Embracing Awkward

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  • Our Faith Is Not in Our Faith

    The greatest trick the devil ever played wasn't to convince the world he didn't exist. It was to convince us to have faith in our faith instead of in Christ. To fill us with pride because our faith felt big and bold, at least more so than the next guy's. Or to fill us with despair because our faith felt fragile and frail, like the lone autumn leaf on a tree made bare by winter. All the while keeping our heart from the humble joy that comes from believing, in the words of Spurgeon, the weakest faith still has the strongest Christ. 

    That's why I've always loved this paragraph from Horatius Bonar. He's thinking about an anxious Israelite who isn't sure he performed his sacrifice just right, much like the anxious Christian who's never quite sure she's done enough, or felt enough, or believed enough. Here's what he writes:

    "What should we have said to the Israelite, who, on bringing his lamb to the tabernacle, should puzzle himself with questions as to the right mode of laying his hands on the head of the victim, and who should refuse to take any comfort from the sacrifice, because he was not sure whether he had laid them aright;-on the proper place, in the right direction, with adequate pressure, or in the best attitude? Should we not have told him that his own actings concerning the lamb were not the lamb, and yet that he was speaking as if they were? Should we not have told him that the lamb was everything, his touch nothing, as to virtue or merit or recommendation? Should we not have told him to be of good cheer; not because he had laid his hands on the victim in the most approved fashion, but because they had touched that victim, however lightly and imperfectly, and thereby said, Let this lamb stand for me, answer for me, die for me? The touching had no virtue in itself, and therefore the excellency of the act was no question to come up at all: it simply intimated the man’s desire that this sacrifice should be taken instead of himself, as God’s appointed way of pardon; it was simply the indication of his consent to God’s way of saving him, by the substitution of another. The point for him to settle was not, Was my touch right or wrong, light or heavy? but, Was it the touch of the right lamb,- the lamb appointed by God for the taking away of sin? The quality or quantity of faith is not the main question for the sinner. That which he needs to know is that Jesus died and was buried, and rose again, according to the Scriptures. This knowledge is life everlasting.”

    So remind your condemning heart today that your faith isn't in your hands but in the Lamb. That though your love to Him ebbs and flows like the waves of the sea, His love to you is as constant as the sun by day and the moon by night. Our faith is not in our faith. It's in the One who is ever faithful.