelings or opinions. We dive into that big ol’ deep end and we say, “Lord, I am Yours. Everything You created is of You.  Everything and everyone. I don’t need to set the world straight because that’s Your job.  I do need to live out a witness that glorifies You above all others; including myself. Lord, I may not like what You do or how things go, but I will never, ever, ever doubt Your presence and Your love.  Even if the world falls apart around me, You promised me eternal friendship, constant companionship and unconditional love. I trust You. Amen.” 

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