“Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6). Obviously, from God’s perspective, faith, defined as, “being sure of what we hoped for, and certain of what we cannot see” (Heb 11:1) is a requirement to please God. Does your level of faith match that expectation?
There is what I can noun faith; believing in God, heaven, hell, Jesus’ resurrection, etc. Noun faith simply believes in the facts. But then there is a verb type of faith or an operational faith. Operational faith is a spiritual gift that the Holy Spirit gives you to accomplish the work God ha assigned you (1 Cor 12:7-11). But it is also a choice on our part.
We can choice to accept or reject that gift of faith. Operational or verb faith is exactly that; its about doing something or allowing God to do something in and through us. Operational faith will stretch us out of our comfort zone, which is why we resist it so often. The average church-attender has grieved (Eph 4:30) and quenched (1 Thess 5:19) the Holy Spirit so often that they cannot remember the last time they experienced the flow of the Holy Spirit in and through them.
Having sincere faith does not make faith real. Real, authentic, biblical faith is more than being assured of the facts and being assured you will spend eternity in heaven. The average church is in a state of decline or plateau because simply there is a lack of faith and follow-through. There are lots of “sincere” believers, but most are not willing to step out of their comfort zones and chase after the heart of God.
Having great faith does not mean everything happens on our perceived timetable. We can chase after God, but it is so easy to assume we know the plan or the timetable. The process or the journey is more important to God than the outcome or result we are after. We think result. God thinks journey. The end result alone tends to leave us unchanged, and even creates a pressure to perform to try to earn God’s approval. The journey transforms us into the person God wants us to be.
Faith is messy. Proverbs 14:4 is an interesting verse; “Where there are no oxen, the stable will be empty and clean, but neither will there be the abundant harvest that comes from the working strength of the ox”. Having a sincere noun type faith is clean, and it does not stretch you or make you feel uncomfortable, but neither will there be the powerful working of the Holy Spirit that brings an abundant harvest.
The average christian has traded a messy, uncomfortable, stretching faith, for a tame, comfortable, set of facts. But they have also traded off the very power that God promised to transform their lives, their churches, and their communities. But God has a better way. He wants us to choose to receive His gift of faith though the Holy Spirit so He can transform us, then use us as His agents of hope and restoration.
Right now, God knows you; where you are, your circumstances, your victories, your failures, etc. He loves you, and wants to empower you to walk the journey you are currently on in the power of the Holy Spirit. He really can transform you. Are you feeling unsettled, or empty, or like there just has to be more? I’ve been there too. There are many distractions and short-term warm-fuzzies, but there is only one lasting path of hope.