The righteous will live by faith… (Romans 1:17)
There’s a significant difference between a starting line and a foundation.
In a race, the starting line is quickly left behind, the faster the better. In a race, the goal is to get to the end, not stay stuck at the start.
For the Christian, faith isn’t like a starting line, it’s a foundation on which everything else in our spiritual life rests (I’m talking about the parts of our our spirituality that are dependent on our responsibility). We begin with faith, but we also continue in faith.
At no point in the Christian journey should faith become irrelevant or childish. Should isn’t always reality. Faith takes the back seat when we fall into the following traps:
1. We believe we must work to keep God’s love or earn more of it. Such pursuits are impossible. We are made right with God through faith, and we need his salvation throughout our entries lives. Why? We are constantly facing troubles that we cannot tackle on our own. We need God’s help, and this means having faith in him.
2. We forget the discipline of confession. When we lack awareness of our sin imperfections, we also loose sight of our need for faith in God’s Son.
3. We fill up with pride. Pride is the constant battle for every believer, and it begins when we have spiritual successes. Growing in Christ is a good thing, but without careful vigilance, we deceive ourselves into believing we achieved new heights on our own power. Affirmations from others CAN contribute to these feelings of pride. Comparing our victories to the weakness of others continues to build pride up. Our hearts have not the room for both pride in Self and faith in God.
4. We settle for simplistic answers to every question. Knowledge is not the enemy of faith, but understanding ought to flow from faith and create new spaces for faith to fill. True wisdom never replaces faith.
5. We fall into a safe life, one without any meaningful risks. When all of our decisions are weighed upon the scales of our ability and power, we loose faith because we stop trusting God to provide. Self-sufficiency is an enemy of faith.
What’s missing from this post? What are some other faith stealers?