Friday, January 15, 2016

Church Signs: Show God Your Faith...

...and He Will Show You His Faithfulness.

I saw this sign the other day on my bus route and my first thought was, "Boy am I glad God showing his faithfulness to me doesn't depend on my faith." Unfortunately that is the message that seems to come from many sides of the Christian world, from the prosperity preachers who say that if you have enough faith God will give you anything you want, to those who will tell you that if you are living right God will reward you.

It's so easy for us to want to think that we can somehow earn God's faithfulness. We want to pretend that we have some sort of goodness that will induce God to show his favor to us. We think if we pray (ask, seek, knock) hard enough and long enough, God will do what we want. Been there, done that. I can remember being absolutely convinced that if I really, really believed that God would let me have a certain job then I would get it. Well, God had something completely different in mind, but the initial disappointment was enough to knock me back a bit on my faith journey.

Sometimes we think that our good behavior will convince God to be faithful. That one doesn't work either. Of course, maybe it's because I haven't behaved too well, at least according to some. Reading the Bible and praying more than another won't make God sit up and take notice of us so he can reward us. Most of the time, that way of thinking will only turn us into insufferable bores.

God shows his faithfulness to us because he is a loving and faithful Father. At the cross, our sin was taken care of  and Christ's righteousness was given to us. We became children of God who have the same standing as Jesus. As the Father is faithful to the Son, so the Father is faithful to us. This faithfulness doesn't depend on us, but depends soley on our position in Christ.

Maybe part of our problem is we have somehow gotten the notion that it's all about us, about our ideas and wants. Like little children, we want what we want and have a hard time with what we consider "inferior." We have a hard time trusting our Father to be faithful, even when he has shown his faithfulness again and again. I know I have had to relearn that lesson multiple times.

Should we pray and tell God our desires? Absolutely. Should we live in a way that glorifies God? Of course. But, we shouldn't fall into the trap of thinking those things will cause God to smile on us. Instead, we should trust our Father to be faithful and trust that everything he does is good and loving. The more we can put our trust in our Abba, the more freely we can live, knowing that we are being taken care of by the One who created everything.

God will show you his faithfulness. Period.

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