All the time I’m shaped, molded, challenged, and called out—often—by things that I see, hear, and read. Everyday encounters. My daily quiet time/devotions. Reading the news. Everything.
I hope yours shape you, too.
Some of my training in seminary way back when is to do with keeping my “radar” out. Like what is God doing here, in this situation? How do I hear God in this thing? How is the Spirit moving? Stuff like that. And it’s part of my M.O.
Today’s Oswald Chambers crushes it for me. Boom!
Do you believe this? —John 11:26
Martha believed in the power available to Jesus Christ; she believed that if He had been there He could have healed her brother; she also believed that Jesus had a special intimacy with God, and that whatever He asked of God, God would do. But— she needed a closer personal intimacy with Jesus. Martha’s theology had its fulfillment in the future. But Jesus continued to attract and draw her in until her belief became an intimate possession. It then slowly emerged into a personal inheritance— “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ…” (John 11:27).
Is the Lord dealing with you in the same way? Is Jesus teaching you to have a personal intimacy with Himself? Allow Him to drive His question home to you— “Do you believe this?” Are you facing an area of doubt in your life? Have you come, like Martha, to a crossroads of overwhelming circumstances where your theology is about to become a very personal belief? This happens only when a personal problem brings the awareness of our personal need.
To believe is to commit. In the area of intellectual learning I commit myself mentally, and reject anything not related to that belief. In the realm of personal belief I commit myself morally to my convictions and refuse to compromise. But in intimate personal belief I commit myself spiritually to Jesus Christ and make a determination to be dominated by Him alone.
Then, when I stand face to face with Jesus Christ and He says to me, “Do you believe this?” I find that faith is as natural as breathing. And I am staggered when I think how foolish I have been in not trusting Him earlier.
I remember some conversation back in seminary sitting around talking theology with my colleagues. We did that a lot—like, a lot a lot. We were tossing around historical Jesus v. Christ-of-faith ideas and dialog.
Somebody asks the question, "Do you believe this?" And my academic response is, “Well, I like the Jesus model.” Actually, I love it. Like, a lot a lot. And Ozzy’s close today shapes, molds, challenges, and calls me out:
When I stand face to face with Jesus Christ and He says to me, “Do you believe this?” I find that faith is as natural as breathing. And I am staggered when I think how foolish I have been in not trusting Him earlier.
Maybe it shapes, molds, challenges, and calls you out, too. At the very least, it reframes the way we think about Jesus.
As natural as breathing?
Our foolishness is staggering.
And Ozzy crushes it.
Grace and Peace,