Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Choose to Believe

"What is it to believe? It is to have such confidence in what the Lord has said that we take Him at His word, simply because He said it." ...Smith Wigglesworth (emphasis added)

What is it that the Lord wants from people? Nothing more, nothing less than faith. Oh, I know there are other aspects to holiness and righteousness, but at the most basic, the most fundamental, everything comes down to faith. Works never were and never will be the issue, for God is more than willing to look at us, not on their basis, but through grace. The only issue, as far as humans are concerned, that is ultimately determinative with God is faith. It was that way in the beginning, it is still that way, and will be until the end of time when all things are made new.

When Adam and Eve were in the garden, the issue to be decided was not whether or not they would toe the line of obedience, but whether or not they had confidence in what the Lord said. To undermine them, the Devil had to first assault the character of God and pull the rug out from under grandpa's and grandma's confidence in his word (note vs. 4-5). That accomplished, disobedience was a foregone conclusion. It is impossible to remain obedient under testing if one has diminished or no trust in God's character and word.

Humankind gets things all topsy-turvy when it comes to God. We project upon him our own performance orientation, and make him the cosmic task master who's ever eyeing our stats and looking to cut us from the team; however, with God it's never, "what have you done for me lately?" What can we ever truly do for him anyway? No, we may be servants of the Most High, but our relationship with him is never subject to performance reviews.

Our moments of trial and ordeal come down not to our feats but to our faith. Everyone needs, in those times in the valley of decision, to take stock of his or herself and talk to themselves about what they think of God and his word. When Eve did so, she talked herself clean out of faith: we need to learn from her error and instead choose to believe.