Where is Your Faith?

Over the last eighteen years, I’ve been privileged, to be able to share my Spiritual experience to a vast number of people from all walks of life. I, like many of my readers struggle with everyday issues of life and in no way do I ever want to project a holier than thou persona. I will never forget hearing a man of God once say, “It’s when you set out to do something bigger than yourself, that one is faced with the inevitable fact of acknowledging one’s need for God’s divine intervention.” Holy Scripture reassures believers of His willingness to supply the strength needed to accomplish super natural feats, for we read in 1 John 4:4 “You are from God, little children, and have overcome ( victory of Christians, that hold fast their faith even unto death against the power of their foes, and temptations and persecutions) them ; because greater ( or Megas – a rank, as belonging to persons, eminent for ability, virtue, authority & power) is He (Jesus) who is in you than he (Satan) who is in the world.”

Now this spiritual principle can be applied to the business person whose ambition is leading him/her to expand their enterprise or to the one whose life is devastated by substance abuse. Both are facing an unrelenting giant, who seems so much bigger and stronger than themselves. .

If we are to ever experience our God given destiny, we will need to rely on much more than our 5 senses of; smell, touch, hearing, sight & taste (read – 2 Cor.5:7). Yes, we will need to step into the spiritual realm of FAITH. I ask you not to be turned off by what I’ve just stated, we all have exercised a degree of faith every time we drive our car…you see, it takes faith to believe that your car is going to stop by just pressing on the brake petal or the simple act of sitting on chair, you just trust that it is going to withstand your weight.

Our society is full of people who exercise mega faith! Their commitment to their object of worship is so great that no matter the negative consequences, they hang onto the drug of their choice (money, sex, power, drugs, and fame) believing that it was going to somehow transform their unbearable world into a Garden of Eden. The reality of this misdirected faith is illustrated in the 3rd Chapter of the big book of Alcoholic Anonymous, “The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.” I liken it to the football player, who picks up the fumbled ball and runs in the wrong direction; his misdirected action leads him not into the winners circle, but rather is ushered into the center stage to be ridiculed.

You and I are creatures of Habit and like it’s been said time and time again, Habits, good or bad are hard to break and sadly, we can grow to accept a mediocre existence as God’s will in our life. Some may say, Oh there’s no way that I‘ll ever beat this drug habit, I’ll never get out of this sick and abusive relationship, because I can’t make it on my own, and there are those who have lost everything, business, home, family, health and most sadly they were robbed of their self worth.. The list of different situations are endless, they are tangible and real, but remember, my friends, when we are able “to walk by faith and not by sight (2Cor. 5:7).” Then, “God will begin to do for us, what we could not do for ourselves.” But it is up to you to take the first life changing step.” For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead (James 2:26).”

It will get you out of a bad place, and will open doors for you to a realm where dreams come true! A perfect illustration is found in Rom. 5: 1 “Therefore, having been justified (just like it never happened – declared innocent or blameless before God) by FAITH , we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand;”

Faith opens the door for us to stand in the very throne room of grace (read Heb. 4: 16).

Now what is Grace? I’ve heard it explained this way “Mercy is God not giving us what we deserve and Grace is Him giving to us, what we don’t deserve (unmerited favor)”. Some may boast of having friends in high places, but we as believers have found divine – favor with Him who reigns on the highest point of the universe. Can’t get any higher than that!

“Without faith it’s impossible to please God, for all who come to Him, must believe that He is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6).”

I can remember as a young lad playing baseball in the local little league, our team seldom won, but we all played with a lot of heart and never gave up. So many times I would see my Dad’s face in the crowd and that seemed to stir up a little more courage in me. There were times after a loss that my father would tell the coach, please have the team line up at the concession stand for hot dogs and a coke. A treat that was reserved for the winning team, his action would later in life help me to understand Gods Grace (unmerited favor).

You see, you and I are not expected to be perfect; we should have a repentant spirit when in the wrong, but perfect – no! God understands that in life we will drop the ball, we may never hit a home run and we may still hear the groans of the crowd as the empire roared, strike three! No, our Heavenly Father is much wiser than that and it pleases Him as we grow in faith and despite the giants we continue to “…press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward (high) call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14).”

May we all one day proudly proclaim for all to hear “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing (2 Tim. 4:7, 8).”

Your friend always on the journey

Rev. Joe A. Rivera
Temecula, CA