08 February 2012

Faith Inaction

First off, here’s Haley:

It seems to me that Christian media sets just as high a bar a fantasy for Christian women as the mainstream media does, if not higher just due to the fact that a staunch Christian woman is far more likely to hold out for “God’s best.”  I feel like we are constantly assured that God is going to give us his Best if we just have faith and wait for it.  This especially includes marriage.  Don’t settle for less than God’s Best.  Do you want to have a good, God-honoring marriage?  Then hold out for His Best.  You’re 25?  You have time.  You’re 30?  Keep praying for God’s Best.  35?  Keep trusting God to bring you his Best.  40?  God’s Best doesn’t have a timetable.  45?  Nothing is impossible for God, who is writing your love story.  God will bring his Best to you in his perfect timing.  50?  Sometimes God’s Best doesn’t include a husband, but that doesn’t mean it’s not God’s Best for you.

Now, here’s something interesting:  when God provided a wife for Isaac in Genesis 24, he didn’t magically bring in some random chick from afar.  There was work involved.

First, the man had to do some things (of course, Isaac conducted this by proxy).  The man had to have a plan (v. 12ff.), approach the woman (v. 14), stick to frame (vv. 14, 22), compliance test the woman (v. 14), and be able to demonstrate value (v.22).

The woman also had to do some things.  She had to be beautiful (v. 16), pure (v. 16), compliant/submissive (v. 18), respectful and well-mannered (v. 18), industrious (v. 19) and hospitable (v.25).

And keep in mind that the man and woman in question had to do all these things on their own for a marriage that God himself had arranged.  Now, if God’s providence doesn’t extend so far that even those whom he providentially helps are free from their obligation to act intelligently in their own best interest, then why on earth would any Christian today think that it would be any different for them?

This same principle is illustrated in the New Testament.  Christ, when teaching his disciples to pray, commanded them to ask God for their daily bread.  And yet, the Apostle Paul said that “if a man shall not work, neither let him eat.”  Therefore, even when one asks God for something in faith, one must still act to get that which one asks from God.

God is not man’s servant.  As such, man does not simply get to sit around issuing God orders, and simply wait passively for them to be fulfilled.  Even when a man asks for something in faith, he must still actually go out and do something to get it.  Trusting in God is never a passive activity.

Thus, the failure of the church today is readily apparent:  there has been no proper teaching on faith.  Instead of explaining how faith and works go hand in hand, faith has devolved into a sort of mysticism, wherein one asks God for things then sits back and hopes that God will eventually deliver the goods.  Ultimately, this is not faith in God; it is wishful thinking, and it is bound to disappoint.

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