I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Here is an amazing passage. Whose faith is being mentioned here? Is it my faith? Or is it the faith of the Lord Himself?
May I take a moment to point out how critical words are? Specific words mean specific things. This is why a proper translation is of absolute importance. Many will gloss over this and similar phrases as meaning nothing more than our faith in the Son of God. This is tragic. Because God has something wonderful for us here that many versions steal from us.
Is this speaking of my faith in Him OR His faithfulness on my behalf? Yes, I must have trust in Him. Of course. But most of the time, we are focusing on faith and not Him. We make the level of our faith the issue.
Please, note that “without faith it is impossible to please him.” And that “by grace are ye saved through faith“. I am not questioning the absolute importance of faith.
What I am questioning is the object of our focus? What is our vision filled with? In Whom is our faith?
Most of the time, we are busy trying to be something or do something for God. Trying to please Him. But what He really wants is for us to love and worship Him. That comes from meditation on Him, talking with Him and spending time in His Word. Waiting on Him.
Imagine a father longing for time with his son. But the son is too busy working for his dad to spend time with him. The son is constantly thinking about doing stuff for his dad and being what his dad wants, but he has no time to spend with his dad. Sounds kind of stupid.
Consider what the bible says in Revelation 2: 1-7. God is speaking to the church in Ephesus. Wow! This is a really great church by most of our standards. But they fell short. They left their “first love“. I think this is where most of us fall short. We can’t see the forest for the trees.
We can talk about love all day long. We can preach a thousand sermons on love and loving one another. But I don’t think we really know what we are talking about most of the time. We just do a lot of talking, a lot of sermons, a lot of study courses, a lot of spiritual initiatives, and a lot of community outreach programs. A lot of ways we try to prove how loving we are.
We are obsessed with a false idea of love.
Our real problem is that we really don’t see the Lord. AW Tozer said in his book, When He Is Come, that in a lot of churches, the Holy Spirit could walk out and it would be a long time before anyone noticed. Because we are too busy. Too organized. That is why he said, “I want the presence of God Himself, or I don’t want anything at all to do with religion.”
The point here, is that faith has become an object of worship for us. Yes, it is critical that we have it. But faith must have an object. That object must be the Lord. Our confidence must be in Him and not in ourselves. Most of our focus tends to be on how much faith we have and if we are “stepping out” on it.
Stepping “in it” would be more accurate.
Paul said, we are to have “no confidence in the flesh.” He hit the nail on the head. We have too much confidence in the natural man. And we do not have enough confidence in the Lord’s activity in us. We need confidence in His ability instead of our ability.
We are like people that are running down the road and waving for the Holy Spirit to catch up. Instead of following after the cloudy pillar by day and the fiery pillar by night, we tend to take off across the sand dunes in another direction and expect the Lord to bless our work.
We need to ask the Lord to make Him our first love. That is a good prayer. A prayer according to His will. Above all things, we need that love for Him and his Word. All else will follow.