Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Either-Way Faith

"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us 
from the furnace of blazing fire;
and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
 But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, 
that we are not going to serve your gods 
or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Daniel 3:17,18

Either-way faith.

If God chooses to save us, then He will.  If He chooses not to, then He is still my God.

These were the words the three Hebrew men spoke to King Nebuchadnezzar as he was threatening their lives and trashing their God.  They were established in their relationship with God and trusted the outcome fully to the Lord.  They did not know the end of the story, but their faith was not in their ability to save themselves. It was in God.

And Jesus showed up in a huge way, didn't He?

This week I've been thinking about either-way faith.  What does it look like today?  We don't have a king threatening our lives over our worship, at least not yet.  So what kind of situations afford us the opportunity to have either-way faith? 

Of course, there are the biggies - when our faith is tested because our lives are threatened by the possibility of death.  Illness or accidents happen, to us or those we love, and we are faced with either questioning God or trusting Him.  

But I'm talking about the smallies today - the everyday little things where we are faced to walk by faith and obey the Lord.  The flames may not be that high and the threat may not seem that intense, but the test is still very real.  It's those times that we quickly set aside our trust in the Lord and live by flesh rather than faith, those times when we look no different than the world. It's those tests that come and unless things go our way, we'll do what comes naturally because we have to rely on ourselves to save us.

So, what's a smallie?  Let me give a few examples:
  • Your husband refuses to see it your way and now neither of you are talking
  • You need to do some housework but Facebook is calling your name
  • Your child has spilt her third glass of milk in an hour
  • Your best friend has a juicy story about your neighbor to share with you
  • You haven't spent time in God's Word in like, forever...
  • You got home pretty late from the Festival fireworks and are too tired for church
  • You saw your sister's husband at lunch with a woman you didn't recognize
  • Your children are being taught evolution at school
  • You're behind with your responsibilities at work and can't seem to catch up
  • You're credit cards are filling up too quickly to stay on top of
  • You haven't talked to a family member for years because of a lack of forgiveness
  • Your spouse seems distant
  • You find pornography on your husband's computer
  • You find yourself in a movie theater with friends and the inappropriate language and scenes follow one after another
  • Your friends are all drinking, though they're all under age, and it actually looks pretty harmless
None of these are particularly life threatening, except maybe the last one.  But here's my point - every day we are faced with decisions of whether or not we are going to put our trust in Jesus and be obedient to Him. When we choose to disobey, in essence we are saying that doing things God's way is not our only option - that we know better than Him, therefore we put our trust in ourselves rather than Him.  We would rather walk away from Him and do it our own way.

And guess what?  Having faith in the smallies prepares you for withstanding the biggies. So when we fail in the small things, we are only setting ourselves up for failure in the large things.

Remember, enduring faith is saving faith.  If you are able to exhibit faith in the every day life issues, then you can have confidence that your faith is truly in the Lord and not just play-faith.  Test yourself today.  Look at your choices and see if your faith shines through.  Do you only follow Jesus when He answers your prayers how you want them answered? when He protects your from problems? when life is smooth and easy?  Or do you have either-way faith, that trusts and follows, no matter how difficult or how painful the process may be?