It has been my experience that when most people say they have faith, it's connected to some type of improvement in their lives. Whether it's believing God for a new car, bigger house, better job, or a situation that needs to change, I am comfortable in saying that the typical person connects their faith with some type of improvement, enhancement, or advancement.
Interestingly, when I look at the life of the one that we are supposed to be emulating, Jesus Christ, I have to conclude that his faith drove him to his death. His faith took him to Jerusalem for Passover instead of staying out of harm's way. His faith caused him to keep his mouth shut when he had every right to defend his innocence. His faith caused him to be tortured when he should have been celebrated. His faith permitted him to be humiliated when he should have been honored. His faith allowed him to be beaten mercilessly with a whip that most likely contained pieces of metal and bone by the very people that he created. His faith kept him on the cross when he could have called 10,000 legions of angels to rescue him. His faith kept believing in his Father even when He turned His back on him.
His faith positioned him to be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; to bear the chastisement of our peace upon himself; and to trust that his stripes would heal us.
Our faith is usually directed towards making our lives more convenient, but he used his faith to take him to the place of ultimate inconvenience - death. His faith carried him to the cross.
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Jesus shows us that true faith is not about getting what we want to make our lives go more smoothly. Real faith is believing God for the strength to lay down our lives for his will; to die to anything that we want if it's not what He wants for us. This may not necessarily take you to the point of a physical death, but it will certainly take you to the place of inconvenience, submission, sacrifice, and potentially looking foolish in the eyes of other people.
The beauty is that on the other side of that kind of faith is a refreshing life that is free from the mundane cycles of mediocrity that most people experience. On the other side of that kind of faith is a radical relationship with God that causes you to be in situations where you regularly experience exceeding and abundant expressions of God's love. On the other side of that kind of faith are amazing miracles that bless you and others. On the other side of that kind of faith is a life far beyond anything that you can ask, think, or imagine.
Are you willing to die to your will for that kind of faith? Jesus did.
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Amos Johnson Jr.
Brotha Online Magazine
Business as Mission
The High Calling