Friday, September 4, 2009

Faith and Common Sense

One of the greater struggles I face is when to how to express my faith in God.  I know that we must have faith in God’s salvation through His Son Jesus, but what about the little things?

Jesus said that we should not worry as even the birds are provided for.  Certainly worry is one of the barriers to trusting in God, as it will allow us to fall into despair.  Despair is the opposite of faith and it is a terrible state to be in.  It leads to much darker things in life and makes you seek out any kind of hope, no matter how foolish it would normally appear.

But where do we draw the line between faith in God and common sense?  I suspect that many of us confuse real faith with stupid faith.  A friend of mine who is a realtor told a story about how a man had said he was going to buy a house with 100% cash.  So they all met with a lawyer and the man sat there waiting.  When they finally asked the man where the money was coming from, he responded that God would provide it.  Talk about such naivety.  The only way I would do something like that is if God himself wrote in thin air with fire in front of me, “Go and buy a house.  I’m paying.  Oh, and I love you.”

I guess what most people do not understand is that God leaves the methodology of our lives mostly up to us.  Faith is placed in God’s Will but the details are often vague and while we do have some guidelines laid out, most of us are left to our devices to deal with the circumstances of our own lives.  I find this to be comforting, though, as a life where God directs our every action is no life in true freedom.  We are called to love Him, but He does not compel us to do so.

I heard another story about a man who needed dialysis on a regular basis.  However, he often refused treatment because he claimed that he had his only medical needs at his feet and head: a Bible.  Such people are fools in the Biblical sense, because they do not know God all that well.  Well, we are all fools in that sense, but many of us who know better can say so by comparison.

Throughout much of the Bible, many of the people had limited encounters with God, the only exception being those who witnessed Jesus’ ministry.  Moses had nothing to do with God throughout most of his life, only becoming his anointed lawgiver after turning 80 years old.  Many other people had very few and rare encounters with the supernatural aspects of God throughout the Old Testament.  In the New Testament, there is not much, save for the accounts of Jesus and the immediate after effects.  But even the apostle Paul himself had limited encounters with the supernatural throughout his ministry.

So we cannot count on God to supernaturally guide us like so many delusional people seem to.  We have to have common sense and enough discernment to handle our own affairs and always be mindful that God may come calling at any time.  But pray that you will have a quiet life because from what I have read of the prophets and apostles of old, their lives had horrible repercussions.  The cost of becoming someone of such high standing is a mighty one and God only chose those who could endure it.