A Forgetful Faith
by Jon Walker
«I plan to keep on reminding you of these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth.» (2 Peter 1:12 NLT)
About nine months ago, my sense was that God wanted to deepen my faith, and so I stopped receiving a regular paycheck and started living, as we sometimes say, «on faith» – as if all of life isn’t lived on some sort of faith, even if misguided. (For example, I may think I’m guaranteed a paycheck from my employer over the next ten years, but who has promised me that?)
But I digress, which is, in a way, what this devotional is about. I soon found myself believing, with an absolute certainty, that God would provide. It was a rock-solid conviction, a certainty that it would happen – far different from the tentative «I hope it will happen» belief I have at other times mistaken for biblical faith.
I had no doubt God would provide, and so I started looking for his provision – even keeping a log of everything God gave us, and the list was impressive.
Yet within a few months I was staggered with doubt. I’d lost focus, or at least my focus on God, and I started scrambling for ways to generate income. I started believing, again, that it was my responsibility to «make things happen,» and that God may or may not come through.
You, my faithful friend, may be much further along than I am in learning to trust God; then again, you may have experienced exactly what I’m describing.
Could it be that I forgot what I believed? C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, says you will never talk a man out of his faith, never debate him out of his beliefs – but what can happen is that he’ll slowly, imperceptibly at first, forget what he believes.
And then he’ll begin to act upon that lack of belief.
It may be that the Apostle Peter understood this tendency toward a forgetful faith. He told the early Church, «I plan to keep on reminding you of these things – even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth.» (2 Peter 1:12, NLT)
Even though they already were standing on the truth, Peter saw it as necessary to remind them of their beliefs, that «on Christ the solid rock» they stood.
Long ago and far away, I took similar step of faith in order to study at seminary. I hadn’t been on campus two days when I backed into a post and wrecked my car. I was very angry at myself for such a careless mistake, knowing I had little in the bank.
Yet God used that as a «faith breakthrough» for me, as I came to realize that God, not my bank account, provided for me. And God knew I would make mistakes, so his provision could even cover my carelessness.
As it was – and it’s far too complex to fully explain in this setting – I got my car fixed with the insurance company paying the full amount (i.e., not charging me the deductible), and thanks to a newly enacted state law, my insurance payments remained the same. On top of that, as I left the body shop with my car, the man handed me $20 and said, «The insurance company said to give the difference to you.»
Wow! Now, you may want to know who my insurance company was (ha!) But the one who deserves the credit isn’t the insurance company but the God of the Universe, who spoke the world into existence, hung the moon and the stars, and owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
I told my story in class at seminary, and other students started sharing their own stories of how God had provided, again and again. Our professor said that’s how we’d all make it through our faith journey – just keep telling each other your stories of how God works in your life, remind yourselves and each other of what God has done in your midst.
· God’s provision list – Think over the past few years and make a list of all the ways God has provided for you. Praise God for his provision, and then share your list with others.
· Ask about God’s provision – Ask others to tell you how God has provided for them. Listen expectantly to how our awesome God works within our lives and encourage your friends to remember their own God-stories.
· Log answered prayers – Several years ago, a survey suggested that one of the reason high school students did not believe in prayer is because they never saw any prayers answered. Create a simple log of your prayer requests, then go back over it frequently to note how God answered the prayers. Often our prayers are answered, but we don’t notice because we’ve moved on to other concerns.
· Provision anniversary – Think about the most significant provisions God has made in your life. Select one and start an anniversary celebration to commemorate the provision each year. Essentially, that’s why holidays such as «Passover» are celebrated every year. It allows for an annual re-telling of God’s work in our lives.
© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.
Devocionales Cristianos www.devocionalescristianos.org