“Faithing” Our Way
“What is the matter with me? I know that I should cast my burden on the Lord, cast all my care upon Him, commit my way unto the Lord, be careful for nothing. I want to do all these things but they don’t seem to work. I roll my burden on the Lord, but it rolls back. I commit myself, but I don’t stay committed.”
Such is a common complaint of many dear souls who want to walk by faith, but to whom doubt and fear are much more real. We need not be surprised if doubt and fear assail us. They belong to our old natures and old Adam naturally lives in that state. We cannot help running into disease germs, but we can build up resistance and battle them when they strike. We cannot avoid the evil thoughts that come along, but we do not have to open the doors of our minds, bidding the evil thoughts come in and make themselves at home. We cannot stop false teachers from coming to our door, but John tells us not to receive them. Everything depends on what we entertain. Make room for faith and feed faith and it will grow. Make doubt and fear your guests and they will take over the house.
We still confuse faith with feeling, in spite of all we have read about the difference between them. Faith is not a lovely sentiment conjured up by reading devotional books. Faith takes God at His Word and acts accordingly. I like to make a verb of it—”faithing” our way through this world. God has made certain promises in His Word—”let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). He will not leave us or forsake us. He is with us all the days. All things work together for good to us. Our times are in His hand. The angel of the Lord encamps round about us to deliver us. He who has begun a good work in us will perform it; He will perfect that which concerns us. Faith believes that, and much more, and makes its plans on that basis. Faith does not spend time trying to work up a certain feeling. We may have most faith when we have least feeling.
As I write these lines I can write only about one page a day. I used to write for hours. I haven’t preached for months but I am making plans and setting dates for next year. I do not feel like preaching or writing. The day is drab and dismal, but I am going ahead and “making arrangements.”
Of course we do not have what it takes to “faith” our way through, but the Holy Spirit is the One called alongside to help us. We know that it is God’s will for us to trust and obey, so there need be no doubt when we pray for grace to walk by faith. Our wills are only cotton strings and we cannot live this faith-life by mere human resolve, no matter how sincere. But if we take the stand, make the start, “vote” for our faith, God will work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure, working in us that which is well-pleasing in His sight. The Holy Spirit enables us to do what God directs.
Faith is not so much a matter of merely believing and feeling, as of doing. Abraham believed God and obeyed. I don’t know what his feelings were that morning when he started out to offer up Isaac, but he was “faithing.” He did what He understood he was to do and left what he didn’t understand with God. He believed God and acted accordingly.
Faith is more like a verb than a noun. “It is an affirmation and an act that bids eternal truth be present fact.” Faith accepts the Word of God, affirms confidence in that Word and acts upon it. You never really get going until you act upon what you accept and affirm. Then you are “faithing” your way along