Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Riddle of Faith

"I am a spiritual being; after this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot rule the eternal. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ." Max Lucado

"Ontological parsimony leads to a doctrine that human reason can prove neither the immortality of the soul nor the existence, unity, and infinity of God. These truths are known to us by Revelation alone." Answering the question, What is it that makes belief and faith? as an exercise, reduces itself out of a purely economic necessity to an answer that I believe because I believe. The context of faith, as in belief, is reducible to the degree at which we must simply, ireducibly, proclaim, "I believe ..." There is complexity to faith, yet, it can be factored down to lesser integers of specific instances of intercesion and then mingled with facts and interpreted to sustain belief, however, the view from another vantage point may result in diverse and contrary conclusions drawn from the same sources when interpreted by the background of another individual.

Doubt is the lifeblood of honesty.

Assurance is the lifeblood of faith.

We have these words, wonderful words, the Word, wonderful truths that touch the heart and soul with the sincerity and depth of wisdom, understood by man yet beyond the scope and purpose of man. The evidence of this truth is in the extraordinary experience of truth proclaiming a promise, which extrinsically has no redeemable value, yet intrinsically the testimony of the truth results in faith. Faith does not just hope, it is belief in the truth, trusting the inward evidence of the heart and soul that what is being spoken to the heart and soul is from a reliable, trustworthy source.

There is no truth without a revelatory experience, we cannot speak truth from our own knowledge. Revelation means, "disclosure of information to man by a divine or supernatural agency,..." We merely accept truth. This is the dysfunction of human intelligence, we are given the ability to be free-willed beings in a world of voices, where words are spoken with emotion, with wisdom, with malice, with good-will, didactically, rhetorically, insightful and inciteful. We can understand, comphrehend and acknowledge the voices which speak and we may willingly follow their leading, this is our choice whether devastating, delusional or salvatory. We see as we hear. The question which belief seeks to answer is Which voice? Faith answers the question Why this voice? And of hope we hold fast to a voice which speaks to a heart enflamed with the desires of promise. 
Isaiah 50:10, "Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God." 
Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance (assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen." Substance is the truth of the promise and the viability of the promiser to provide.

"I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ." Max Lucado
Hebrews 1:1-3, "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,..."
There is in this Word, this proclamation a guarantee. A guarantee is only as good as the quality and character of the quarantor. Faith pays particular respect to the being, goodness, providence, grace and mercy of God. God is able to support (uphold), He is the person who stands behind His Word, insuring it against all time and circumstance in order to provide peace to those who believe. This is faith providing for a steadiness of mind against the assault of doubt. 

Psalm 121: 1,2 "I will lift up my eyes to the hills - from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth."
Psalm 123:1,2 " Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of a sevant look to the hands of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord  our God, until He has mercy on us."

Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again'. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes, so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Ecclesastes 1:6, "The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the North; the wind whirls around continually, and comes again on its circuit."

Psalm 100:3, "Know that the Lord, He is God; ..."

Psalm 13:5,6, "... I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me."

Psalm 17:9, "... hide me under the shadow of Your wings, ..."

Colosians 2:2, "... that (your) heart may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, ..."

Faith is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. The key is the richness of the discovery; it is in the wealth of the recovery of the divine in our nature; being restored to a wholeness and completedness unknown before the revelatory work of the Word; unrevealed until the salvation provided for by God in His Son Jesus Christ is received in our hearts.

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