What is Faith?

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We all believe in something. Those who claim to be skeptics or even atheists believe in something because believing that nothing greater than they exists is still a belief. Realists claim to accept only what they can verify with their senses but this is still belief even if it is only in the accuracy of their perceptions. Belief is the fundamental and universal aspect of human existence.

Personally, I believe in God as certainly as the existence of the sun. The evidence of Him is in the precariously perfect balance of our solar system and the fine-tuned wobble of the Earth’s axis in orbit. The inexplicable amount of information packed into a single strand of DNA and the precision and breathtaking variety of life carefully interwoven into such a delicate and intricate equilibrium is overwhelming proof to me.

An inescapable fact or aspect of belief is that the truth of what we believe will inevitably be played out through our choices i.e. through our actions and for the record, inaction is itself an action. No matter what you may believe, whether you’re convinced of it or not, the truth of it will be revealed by what you do. People claim to believe in many different things and do many mighty things under those banners, both wonderful and terrible. Some do things in the name of self-reliance or freedom, maybe in the name of duty or honor or even God but none can hide what they truly believe. Humans tend to blame the name on the banner being flown by the lips when the perpetrator’s true loyalty is revealed in what he does. People who claim to know God whose name is love but still act in hate don’t represent him at all. “Words flow but the example drags.” In other words, telling people what you believe isn’t faith but showing them what you believe by how you live is.

Faith then, true faith, is the conscientious and willful walking out of what you believe. When you are confident in your understanding of what you believe and you allow it to permeate every facet of your life, such as your thoughts and intentions, your passions and goals, and your associations and interactions you will begin to see the impossible be accomplished through the power of this symbiosis.

This principal is completely biblical but as with any truth, it can be warped and its use perverted for malevolent purposes. This means that without God in headship of your life, and while you may still experience the power of this symbiosis, it will all be futile and temporal and will bear the fruit of sin and death. Only with God does this process produce and multiply life, light and love. Only with a symbiotic relationship with our Heavenly Father united with Him through faith in the Son and empowered and directed by the Holy Spirit does this ever produce fruit of eternal abundance and worth.

The road of this symbiotic relationship with God is laid out in many places in scripture but none so clear to me as in Matthew. This is why I love the Beatitudes in Matthew 5! To many they seem like a list of individual people types, like “Blessed are these types of people.” However, if you read it instead as a road of successive transformations each one building upon the last and leading into the next you begin see a complete picture of the true conversion of every sincere believer. Each Godly characteristic lays the foundations for and empowers the next one. When we finally reach the apex of this metamorphosis we will begin to see all circumstances as blessings in which we are meant to shine for God as an eternal reverberation of His glory and majesty.

The reason seeing isn’t believing but believing is seeing is because seeing only observes what is on the surface a mere mask of truth but believing reveals the true status of a heart and it bypasses the surreal surface and delves into the depths of the soul to what is truly real. What do your actions say that you believe in? Where is your hope? Where do you invest your trust? I challenge you today to search your heart through scripture and prayer and find out what it is you truly believe. If you want your faith to really count, to be powerful and effective for God then this is where you need to begin.

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