True freedom is found in total surrender alone . 'I am the truth & the life. If you know the Truth it will set you free.'
John 14:6, 8:32
Faith is to believe God - not in a god.
The Oxford Dictionary explains faith as a 'complete trust or confidence in someone or something as the primary meaning. The second meaning of the word faith is a strong belief in a religion or a system of religious belief.
Faith is not only to believe in God (or in a god or gods – that is mere religion or world faith – which is the second meaning of the word faith, namely a strong belief in a religion) but true Christian faith is to believe God Himself.
God gave His Word (Bible) so that He can be known – if this is untrue and the His Word is a result purely of human thoughts and actions it would imply that the God of creation allowed millions and millions of people through the centuries, and currently 2.2 billion people in the world, to be mislead by a ‘false book’. One would then, and rightly so, question His integrity, the integrity of the Creator Himself. Or believe that there is no god.
Who would create a world and humans with hearts and then leave them to their own fate? And further would allow every human who wants to be loyal to Him, the Creator, to be totally mislead by a totally, or partially false book – the Bible? A Book that has sold more copies than any other book in the history of the world and for which more people have given up, and would still give up their lives for what is written in it about this Creator God ?
Very few people would deny with absolute certainty in their hearts (world statistics show that it is far less than 5% of the world population), that there is a God, a Creator, even if they do not know Him, know very little about Him or feel very uncertain about Him. Almost every human being believes that there is a God but so many would not believe this God, what He communicates to them.
To have faith is not to have ‘some entity’ called “faith”. “You must have a lot of faith to be willing to give up your life, your career or time for it” as if this is “something” that you must find somewhere, whether in doctrine, religion or philosophy.
No, faith is to believe and trust the Living God. Believe Who He is, what He says, what He has done and what He will do. This is what living faith is, believing the Living God and trusting Him. Only in a personal relationship with the Living God can your faith in believing Him become a faith that is alive and true and can you come into a deep trust in the Creator, into a living relationship with God. A daily and dynamic interaction. The guidelines are in His Word, the Bible.
Christian writer A.W. Tozer wrote: 'True faith is never found alone; it is always accompanied by expectations. Real faith is not the stuff dreams are made of or something created by man to compensate for his own insecurity; rather it is tough, practical and altogether realistic. Faith sees the invisible but does not see the nonexistent. Faith engages God, the one great Reality, Who gave and gives existence to all things'. 'God’s promises (in His Word, the Bible) conform to reality, and whoever trusts Him enters a world not of fiction but of fact. The Christian knows a thing to be true, not because he verified it in experience but because God has said it. His expectations spring from his confidence in the character of God.' He believes and trusts God as he has a living, dynamic and loving relationship with God – faith, a complete trust and confidence, in God.
In the words of St Augustine ‘Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe ‘ When we trust God, we will see God, experience Him. Only when you trust God will He reveal Himself to you.
‘Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his live on it a thousand times’. Martin Luther.
Thus, it is not having enough of this “thing” called “faith” or to believe in a religious system, that you would put your life at stake for it (like a suicide bomber who believes and have so much faith in his religion and religious leaders) but to know God, to love the Person of God, enjoy God, trust God and believe God enough to put your whole life in this faith because you believe God. The result is that you will see God, experience Him, His actions now and in future through a love relationship with Him.
Christian faith is not an entity, it is a relationship. A reality in your heart with Someone as real as your own life. We read 'And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13. So love overrides faith in importance and 'Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."’ Matthew 22:37.
Faith is about trust. “I do not trust you, I have lost confidence in your character, in your integrity” A declaration like this would instantly alienate friends by destroying the foundation by which friendship is built. We alienate ourselves from God if we do not believe Him, if we do not trust Him, if we have no faith in Him. And where there is no trust there can be no love.
No man can afford to live or die under the frowning displeasure of God, being alienated from Him. He created us for a loving and living relationship with Him through His Son. The alternative is not really an option ‘It is a dreadful thing to fall into the Hands of the Living God’ Hebrews 10:31.
If we do not trust God, believe God, then a relationship with Him is impossible and we will be faithless, hopeless.
'Whoever does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about His Son.' 1 John 5:10.
'Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the Name of God’s one and only Son.'John 3:18
'And without faith (trusting God) it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him' Hebrews 11:6
But if you seek the LORD your God,
you will find Him if you look for Him
with all your heart and with all your soul.