What do you want from faith?

What do you want from faith? Frank Paul Green, a visiting professor and advisor at George Fox Seminary, asked the question. It sounds like a crazy question, to me. That I could even want something from God after God has given so much. Crazy talk, right?

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I’m more comfortable talking about my faith in God than wanting to experience anything with God. Then I wondered if I am more comfortable believing in the power of faith than in the experience of my faith in God. In other words, why won’t I let God reward my faith?

Faith in God will be rewarded. Probably not like some televangelists would lead you to believe. We will not all prosper with a Cadillac or Mercedes. We will not have big houses or take great vacations. But we will be rewarded. And just to clarify, it won’t be all that easy.

In the book “Candlelight” the author shares a story about a woman [Ruth] dying from cancer. She is visiting her in the hospital just after major surgery. Phillips writes, “She was holding her Bible…and asked me about 2 Corinthians 4.7-12 [1]. Ruth wanted to know what it meant that the life of Jesus “may also be made visible in our bodies…in our mortal flesh.” I asked what drew her to the passage. She responded, “That’s what I want. I want this suffering and dying of my body to bear witness to what faith allows” (Phillips 2008)[2].

With all of that said, here is what I want from my faith:

  • I want true life. If God is truly who I believe God to be, God is the source of that life. To follow that life is to surrender the  many things I have been convinced are the sources of life. I want the life God has for me not some advertiser’s version of life.
  • I want true identity. An identity based on anything or anyone other than God is easily threatened and lost. My faith in God is that God is eternal and consistent. One person said God is a ‘fixed point’ we can look at when everything else is moving around us.
  • I want to be God’s project, not anyone else’s.
  • I want freedom. The freedom to make mistakes, fail, explore, risk, doubt, wonder, wander, or succeed. I can only find freedom if I don’t have to worry about what my friends think is reasonable or proper for a Christian to think, say, or do.
  • I want love. I want to be accepted for all the things I am, was, and could be without regard for what someone else thinks I am, was, or should be.
  • I want to love. I want this love to be crazy and reckless to have no boundaries or requirements. I want it to seem unwise and imprudent to those that see it. I want it to be fulfilling and life giving to those that receive it. I don’t want to love at arm’s length, but at ‘hug’s length”.
  • I want healing. To live and love this way is not without bumps and bruises, breaks, aches and pains. I need to be put back together to live that life another day. I want to know I can be, and will be, healed from living this kind of life.

What do you want from faith?

 


[1]But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you”(NIV).

 

[2] Phillips, Susan S. Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction.Harrisburg: Morehouse Publishing, 2008.

 

 

 

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One thought on “What do you want from faith?

  1. I am obviously not a wordsmith such as you, because I cannot put into words what I want. It is a feeling deep down inside, kind of like the butterflies you get when you are excited about something. I want to put a definition to the faith butterflies I have but am yet to be able to do that.

    \IiiI

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