God deserves our faith.
He created paradise, then he custom-crafted Adam and Eve in his own image. He communed with them and gave them significance and purpose. He instructed them in the way they should live and warned them of the horrid alternative. Yes, Adam and Eve should have trusted their Creator. He deserved their faith.
Fantastic is the love of God for us. Though horribly sinful, Jesus has come, lived for us, died for us, and has sent his Spirit to regenerate us. With a smile on his face, he justifies, adopts, and communes with us. He sets us apart for his kingdom business (sanctification) and grants us incredible significance as his holy priests. Daily, he continues to instruct us in the best way to worship and enjoy fellowship, and he promises to pray, empower, disciple, discipline, and protect us. And friends, this is just the beginning. What a glorious day it will be when the curse is removed, we see our Savior’s face, and finally realize paradise. Yes, God deserves our faith.
God despises our lack of faith.
Adam and Eve were to believe God and disbelieve any “Fake News” coming from any adversary of God. But they doubted goodness and wisdom of their Heavenly Father. This was their first great sin that preceded their touching, plucking, eating, distributing, hiding, and blame-shifting. They were faithless, and God hated it.
Christian reader, God never despises us. This is because all our justly deserved condemnation and wrath has fully been placed on Jesus’ shoulders and poured out upon his head. But do not think God is light on sin. Because he he is holy and good, he still abhors sins like pride, abuse, apathy, lust, lying, stealing, and faithlessness. God despises our lack of faith; he hates it.
God despises our show.
Consider how Adam and Eve responded to their sin of disbelief. Rightly, they were embarrassed by their lack of faith, love, folly, and obedience. But wrongly, they hid their sin while putting on their version of a religious show. Adam covered himself and his wife with fig leaves, He then took the lead in their hiding themselves from their Holy Father — as if any of that would would help their case.
Don’t we do the same? We find ourselves embarrassed and ashamed by our faithlessness and disobedience, and we seek to cover our sin through religious posturing and ceremonialism. We hide our disbelief through our pious cliches, our bold Sunday ballads, our positive-thinking sermons, our biblical counseling, and devotional apologetics before our children. We proclaim we have unaltered faith. We pretend to have unaltered faith. We put up a good front. We put up a good show. We save face and maintain our image. We “fake it till we make it.” But we know the truth:
When we are honest, we often think wrongly. There are far too many times when we doubt the affection and wisdom of Heavenly Father.
And we forget the truth:
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether …. (Psalm 139)
Therefore, how should we respond? What should we do?
We should confess, repent, and believe.
With love, God marched towards the hiding first couple. In love, he outed their transgression, declared their just rewards (curse), and then soothed them with his Gospel proclamation.
The same is seen over and over in the scriptures. As one reads the story of God, one can see our Father dealing with the disbelieving hearts of Job, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Elisha, David, Israel, John the Baptist, all the disciples, and those in the first-century church. Over and over again, God commands them not to fear, he demands they have faith, he declares his anger towards the sin of disbelief, and then he soothes his friends with his Gospel proclamation and presence.
Therefore, instead of denying our sin, we should acknowledge it diligently and confess it quickly. Instead of discounting it, we should see it with the odiousness of our Heavenly Father. Instead of hiding, we should run to the Father, who is already coming our way. We should hear and believe that Jesus has earned our faithfulness and paid for our faithlessness. Friends, we don’t have to “fake it till we make it.” We shouldn’t fake anything, and we don’t have to make anything. Sadly, we are doubting sinners, but happily we are doubting Christians declared righteous, delightful to our Father, and destined for paradise. Our relationship and position with God has nothing to do with the amount of faith we have. We are reconciled and held fast because of God’s faithfulness and not ours. The last thing we should do is hide behind a show. Let us confess, repent, and believe the Gospel.
We should supplicate and believe in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We cannot cause ourselves to believe anything. We believe what we believe. We disbelieve what we disbelieve. The ability to believe comes from God. It is God’s good gift. It is that which the Spirit grants to Christ’s family. Jesus is the founder and perfecter of our faith. (John 1:12-13; Acts 13:48; Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 12:1-2) This is what we see throughout God’s Word.
Then, consider the glorious prayer of the father of the demon-possessed child who declared, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) We also have the prayer of the Apostles, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:15)
Therefore, it is good worship to commune with God in prayer and ask him for ever-increasing faith. This surely is a prayer in accordance with his will and Word. Consequently, this is a prayer God will answer. God does not desire that we sin. He desires that we experience, express, and enjoy him more and more. Faith is a fruit of his Spirit, and he delights in the fact that we are not “Faking it till we make it,” but confessing, repenting, and supplicating to him. So pray! God will answer us. He will shape our hearts and heads. He will help us live in accordance with the mind of Christ. Yes, as we read his Word and pray, we should not be surprised as we find ourselves enjoying supernatural faith.
He is the one who increases faith through days of Coronavirus disease, disability, and death.
He is the one who increases faith through days of marital apathy, abuse, or adultery.
He is the one who increases faith through days of addiction, loneliness, anxiety, and depression,
He is the one who increases faith trough the days in which he gives and those in which he takes away.
He grants and increases faith, but too often we “have not because we ask not.” Well then my friends, let’s fix that today. Let’s run to Jesus and ask him to “Increase our faith.” Let’s not “fake it till we make it.” Instead, “Let’s pray for it until we enjoy it.” Faithfulness is a fruit of his Spirit, let’s ask him to lay it on us thick and heavy. Let’s believe God and enjoy him more and more.