Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rubber Band Faith

"In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." - James 2:17

Part of our identity in Christ is our faithfulness.  Galatians 5:16 says, "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." and in 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness..."

Yay! That's great news! We get to be faithful because of the Spirit of God in us!  Awesome.

But here comes the rub.  We don't become faithful by just having it in us.  Faith needs action in order to come into existence and this is where the rubber meets the road....

Suppose you had never seen a rubber band before and an inventor was showing you the first prototype.  He's all excited about it and what it will be able to do for all of mankind.  What's your response when he explains to you how it can twist and bend and be pulled and stretched without breaking.  THEN it can be used again! Sounds to good to be true?  You may say...

"Great! Let me see you use it!"

"Oh, ahh, well, sorry, can't do that."

"What? Why not?"

"Just trust me.  This rubber band is amazing and it can handle tough jobs."

"Then let me see it stretch!"

He reaches into a briefcase and pulls out a scientific report. "Here's all the documentation into what the rubber band is made of and what it can do."

Blah, blah, blah.  What kind of demo is that?  I want to see the guy do an info commercial on 101 ways to use a rubber band.  And I want to see him excited; shouting even.  I don't want a document put in my face.  

Faith is similar.  In order for it to useful, it must be used.  It must be stretched and pulled and twisted into uncomfortable situations.  If we're not feeling "stretched," chances are we're not feeling faith.  

How is faith activated?  Many ways for sure and some ways are helping others in need (James 2:14-15).  Taking care of those who can't help themselves.  How about not worrying for a day?  Or, maybe being patient and kind with cranky people.  Or here's a biggie...how about believing that God is good all the time, like when  we lose a job, or someone we love dies?  Or especially when we hear about murders and senseless killings?  A part of being faithful to God is to NOT say that He wanted those tragedies to happen as a judgement.

If I don't move and be flexible, it says that faith is dead.  Faith equals risk.  If I don't take a risk and actually believe the Word of God and that His promises are true; that He loves us unconditionally and has grace to cover all my weaknesses...then am I being faithful?

No condemnation here.  Just understanding that without risk, stretching, and general uncomfortableness; faith is probably not being activated. 

Yes, stretching can be uncomfortable...but wow, is it useful. Just like the humble rubber band.
Stretch me Lord so I may be faithful.  :)

Linked to Knick of Time: Sonday