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Friday, March 16, 2012

A Reasonable Faith

The writer to the Hebrews said that 'faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen', but faith, by it's very definition was never a blind faith, but a strong, vociferous belief in something that you know, without doubt, to be true!

That God is, is without doubt!

A good friend of mine recently stated that two words describe our relation to God; 'thank' and 'you'. This says it all; first, our saying this acknowledges our belief that there is an Almighty God that we should thank for our very existence, and second, that  we should praise Him that He is our Father, and most willing to be in relation with us!

Our faith is in what IS, what was, and what always shall ( will ) be! Our faith is not in something imagined, but in Someone that can be proven; that Someone who designed and built our universe, Who brought all created things into existence through the power of His Word. Our faith is, in a sense, the sense of the quote from Hebrews 11, 'the evidence of things not seen', but, with the truth that has been revealed through 'Fulfilled', or 'Realized Eschatology', we do see these things, not only as fulfilled, but as gloriously present, and happening before our eyes!

I was recently rehearsing to a good friend of mine, how awesome it is that God has chosen to set us in such circumstances and insert certain people into our lives at such a point to lead to His ultimate and maximum glory; it is both extremely gratifying and humbling when a Plan comes together!

Although we do have faith in what is 'not seen'; we also have a firm belief because of what IS 'seen': as Paul told the Roman Church ( Christians ), 'since the creation of the world His invisible [ attributes ] are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made'! By the beauty of the natural creation ( people, as well as scenery ), we KNOW that He is intelligent, and that He designed ALL for His glory! Discussing with a good friend tonight; I was reminded of a phrase that another friend of mine coined a few years ago, 'God draws straight, with crooked lines'! How true this statement is; you could hardly ask for a better example than me ( to be honest; I know I'm not the best, or worst )! God truly does not rely on our acquiescence to fulfill His purposes through us!

Another friend of mine recently. restated that 'sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right place': I couldn't have stated it better, God uses even the 'bad' choices that we make to lead us to the place that He wants us. This is not to alleviate our responsibility, to say nothing of our respons'ability', for the wrong-doings that we have committed, but God, knowing all things, uses our 'free-will choice' to lead us to His will, to accomplish the purposes which He had determined 'before the world was' ( John 17:5 ). This is 'a reasonable faith'; that all our actions, right and wrong, are used by God for the glory and advancement of His Kingdom!

If our actions are wrong, we do bring shame ( in our minds, anyway ) to the Name, but, in all reality, God uses even our wrong actions ( not to excuse them ) to bring glory to His name.


We naturally think; 'how could our wrong actions, our disobedience ( as in the case of Adam & Eve ), bring Him glory?'

In the case of Adam & Eve, for instance; their disobedience requisitioned the Redeemer ( 'He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel'- Genesis 3:15b ), the plan which God had made 'before the foundation of the world' ( John 17:24 ). Their actions brought death to their progeny, but they also brought Light and Life to their progeny, to us! Our faith, or to put it more correctly, 'the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God' ( Ephesians 4:13 ) , works that God's 'declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times [ things ] that are not [ yet ] done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure'. Not to excuse our wrong actions, for wrong actions will undoubtedly come; our actions bring about God's Kingdom 'on earth as [ it is]  in heaven' ( Luke 11:2 )! This is not something that puritanical, evangelical Christians like to countenance, but, like it or not; God's will is done, and it is done through the weakness of the sons of men, mere human beings!

'Imagine' that!

Charles Haddon Shank

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It has never been my talent to listen to or understand philosophy and so listening to one earlier today had me thinking about "The Magic of Consciousness" and that got me thinking about the consciousness of God. In His wisdom He knew that when He created us that our memory of Him had to be suppressed so that we could find our way back to Him. Malachi 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers you have gone away from my ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, How shall we return? KJV We shall return by a reasonable faith! Not by spending countless hours reading and looking for proof of Him who consists of Power, Wisdom, Majesty, Love, Mercy & Justice but by living in the knowledge that we are divine in creation and some things just don't send us back to Him. Just the fact that we have consciousness we should know that we were created by something unseen. It is consciousness and God is there! The only place to find Him is literally in our conscious being, our spiritual being. I personally don't need proof. I seek wisdom and knowledge as Solomon did to be able to choose right, to live righteous, and to be a light guiding others. However, I can't give others faith or explain it to them. That is something they must accomplish on their own. IMHO, I don't think God expects us to try to explain it to others just to get it! To be conscious (not dead). By Reesa Mercer Walsh

Charles Shank said...

Interesting comment, Reesa; why would you say, though, that God knew our consciousness of Him had to be suppressed?

I don't think, so much, that our consciousness of Him was suppressed, as man did exactly what he wanted, despite His consciousness of God, and that what man wanted to do was against the Law of God!:)

Anonymous said...

It is evident that our conscious is not as deep and divine as His, because He did not let us eat of the tree of LIFE! He (They) hid it somewhere. That is why we keep building the towers to reach Heaven to get that one thing perceived to be missing. Of course, that is for those who still haven't found their way back to Him. Amen. Amen.

Reesa Mercer Walsh

Charles Shank said...

This is not to denigrate you, Reesa, but I believe that your consciousness argument is moot, because I believe that the story of The Fall was simply an allegorical record of Adam & Eve's rebellious choice of obeying their own lusts ( wants ), instead of obeying God!:)

Anonymous said...

I can not be denigrated by man. The Fall was not an allegorical record of Adam & Eve's rebellious choice. That is what man would like us to believe.You are well educated but confused in your exemplary knowlege. He has not hidden the tree of LIFE from us. Man has. I'll send you a copy of my book. God instructed me to write it. Blogs are just a way to promote your own thoughts on the matter. It is all babble. God has a different view. My soul knows the way back to him. I have found the Tree of Life.

Charles Shank said...

Believe what you like, Reesa; I'm not trying to change your mind, but what if God instructed me to write this blog?