Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
There is a huge, contentious rub created between us and God when we approach him in any way other than simple faith. Think of faith as willing trust rather than expectation. The kind of trust that says, “I know he will do for me what I really need and what I can’t do for myself.” The kind of faith that recognizes, “I’m in no position to impress God. Even if I was, he will never own me anything.”
When we approach God on the basis of religious habits or rule keeping, we are essentially telling him, “You owe me whatever I expect because I have done such and such.” Whether it’s going to church or mass or confession or giving an offering out of a sense of obligation or hope that it will make up for the way I have lived during the week, I’ve missed what God is looking for in my heart—a willingness to live for him and trust him because of what he has already done for me. Obeying God by serving and loving others because we believe he has lovingly forgiven and saved us from our sin, is what it means to live by faith. A person who lives life out of this kind of simple trust/faith, does not rely on his own goodness or his own ability to keep the rules. He relies on God’s faithful promise to never leave or forsake him. He recognizes his own unworthiness and trusts in God’s willingness to love him anyway.
Question: Do you approach God expecting him to honor you in some way because you have gone through your religious motions? Or do you approach God trusting in his mercy, saying, “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner!” (Luke 18:13) Does God owe you, or do you owe him?
It’s funny how God, even though he owes us nothing, seems to pour out good things into the lives of those who really believe and trust him. It’s like he’s just waiting for and looking for people who respond to him in simple faith. The Apostle Paul put it this way, “Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?” (Galatians 3:5)
Please share with me how you may have seen God work in response to your decision to quit relying on your own effort to impress God and your willingness to cast yourself completely on his mercy and faithfulness.