3 Stages of Faith: Stage 2 — Faith in Faith Dismantled

29 Nov

The problem with what I call bartering faith or conditional faith and what the author of The Jesus of Suburbia, Mike Erre, calls “faith in faith” is that it is an immature faith.  For our faith to become mature, we need to stop relying on a bartering system with God and begin to rely on God himself in order to enter into true faith-rest.

In order to achieve a mature faith–in which we walk fearlessly KNOWING that God always knows what’s best for us–we need to have our works righteousness system dismantled.  And God so lovingly does that for us so we can grow.  We need to follow in Job’s footsteps and say, Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him. (Job 13:15a)

God purposely introduces paradox, mystery, tension, and suffering into Job’s life in order to dismantle the religious system Job had set up.  Everything Job had hoped to gain through his religious performance (what we are calling “faith in faith”) was lost.

God sometimes, it seems, lets our systems crash, not because we’ve done something wrong but because he has something better for us.  — The Jesus of Suburbia pp. 127-128

I know many people who are casualties at this stage of faith development.  People who think they do not deserve suffering because they are good Christians and go to church  and perhaps even tithe.  People who turn away from growth because they like the simple bartering system.  (i.e. I give God something; He gives me something.)  God does not want to barter with us, He wants us to trust Him for who He is not what He gives.  He is not Santa Claus leaving coal or gifts in the stocking hung by the mantlepiece.  When our “faith in faith” systems crash, it gives us the opportunity to seek Him, to gaze at Him, to grow in Him.  To trust, not fear.

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