The Goal: “A Life of Faith”

RobDevotions

For all the faulty theories out there about how to please a higher power, or connect with God—it’s amazing how few consider something as simple as faith.

Hebrews 11:6 says,

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Fairly straight-forward, wouldn’t you say?

So it seems that what ever little path or method of getting God’s attention that doesn’t begin with simple, heartfelt faith is doomed from the start. But this morning in my quiet time, God reminded me that it’s not just ‘starter faith’ that He’s after, but rather, a lifetime of ever growing faith and love. This morning I was reading from the first chapter of 1 Timothy. Here’s what I read:

2 I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith.

   May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.

Warnings against False Teachings

 3 When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. 4 Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations,a]’>[a] which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.b]’>[b]

 5 The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 6 But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions.

Paul is urging Timothy to take up battle stations against the false teachers who are trying to move the fired up, ‘salvation by faith alone’ believers into a stale, religious, works way of relating to God. But that isn’t relating at all. And it’s certainly not moving forward and maturing. It’s going backwards toward spiritual adolescence.

 

You see, not only is it impossible to connect with God without faith for salvation (at the beginning)—it’s also impossible to grow to spiritual maturity traveling any other road then the road of faith.

 

Check this scripture out Galatians 3:3

 

First in the New International Version:

 

3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?

 

Now brace yourself. The Message is much more blunt.

 

2-4Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up!

 

Still digging in?

 

Try this:

 

The Contemporary English Version

 

3How can you be so stupid? Do you think that by yourself you can complete what God’s Spirit started in you?

 

Take your pick. I’ve got more!

 

And I’m not trying to be sarcastic (it comes without effort I’m afraid). It’s just that pastors seem to deal with this, “feed me, I wanna go deeper, I have some concerns, Evangelism isn’t my gift, Missions isn’t for me, I can’t afford to give, I’m too busy to serve,” garbage more than just about anything else and it gets tiring!!!!

 

Official: Rant Over

 

Just one more thing: If you are not a transformed person—all your “spiritual knowledge” and “pharisaical one-upmanship” is a complete waste of time!

 

But I leave you with this:

 

The beatings will continue until we get it!