A Faith To Be Understood
I am not sure how many automobiles are in the world. But I would guess they are in the billions. Some persons own multiple vehicles. Most of us who own one look for reliability and comfort. The authorities have stipulated that before we operate a motor vehicle on public roads, we must take and pass some exams to show that we know how to use the roads safely. Despite such measures, thousands of lives are lost yearly as a result of traffic accidents…mostly due to driver’s errors and not mechanical failure. Of the many persons who own and operate a vehicle, only a small percentage actually understand how they work. Most operators only know enough to operate them, and we are happy with that. Actually, I believe some persons are happy just to own one.
It is a similar situation with our bodies. Most of us only know a few basic things about our bodies and how they work. How many of us know how to measure our blood pressure? How many of us know how to measure our glucose level? What about our cholesterol, our hemoglobin, our sodium and the other vital enzymes and chemicals in our bodies? For these we see the physicians. Sure we know how to feed ourselves, take a bath, get dressed, and some of us can fix our hair. We are greatly dependent on others for many necessary things.
Let me mention one more area; money. We know how to work to earn a living. But we do not know how to let the money we earn work for us. So we have investors, stock brokers, bankers and a host of other financial experts that we depend on. We know of some of the thieves who have exploited our ignorance and have swindled the unsuspecting out of millions of dollars. Just about everyone who uses the services of a bank or any financial institutions is at risk to be defrauded, and the internet has made this a lot easier. Some of us have been notified of large purchases that were made from our bank accounts without our permission and knowledge.
So we don’t need to understand how an automobile works to operate or own one; we do not need to know how our bodies work to be happy with ourselves and we surely don’t need to know how to make our money work, we just need to know how to work for it. What about the Faith? Do we need to understand our Faith? Or should we treat it as we do our automobile, our bodies and our money? An individual who does not understand the Faith is quite likely to fall prey to the many wiles of the devil. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus makes us know that it is the person who hears the Gospel and understands it who will be a reproducing believer, Mathew 13:23. Paul asks us to understand what is God’s will, Eph. 5:17. He instructs us to work out our salvation, Philippians 2:12. Jude asks us to earnestly contend for the Faith, Jude 3. Faith in these contexts is referring to the body of truths that we believe, not faith as trust in God. Understanding the Faith takes time and thinking. Yes, it will require that we ask questions, study God’s word; spend time in prayer and spiritual contemplation and be connected to a healthy local fellowship. God’s peace is what surpasses our understanding not the Faith.
One should not confuse a thrill with happiness. Performances can produce a thrill; productions and presentations can boost us and even motivate us. But these are not substitutes for understanding our Faith. Like the operator of an automobile who does not know what a steady red light on the dash means, or the person who does not know that face drooping could be the sign of a stroke, or the investor who has no clue as to how the stock market is influencing his investments, and like the pastor of the church in Laodicea who was wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked but he did not know. In the same way the person who does not understand the Faith will think it is peace and safety but then comes sudden destruction. The Faith is precious. Let us seek to understand it.