I’ve been thinking lately about faith. There’s no question that faith is the foundation of the Christian life. Hebrews 1:6 is clear that without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Faith in Christ is the foundation of our salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9); believers are to live by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7); prayer is effective as we pray in faith (James 5:15); faith is demonstrated in the way we live and respond to the needs of others (James 2:18). Put simply, without faith there is no Christian life.
Every so often I come across something that challenges my thinking – and sometimes my faith. Recently I read this post on-line: …another reason we’re looked [at] as silly and weak is because we over-spiritualize everything. If I hear one more person say that they’re “waiting on God” for something, I’ll scream. Are there times when that’s appropriate? Absolutely. But for the vast majority of the cases I witness, it’s really people just being passive and wimpy instead of making a decision and a plan and executing them. For a lot of people, religion really is a crutch.
It’s obvious that the writer is a little emotional, but beyond that, there is something here that is worth thinking about. How often, when we are confronted with a problem or decision, are we told to wait on God? How often do we tell ourselves that we need to wait on God rather than rush ahead in our own strength and power? There is a Biblical teaching that Christians are to wait on God (Psalm 27:14, Psalm 37:7, 9, 34, Isaiah 40:31) but do we know what that means or are we simply using it as an excuse so that we don’t do anything? Somehow waiting on God makes us feel like we’re doing something spiritual and now the ball is in God’s court. If nothing happens then obviously God is the one who is responsible and we feel spiritually vindicated. There’s a fine line here.
Waiting on God does not absolve us of our spiritual responsibilities. The Christian life is not a passive life but an active life. Many of the commands of scripture are not prohibitions but admonitions to action. While it’s true that a man’s heart plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9), the issue is not one of planning versus not planning – it’s one of planning without concern for God versus planning that takes God into consideration (see James 4:13-15). To use the words of the writer, we shouldn’t have a passive and wimpy faith that refuses to make spiritual decisions. We need to have a faith that acts based on truths from the Word of God.
Stay in the Word