Do you ever wonder if some faith is fruitless? I think that there are some people who think of faith (or “religion”) as something that is separate from their daily lives. They believe in God and go to church (or whatever practices their faith may indicate), but their lives suggest that they expect everything else to run according to human principles. They work hard to produce certain results (even those normally reserved for God), and they intend for their own actions to solve their own problems.
A relationship with God is meant to be part of the fabric of our everyday reality, though. If you say that you believe in God, but don’t actually live like you trust Him to do all of the things that He promised, is your faith that deep in the first place?
As we wrap up Luke’s account of a centurion who had great faith in Jesus’ power to heal his servant, what happened?
Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
Luke 7:10 NIV
The centurion had faith, he took action based on that faith, and his servant was healed. He didn’t say that he had faith, pray to God, and then just give up when he couldn’t find a way to heal his servant on his own. God worked in this centurion’s household, and the reality of a mortal illness was conquered – not through the centurion’s skill or authority, but through his faith and the power of God.
In that light, let us pause to consider what it might mean to truly have faith in God:
- Could it mean giving away more of our money to a cause that He is directing us to support, trusting in Him rather than in our savings?
- Could it mean saying no to bailing someone out when the Holy Spirit directs us not to, trusting God to help that person through through their issues, rather than feeling compelled to make ourselves look better by enabling unhealthy decisions (or not giving someone else a chance to learn)? [OK, maybe this one is for me.]
- Could it mean letting someone else keep sharing something that is on their heart, rather than having to speak up and prove that we know something (or trying to prove them wrong)? Don’t we have faith that God knows us and will take care of us, rather than always having to prove that we’re smarter than the next person? [Me, again!]
- Could it mean not trying to “help God”, like Abraham did when he had a child with Hagar, when he was promised a son?
Faith isn’t just something we claim on Sunday morning. It should impact our choices, just like this centurion. God might still call upon us to help, but I think that sometimes He wants us to let Him take care of things, instead. Let’s practice that this week, even if it means letting go of the belief that only we can fix the problems around us.
From Sunday School lesson prepared for December 5, 2021
- The Lookout, December 5, 2021 © 2021 Christian Standard Media.
- Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
- The College Press Commentary, Luke, by Mark C. Black. College Press Publishing Company, © 1996.