Faith is not spelt RISK

The other day I had fun listening to Cn. J John interview Cn. Andrew White (the vicar of Baghdad), Andrew White’s story is remarkable but very simple. It is the story of a man who heard God and followed, then kept on listening and following. It occurs to me that that’s precisely what faith is.
For years I have been duped by Sunday sermons on Hebrews 11v1 telling me that faith is a matter of believing something hard enough, acting as if it’s actually here and true… then it will happen.. God will make it happen. Step out onto the bridge of faith we’re told (Indiana Jones) and God will meet you there, all you have to do is believe! We are told with great earnestness that faith is spelt RISK, so go ahead and jump!!
I don’t think so.
The verses immediately preceding Hebrew’s 11v1 speak of the promises and revelation of God, of his Kingdom and his return. These are the things of which faith is the substance and evidence. Faith is a response to God’s rule and his Kingdom, to the unfolding of the intentions of his heart as he reveals them. Faith is the way we respond to the good news that Christ, not any man, is King, not only of the Jews, but of the whole world. It comes by hearing the message that Jesus both spoke and lived – that the rule of God had come. Faith is a response to the revelation of God, it is the process of realigning everything to harmonise with that revelation.
It is not simply us deciding how things should be and believing our way there. In fact if God hasn’t spoken or in some way revealed what he sees and what he wants, then it’s not faith. Peter didn’t just jump out of the boat on a whim; when he saw Jesus walking on the water, he waited till Jesus called him, and then he stepped out. That is faith.
You see, the challenge of faith is not belief, the challenge of faith is knowing God and recognising when he speaks, keeping our eyes, ears and hearts set on him and discerning his revelation… so we can respond because he is King, his Kingdom is here and our joy is to be part of it.
And so, faith is not risky at all – God doesn’t make mistakes. Neither is it blind or dumb – it is a response to his revelation. Faith is simply the act of trusting and obeying the ruler and creator of the universe. Faith is simply acknowledging with all our lives that God is who he really is. (and that’s how he is making all things new.)

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