Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Thought for Wednesday 10 August 2016

“By faith Moses forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing the One who is invisible.”  Letter to the Hebrews 11:27 NKJV

St. Augustine had this to say about faith: “This would be no praise for faith, nor would it be faith at all, if people were in believing to follow after rewards they could see.”  It follows, then, that as a measure of our faith, we are to evaluate for ourselves what it is we are after.  Do we measure our spiritual growth in terms of what can be seen?  Do we measure our success in terms of what cannot be seen?  There is a measure for each, to be sure, but we must know exactly what it is we are after … or whether we are after anything at all.

Discipleship is not merely “believing”.  Discipleship is the pursuit of something greater than any single moment.  Discipleship then pursues that which cannot be found in any idle moment – nor in any idol we can put our hands on.  Discipleship cannot see what it is to be pursued, but it fully trusts that what Christ has sent us after is worth pursuing even if we cannot actually see it or put our hands on it in this present life.

Too many for too long have taken faith and discipleship for granted.  We have been convinced – by others or by our own personal sense of self-serving religion – that merely “believing” Jesus is the Son of God is sufficient without pursuing the fullness of all this entails.  Too many have been convinced for too long there is nothing to pursue; that all we need “just is”.  As a result, too many churches have focused inwardly for so long and pursued only those things which can be touched that we have lost all sense of faith and what faith actually requires of us.

What to do about it?  The prophet encourages us to, “Seek The Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6).  If this same God spoke to His people like this so long ago, how can we believe He would not so speak to His people now?  Make no mistake, however.  We are compelled to “seek”.  This is the motion of pursuit, inwardly and outwardly, but it also requires significant faith to know something is worth pursuing even if we cannot see it with our eyes.

The Lord already came to the entire world in the birth of Messiah, and He walked the earth for those years building a Body that would devote itself to one another in pursuit of something much greater, yet which cannot be seen or touched.  The Body today cannot sit any longer gazing at its own navel, and wonder where everyone went once we finally bother to look up.  The truth is they have gone off in pursuit of something because there may be no longer a life in this Body which was called forth to “go” and “teach” and “baptize”.

Nothing is going to fall into our laps, and The Lord of the entire world is not going to make an exception for any single individual, for “The Lord does not show partiality”.  Those who spend a life pursuing that which cannot be seen will be the ones to find what they were looking for all along.  “Seek first the Kingdom of God …”

The Lord is great, is He not?


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