Monday, May 10, 2010

The Faith of Christ (is to be our faith, too)

"Into thy hands I commit my spirit..." Ps. 31:5a

Faith means a willful, deliberate resting in the Lord. If every thing, circumstance, and element of your life and the whole of existence is in His hands, then you can and should rest in those hands. Stress and fear come every time that we fight against those hands: "I must take control!" Not only should you not, but you also cannot. Nothing is in your control except the choices of your own soul, which usually boil down to only two options: will I rest in God or willfully remain restless?

Resting in God is neither fatalism nor monotony. It is not for the apathetic or those who prefer a static existence. What it does mean is going with a near reckless abandon into the circumstances that have been handed to you. "By faith, Abraham...went out, not knowing where he was going" (Heb. 11:8). How utterly foolish! That is exactly what true resting in God does: you become a seemingly foolish and reckless person in the eyes of others. This is not about being a clown or dangerous; this is about going here or there, doing this or that solely because God has directed your circumstances there and not because you know for absolute certainty what will happen next. It is this certainty in God (and in His promises to lead and protect) and that uncertainty about tomorrow that gives peace and excitement, security and adventure, to life. You are ever at rest but never sitting still.

Our Lord uttered the words of Ps. 31:5 because His was the life of faith too, even up to the portals of death. It seems unimaginable that our Lord was accosted by doubt, yet His temptation in the wilderness and prayer in the garden seem to suggest that He was capable of it, though he did not succumb. As the one who was made Sin for us, the only hope He had of escaping death was the promise of His Father (see Ps. 16:10). He rested in that promise, and the servant is not greater than his master: if we would know the Christ-like life, then we too must rest in the presence, power, and promises of the Father.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2010

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