Faith can be a difficult position to hold on to. There are seasons when faith flows in abundance and seasons where faith is a fight. We seek the mountaintop and dread the valley. We love contentment and avoid the conflict. Faith can seem to be something that we are chasing after instead of something that flows out of us. I believe this is the case in large part to an identity crisis in the church in America. It comes from a shortsighted view of who we are and who God is.
The Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 6:16, “Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” It is here that the identity crisis starts. Maybe a better way to say it is the lack of identity crisis.
If you think about shields from the medieval period, many have the coat of arms imprinted on the front. What did that represent? It was a statement to all proclaiming which family that knight belonged to.
Stamped on the front of our faith should be our identity as sons and daughters of God. We see ourselves in the same manner that we see God. If we see God as a passionately loving, good Father, then we will see ourselves as passionately loved children. In my own walk with the Father, I constantly related to Him in a son-in-law like manner. It was awkward for me to call Him Father. This wasn’t in any part because of my relationship with my earthly father, it was simply that my knowledge of God’s love for me didn’t surpass head knowledge.
When our revelation of the Father’s love is shallow, our faith will also be shallow. Most of us don’t have any doubt about God’s ability. Where we mainly struggle is in doubting his willingness. We have solid faith in God’s ability, but we constantly chalk up disappointments to “not being God’s will.” We say, “I guess it just wasn’t God’s will to heal or it wasn’t God’s will to provide.”
If our view of the Father says that He is only sometimes willing to heal or sometimes willing to provide, our faith will never become what God intended.
The Son came to earth to reveal the Father. Jesus tells us in John 5:19 “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” Whatever the Father does, the Son also does… that statement is key.
With that statement in mind, look at what the Word says in Acts 10:37-38. It says, “That word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” He healed all who were oppressed. So if Jesus healed all the sick, we can therefore declare that the Father heals all who are sick, because Jesus only does what the Father does.
We will all have times where this truth comes into question in our minds. Many of us have been through situations where the healing didn’t come or the provision didn’t come, but that doesn’t give us the right to alter the Word of God.
If our faith is not grounded in the fact that we are passionately loved and adored children, then we will be reluctant to ask God for things and we will be doubtful about the chances of our requests being answered.
So many in the church today live life as if Jesus’ goal in dying on the Cross was to get us into heaven. That is a woefully oversimplified view of the Father’s love. C.S. Lewis said it best when he stated, “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”
The Father’s goal from the very beginning was relationship! He walked with Adam and Eve, He didn’t simply create them and leave them in the garden.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 10:19). What was lost? I believe that to say we are what was lost is, again, an oversimplification. Were we lost? Yes. But I believe it was the relationship that had been lost which the Father desired to reestablish.
Our faith must be grounded in an unshakeable knowledge of who our Father is and who we are as His children. That can never change. It must surpass an intellectual understanding and move into revelation that passes knowledge. Only then will our faith be established.
"That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
- Ephesians 3:16-19
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