I came across this question today: “What are you doing in faith?” It is a pretty basic question; especially in view of how prone I am to throw around tidbits about my faith and how important I claim it is. And sure, I spend some time praying and some time reading—isn’t that faith enough?
But still the question looms . . . What are you DOING in faith?
It made me think a bit about the house hunting my wife and I have been doing. Just yesterday we mentioned this house hunting in regards to a dispute over our favorite chair, and how there is only one of them and how we both tend to want to occupy it.
“We need to get another chair like this when we get a house.”
“Yeah,” she agreed, reclining in said chair. “Maybe we should.”
What is absent in that conversation is any sort of faith component at all. And this is how much of my life operates. It is an equation wherein if X happens then I will go ahead and proceed with Y. This is not faith; it is mere causation. It is reaction.
So what does this mean? Well, if I take the above example, I can see it from a few angles. First, perhaps I don’t truly believe our house hunting is a God-stamped approved activity in my life. Sure I tell myself it is about our family and our future and our service to God’s Kingdom—to host people and house people, and love them as a good steward of God’s provision. It preaches all right, but do I really believe it? Because if I believe it is God’s will, I should not doubt its inevitability.
Another option could be that I don’t really desire this hypothetical house like I say I do. Maybe it is a thing I say because I feel like I am supposed to? The heart is wicked above all else, after all, perhaps I am deceived and just plodding along with feigned “purpose”?
The last option might be the truest and is certainly the scariest. (In fact, I hate to even type it for the heinous truth it reveals about my own heart and faith.) But here goes: Perhaps, I just don’t believe God. He is pretty powerful, sure, but most of that power is reserved for Bible times or Africa or in the lives of people who really need it. This is a pretty easy landscape to settle in, I think. The truths I say about God, die on my tongue, do not affect my heart and passions, and never reach to my actions. Boldness is noticeably absent because I do not want risk my reputation, or, more accurately, because I do not trust God’s. I’ll buy the chair when we get the house because I don’t want to buy one now in case God doesn’t show up.
Now, I’m not saying I need to go buy a chair, per se. This is purely anecdotal, but still, is it possible that it is diagnostic of a trend, a trend that reveals a dearth of true faith in every crevice of my life?
I read about a farmer who attended a prayer meeting during the mid-twentieth century. Dozens of farmers were gathering to pray to God to relieve the drought that was ravaging the land. They were placing their hope in God to provide rain—at least that is what they were saying aloud. The farmer in question, the one who is remembered from that sunny, southern day, wore waders to the prayer meeting. While the rest of the men, loped over puddles on their way home, this farmer walked home in the calm joyfulness that comes from a faithful expectation for God to show up when it comes to bringing glory to His own name. He had faith that if his own will lined up with God’s, then rain would fall.
Do I have the same confidence in the areas of my life? Do I pray with a watchful expectation for God to break the fourth wall and show up in mighty ways in my life? Do I pray with one eye open, fearful to miss what the Creator may at any moment do? We are told the “righteous shall live by faith,” and I think that faith makes itself evident in the expectant actions we take in our approach to God’s power and promises.