Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fool Proof? Fail Proof?

“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, (emphasis mine) who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Fool proof and fail proof, two claims that make me suspect there is a bridge for sale in the deal also. What a relief this is not the case with Galatians 2:20. I don’t have to rely on my often times faulty faith, or a lack thereof. God has given me Jesus’ faith to use. So, what kind of faith does He possess and what does it look like?
Revelation 13:8 refers to Jesus as, “the lamb slain from the creation of the world.” Before creation God knew about the fall. Adam and Eve’s sin wasn’t a surprise. Despite their impending failure, Jesus crafted a plan to redeem mankind. He believed in us before we even existed. Because we live by His faith and not something we conjure up, we can have confidence His trust in us was not misplaced. We can make it.
            The second chapter of Luke records an interesting incident in Jesus’ early life. As a twelve year old boy, He traveled with the family to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. Verse forty-three states, “After the feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem.” Jesus was not left behind accidentally like the character Kevin in Home Alone; He chose to remain in the city. This is comparable to young boy striking off on his own in New York City, while his parents, unaware of his decision, return home. Discovering their son was not with other family members, Joseph and Mary began a frantic search. To a parent, a missing child raises fears of a very unpleasant outcome. Compounding this was with the fact the boy in question was the son of God. How do you explain to Him any harm that happened to His son while under your care?
After three days, Jesus was found safe and secure in the temple conversing with the teachers. Mary reacted as a typical distraught mother. What was He thinking? Didn’t He care about them and what He’d put them through? Based only on the written account, without the benefit of non verbal clues, Jesus’ reaction appears to me to be one of surprised annoyance. “Why were you searching for me? he asked. Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2:49. (“Duh mom, whataya think I’d be doing!!!!”) Jesus appears dumbfounded his parents didn’t anticipate or expect His actions. What kind of faith operated in this pre-teen boy enabling Him to stay alone in Jerusalem? Without any resources other than absolute confidence His Heavenly Father’s provision would sustain Him, Jesus went about His Father’s business. Strong, powerful faith that made no allowance for failure kept Jesus unshaken throughout the whole situation. That’s the kind of faith we have also.
During Jesus’ ministry here on earth He never encountered a sick person He would not or could not heal. “Faith of the Son of God” harbors no doubts in Isaiah 53:5 that “by His wounds we are healed” (even before the stripes were applied to His back). Jesus boldly stated, “everything is possible for him who believes.” Mark 9:23. How is that possible? The faith Jesus uses and gives us is based on truth. With God, “all things are possible” Mark 10:27. Jesus believed that food would multiply and hungry crowds ate their fill with a surplus left over. When the shortest distance from Point A to Point B meant walking across the sea in the midst of a storm, no problem, mission accomplished. Water turned into wine, tax money retrieved from the mouth of a fish. A net cast into the sea, in broad daylight, necessitated additional manpower and resources in order to save the great catch. Jesus’ faith that His father would not forsake Him sustained Him from the agony in the garden to the resurrection.  
This is the same faith that He gave us to ensure victorious living. Paul reminds us of the key issue “Christ liveth in me.” We have Jesus resident in us. The definition of the word “liveth” is: being alive, active, powerful, strong and efficient. Jesus is not in a passive or inactive state; He is as involved as we permit. Therein lies the rub. The only thing preventing God’s faith from accomplishing the impossible is us. We continue to act as if everything depends on our faith. We must realize His fearless faith is at our disposable to move the mountains we encounter.
How do we walk this out? First, “Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ” Romans 10:17. Second, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” James 1:22. The way to experience what God’s faith will accomplish is to use it. As the popular saying goes, “when all else fails read the instructions.” Go to God’s word consistently for insight and direction. God will teach us what His faith, in our hands, can do.
God is on our side and He wants us to succeed. Jesus resides in every believer and provides all that we need, including His faith. The next time you face any situation ask yourself, “Is Jesus’ faith sufficient to do the job?” When you recognize it is, move forward, confident in the ability of His faith to get you through.


  1. Jesus in me ---oh, the thought--- His faith = overcoming every adversity. That old song Victory in Jesus is rising up in my soul.

  2. With Jesus being 12, I've come to think he recently had his bar mitzvah and became a man in the eyes of his faith. So why not immediately begin his manly occupation? It's so easy for us to think of him as "just a boy" in this incident, but I don't think Jesus saw himself that way. A good reminder about not forbidding the children, perhaps.

    Though as to the statement "He never encountered a sick person He would not or could not heal", I slightly disagree. There's no recorded incident where he WOULD not, but scripture does say that in Nazareth he did few signs because of their lack of faith. So it may well be there were times he could not heal in these instances; but it wasn't for lack of his power, but lack of faith on the people's part. Which I suppose speaks to the theme of your piece.