The Response of Faith

Bethlehem, Shepherd's Field[I’ve mentioned that I'm now blogging twice weekly  on The Leadership Institute blog. I will only be blogging here occasionally.

If you signed up on the TLI website to receive those posts by email, but haven’t seen emails coming through on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning from The Leadership Institute, we’ve had some glitches that we’re trying to solve.

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I came across this good word about our faith and God’s faithfulness. It helped me much. I hope it helps you, too.

“Our faithfulness, too, does not arise because we work at it. It is a gift just as much as our holiness is. Most people would probably assume that “faithfulness” describes how well we are doing. Let us pause to consider, however, on what our faithfulness rests. Am I faithful to God because I am a good “faith-er,” or because God is absolutely faith-worthy? God’s immense and gracious faithfulness, which sets me free to be faithful, and his mercy, which forgives me when I’m not–these aspects of his character evoke whatever faithfulness I evince. I do not believe because I am a good believer or good at believing. I believe because God is believable.” (Dawn, Marva & Eugene Peterson. The Unnecessary Pastor: Rediscovering the Call. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000, p. 42.)

Are you tempted to see this as mostly theological nitpicking? I see this as exposing the basic dynamics of faith and faithfulness. Faith is a responding impulse, not an initiating one. My faith corresponds to God’s faithfulness. That’s how faith—how trust—works. I trust something because it is trustworthy. Putting unquestioned trust in a hardened criminal is no virtue. My trust isn’t the main point, but the trustworthiness of the one I trust.

On the other hand, I do not benefit from another’s trustworthiness if I do not entrust myself to them. Growing in trust isn’t about focusing on my faith but gaining a clearer vision of God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness. This really is how it works, but I forget.

Reflection: How clear is your vision of God’s great faithfulness at this point in your journey?

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7 thoughts on “The Response of Faith

  1. Dear Alan, Thank you for sending me this email.Just to ensure further receiving of your posts,I reply to your e-mail by asking you to”Add me to the TLI blog.” Thank you,and God bless you,your family,and your ministry. Thank you for the video you shared on your blog”The unhurried Life”. It was a real blessing to me! In Him, Nevine.

    On Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 12:21 AM, Alan Fadling: Notes from an Unhurried Life

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