Monday, June 28, 2010

Will You Live by Faith?

Is there more to life than this? Have you ever asked, “Is this it?” All of us have probably asked that question at one time or another. Frustration and disappointment make for quick friends and can stay longer than they’re welcome. These feelings especially seem to appear when we count on our own abilities. Everyone’s intellect and strength are limited, but often we act like they are limitless. This is when frustration and disappointment usually come calling.

Many of us get stuck, though, thinking that this life is about what we can accomplish or acquire. When those things fail to bring lasting satisfaction we find ourselves stuck in a rut. Followers of Jesus fall in this trap as well. We have tried to limit what God can do to what we can do. Sure we pray for miracles and expect great things from Him, but the truth is that we don’t live very faith-dependent lives regularly. Rarely do we take great risks that only God can achieve. Rarely do we actually live on faith.

Friend, do not be mistaken. We cannot earn God’s forgiveness or impress Him to win His favor. Peace with God comes only through His gracious forgiveness made available to Christians through the life, substitutionary death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We only know His strength, favor and power through faith when we turn away from our self-sufficiency and live dependently upon Him.

It is a strange concept. When children grow up we mark their maturity by their independence. When Christians grow in the faith the Bible marks their maturity by their dependence upon God. We are never supposed to aim at self-sufficiency. That is not a flaw in humanity; it is God’s design.

If you are weary because you’ve been trying to earn God’s favor or you’ve been trying to supply all your own needs please know there is good news. God desires to lift your burden. He desires to bring you gracious aid. You must turn to Him though. You must work by His plan. You must give Him control of your life and abide with Him through the changes He will make to your planning, decision-making and scorekeeping. There is more to life than meets the eyes. Bring your dissatisfaction to God and see what He will do with it.


Ben said...

Brandon, thanks for the encouragement to this often weary heart. Your idea on Christian maturity being measured by dependence as opposed to independence really resonated with me, but what does that look like, and what are your suggestions for growing in dependence on God?

Brandon Porter said...

I think it must first mean that we spend time in God's Word growing in our understanding of His ways and His way for our lives. We should ask questions such as: What does God says about the situation we are in? According to the principles of His Word how should we respond or what should we decided to do?

It should also mean that we are quick to pray for any given situation. The first thing we do in any situation should be to seek God guidance and wisdom. In addition, we should be faster to thank God for His gracious aid in any situation. Prayer should tie into the study and application of God's Word as we pray through a specific passage asking God to apply its truths to our lives.

Ben, what else do you think dependence on God looks like?