Anyone who knows anything about the Bible knows that FAITH is pretty important. There are plenty of scriptures about faith. Possibly the most convicting one is this one:
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
Pleasing God is our goal, right? This verse says that without faith I cannot please God. I can have a lot of good deeds and be a nice person, but if I don't have faith that doesn't matter. It is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without faith.
If faith is SO important, I better know what it is. Is it just belief? Is it trusting? to what point? Is it belonging to a church? My dad asked himself these questions a few years ago and he shared with me what he learned. I haven't forgotten it.
He read a book by A.W. Tozer called The Pursuit of God. Specifically a chapter called "The Gaze of the Soul". (I encourage you to read it here. It is not "light" reading, but very worth the effort.) In this chapter, Tozer cites a story in Numbers 21:4-9 in which the Israelites are bitten by fiery serpents and must look upon a bronze snake to be healed. This "looking" is compared to the Christian's "believing" in John 3:14-15. So Tozer concludes that faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God.
Faith is the gaze of the soul. Not the glance of the soul, but the gaze - continuous looking and focus. Keeping your eyes on God when things are hard. Looking to God when tough times come. Continuing to look to God when good times come and everything is working out. How else can we keep our perspective?
Gazing at God for direction, purpose, comfort, security, understanding, peace, healing, insight and promise. That is faith.
I thought of this lesson today because a sweet friend of our family's has just found out that she has cancer for the third time. Tricia Lillard has been someone I have looked up to my whole married life - for a million reasons. She is a beautiful Christian servant who has truly used all God has given her to share his love with so many. Please read her daughter, Callie's, blog post and you will see an example of the kind of faith I am talking about.
And can I say how attractive a faithful person is? Don't you just want to be around a person who is secure, confident, positive and assured? Maybe focusing on our own faith sometimes is the key to reaching others for Christ. How can you "share your faith" if you don't have any?
Please join us in praying for Tricia and praising God for the example of faith that she and her family are to all of us.