Rational Faith – Three Steps
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things NOT seen. (Hebrews 11:1).
To some, the words “rational faith” are contrary. Is there a reasoning component to faith in the life of the Christian? I’ve been taught to be rational, to stack fact upon fact, and by deduction, to determine a direction. We plan for a future, by studying competitive and blue ocean strategies toward an augmented reality. How does the Christian live and operate in a rational, and technology-driven world? Any room left for faith at the work place? My thoughts took me back to the children of Israel. They’d packed and left their homes, happy to be rid of Egyptian thralldom, and marched toward an ocean front devoid of transport ferries, by faith. No back-up options, no desert supplies, and no lit lamps. They traversed a route with a natural ocean barrier and a well-heeled army in the background, caught between “a cruel sea and a ferocious army, by faith. Sometimes, life’s like that—we are escaping from an accustomed reality to another devoid of familiarity, by faith. God gives us just a flicker of hope—a miraculous saving from a plague or two.
The first step of faith is to have a belief that God has a glorious destination in store for us, a Promised Land; that belief will over-ride our present reality to bring us to a hoped-for condition, “the substance of things hoped for”. It is the destination that brings us hope and allows us to make the steps of the faith in the present. It is the glorious return of a Savior, that gives me the strength to actively live in the present. The second step of faith is to act in accordance with that belief, for faith without action is dead. Begin marching toward the Red Sea, not knowing fully how you’ll get across, but knowing that God is in charge. We won’t have separated out all the variables, but we know that God is there. We bridge the gap between the present and the future by faith, because we hope for a glorious destination. The third step of faith ignites the flashpoint when the future hope and present actions meet in happy collision—when the feet of the Israelites touched the Red Sea, it parted; when the soles of the priests’ feet touched the waters at Jordan, the river parted. Faith never comes to fruition without action and action never becomes faith except obedience is included, and a destination is envisaged.
So think backwards today—let the hoped-for destination drive your present actions to that flash-point. Start with the end in mind—it is the destination that drives the present actions, for those who look on at your present faith-filled actions, have no idea of your faith-driven destination—from faith-driven to faith-filled, and that FLASH!