Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Presumption of Faith

Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins;
(Psalm 19:13)

It was said long ago, and has been repeated often since that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Thinking back on our own lives, it isn’t hard to remember times when we thought or felt like we were doing something noble or just, only to realize that we were misinformed, deluded, or just plain wrong. Maybe we wanted to tell somebody something nice, but we put our foot in our mouths, or we wanted to inform somebody of an item that we thought they needed to know, but it upset them greatly and was unnecessary. How many times have you had to use the excuse, “I was only trying to help?” We presumptuously jumped into a situation with both feet, but we just didn’t have all the right info or our motives weren’t as pure as we thought they were. We look bad trying to be good, and nothing is more frustrating that that.

Well, this happens so often in the spiritual realm that there is no one that has been immune to the disease. We all know how often we misstep and mistake our way around the Kingdom. Why do you think so many people today are always asking “what is God’s will” about a particular situation? It is for the simple fact that we understand our proclivity to fool ourselves into thinking that we are doing right when we are actually doing wrong. We desire to do something good, and then we “step out in faith”, only to fall flat on our face, embarrassing ourselves and hurting others in the process. We place our faith in the wrong thing, presuming that our good intentions are God’s will when they are not.

The subtle nature of this type of deception can be seen in all its various forms throughout the Bible. Sometimes it is obvious to us, other times not, but if we place ourselves in the shoes of those who lived out these passages, we can begin to see where we have fallen into the same traps. Indeed, humanity may have come a long way technologically, but we are still the same fallen race that we have always been, and Satan knows how we can be fooled into thinking we are noble, when we are really being naughty. We presume to be doing the right thing and end up making the situation worse.

However there is hope for us all. The scriptures are chock full of various types of “good intentions but bad actions” scenarios, so much so that they cover basically all the problem areas that we have concerning this human condition. These things were written for our learning (Romans 15:4). Learning the biblical examples of what we will call the presumption of faith will allow us to become equipped to rely on God more fully, while developing discernment and the ability to patiently wait on God before rushing head first into trouble.

Truly, we must have the correct “kind” of faith, and what (who) we have faith in is of the utmost importance. Doubtless, most Christians realize that the object of our faith must be God in order to be the right “kind”. But how do we know when we are putting our faith in Him, and not in our desire to do (or be) “right”, or something else? And what constitutes faith as opposed to foolishness? Is faith a matter of believing God for something, standing on the promises, or trusting Him when the chips are down like Job? Are there different types of faith?

That is exactly what we need to know, and what we intend to point out in the following missives: the traps of our emotions and how to test our “faith” by the Word of God.


Exist-Dissolve said...

Intriguing. I look forward to the next installment!

Even So... said...

Thanks, nice to see you here. Hard, I know, to go deep, as per our previous, but interesting, and edifying, I might add. Saw you over at the Gadfly, welcome to my corner of the blogosphere.

God bless.