By Pastor Robert Perez
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word [will] of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. – HEBREWS 11:1-3, ESV
Ignorance may be bliss, but it is blind to itself and its surroundings. The bliss from ignorance is a faux assurance caused by misguided understanding of circumstances. For example, a stealthy animal of prey can sneak up on their next meal because the unwitting animal feels falsely safe by a ‘blissful ignorance’ that no danger is close by. We’re all guilty of this in some measure. Conversely, it can be burdensome having acute awareness, especially when it’s 360-degrees and can peer into the past and to the future and all sides, sometimes at once, as the wise are capable of. Proper awareness means you see the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.
What’s the difference between an ignorant animal being stalked and a person of faith believing that God is real and will take care of them? On the surface, they may look the same because outward appearances seem similar. To the uninformed, faith seems akin to ignorance. People of faith can have the appearance of being aloof. The world around them can be in chaos but they’re calm as sleeping kittens. The difference is on the inside.
The animal feels safe because they’re unaware of the danger even though it exists. A person of faith may be in danger, but with faith in their sound relationship with God it is irrelevant. That makes all the difference and is all they need to know.
“God, I cannot see clearly, so I’m relying on your autopilot system to successfully navigate me.”
Sometimes you must ‘see’ with more than just your eyes, like an airplane relying on radar or a blind person relying on touch. Sometimes a pretty view can be cloudless and sometimes foggy. Also, you may see it, but not know what you are looking at. Knowing is like seeing but using your mind and heart. Like the view mentioned above, sometimes it’s clear and sometimes it’s foggy and sometimes we don’t know what we’re looking at.
Faith is not the same as ‘clarity’. It is a strange feeling when you ‘know’ something but have no clarity. You know it like you know that you’ll wake up each day alive. That’s what faith is like. You just know, even if you can’t articulate it.
Did you ever use a device and discover that it did something you didn’t know it could? Faith is knowing that your feature list from God is endless, but you must believe it to possess it.
When you are tethered to God you are upgraded to all the features possible as a human being. Humans have potential for many things, including spiritual gifts, but too often they lie dormant. The requirement is to decide you want it and agree to the conditions by which it is available. It’s a little nutty at first. Anyone who tells you that it is not or gets insulted by that thought doesn’t get it. Overriding your minds default settings is not easy. Even when you do it, it’s hard to maintain.
The world conspires, especially with the enemies help, to convince you that it is not true. They want to stop your faith. Your own rational thoughts may want to stop your faith. You must decide to believe, then fight the lifelong battle against naysayers.
Faith is like perpetually moving on a bus, then a train, then walking, on and on, always going to ‘that place’. You can’t stop it either, unless you screw it up so badly that the destination gets changed by extreme force.
Faith is staying on the bus even though you don’t know where it’s going. Faith is getting off the bus when it stops and start walking in the only direction you can go, forward. Faith is knowing that God will guide your steps when you’re lost. Faith is accepting that along the way it will not all be happiness, maybe even tragic. Faith endures despite your emotions and desires. Faith is certainty and conviction in things not seen. Faith is knowing, without knowledge of the details, that in the end it is always worth the journey.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. – HEBREWS 11:6, Page 1287, ESV
There are only three things you need to know to be a true Christian and live by faith; God exists, Gods power is Love and Christ will show you The Way. Having unwavering faith based on these three beliefs forms the core of your relationship with God.
You can do all the Hail Mary’s you want, attend all church events, wear Jesus jewelry, tattoo his name on your body, sing praise music until the neighbors call the police. It won’t mean a thing to God unless your core is genuine faith, not some wishy-washy belief that comes and goes. You must believe in your soul, not in your head.
Thinking of God is not believing in God.
If you’re holding a plug to a devise that needs to be charged, thinking of it charging will not get it done no matter how long you try at it. You must plug it into the source that feeds the energy to it. Same with God. Thinking of God is not good enough. You must plug your soul into His energy, by faith. The stronger your faith the stronger the current of His loving energy. This energy is the source for all Christians. It is the power to ‘move the mountain’. Jesus said even the tiniest amount the size of a mustard seed will do. But it must be genuine.
Reading the bible, both the new and old testaments cover to cover, the message is the same. It’s really the only message in the bible, expounded on over and over in different scenarios. God exists and I believe in Him. Jesus’ life was the living example of that presented before us all. His promise is that each of us can do the same.
“I believe, and it cannot be broken.”
ARTWORK: Dream of the Dry Tortugas, 2002, Watercolor, Charcoal and Pastel on .75 inch Plywood, 48 x 48 inches ©Artist Robert Perez – All Rights Reserved