Monday, April 6, 2009

What Kind of Faith Do You Possess?

After being in church my entire life, I occasionally need to be reminded of spiritual lessons I've previously learned but may have tucked into the recesses of my spirit mind.

I had such a reminder yesterday where the message was about faithfulness and the pastor talked about three kinds of faith.

The first type of faith, he called "conditional" faith. It tends to follow the path of "God, if you will only ______________, then I will..."

In order to believe, or to grow in that belief, God must first prove Himself. This is the most elementary of faiths. I call it "If" faith.

Then there's what the pastor called "thanksgiving" faith. I call it "Because" or "Payback" faith. This type of faith focuses on worshipping God because of what He has done for you. "Because you ______________________, I trust/believe/worship you, Lord."

This is secondary faith. You already believe, but your belief is strengthened each time God proves Himself again. Every blessing becomes a faith deposit.

Of course, a corollary of this is that every (perceived) missed blessing or unanswered prayer is a faith withdrawal. Not a good way to be living your life in times like these.

The third type of faith is the strongest and most desirable faith. The pastor called it "Regardless" faith. I call it "Yet" faith.

This is the faith exemplified by the three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace, determined to worship God and only God even in the face of death; the faith of Job when he said, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him..." or of David when he wrote "But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more...; and lastly, the faith of Jesus.

Is your faith of the "If", "Because" or "Yet" variety? I believe it is entirely possible to experience different levels of faith in different areas of your life. Like people who believe God wholeheartedly for a medical miracle while not trusting Him fully for their daily provisions.

Without regard to how tough the times may be, it may be wise to sure up the foundations of one's faith by spending more time with God, studying His Word more, seeing Him in action.

Whether God does or doesn't bless as we desire, He's still God, and that alone is enough.

Peace & Blessings,

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