Keep The Faith
ZERO.NINE.FIFTY-EIGHT HOURS ON SATURDAY, THE 26TH DAY OF DECEMBER IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD, 2015.
I discovered about 3 days ago that a music artist (Jahaziel) recanted the faith sometime this year.
For me, this provoked two lines of thought:
1) Sadness – I don’t know what would have caused him to drift so far from shore to be unable to ground himself. It’s ALWAYS a drifting, never a sudden break
2) What happened?! – this is the real question and I don’t mean in terms of the details of his apostasy but rather, how is this even possible?
From that second point, 3 scriptures come to mind at a time like this that I thought we should examine so that those coming into the faith and those feeling the pressure of the faith understand exactly what’s expected in this journey.
“When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
It all comes down to the foundation. I feel as though many Christians today don’t put in the necessary work to shore up their foundations when they come to faith.
Basic foundational work, like discipleship, is often incomplete, if not completely missing, in many believers. The scripture in Ps. 11 tells us that foundations are not necessarily permanent. They need continual work – maintenance, inspection, renovation, etc.
It also reminds me of Proverbs 24:10:
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”
The day of adversity will come. How well you stand is dependent on the strength of your foundation.
The second scripture that comes to mind is Luke 14:28-30
“For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to make fun of him, saying, ‘This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish.’”
This one is funny because it’s part of a parable (an illustrative story with multi-layered meanings) that Jesus told many people, his disciples included.
I’m not sure how many people really consider the cost of following Christ. There’s a saying you may hear when you belong to The Way: “Come as you are but don’t stay as you are”.
Look at the parable above and ask yourself, why would you start if you cannot finish? Or if you cannot commit to develop in yourself what it takes to finish? Look at the parable – again the mention of foundations but what a shame it is to start and run out of steam. What ridicule you bring to yourself and the work you started. Many people in this situation then seek to accuse the world they started of being faulty rather than looking at the workman who carried out the work (themselves).
There something my [spiritual] father once said that made me think:“Any faith that does not give you responsibility is an irresponsible faith”
That brings me to third scripture that this situation brought to mind: 2Tim. 2:2
“…and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
This faith isn’t a turn up and get on with it kind of faith. You have real responsibilities! Proper things you will be held to account for. If every wo/man will to have to give account of himself (Mat. 12:36; 2Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:12) then every wo/man is responsible for something.
It’s important that all Christians understand that this faith is a faith of responsibility. It doesn’t work in cruise control.
If Jesus can say “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (HCSB) then there is no doubt that a burden is placed on us as followers of Christ.
If you ignore this responsibility, you will soon shipwreck your faith – it’s only a matter of time.
It’s the Christmas season. This is the season where we especially remember why God came to meet us at our level, live by the rules He created for us (both natural & spiritual) and model to us the way to do this faith properly.
It doesn’t, however, give us reason to short-change our foundation building, cruise through the faith and shirk our responsibilities as a part of the body.
The truth about this faith is this: there is a fitness requirement to stay in, and work it to the desired and expected end.
If you are considering the faith, welcome – we’d love to have you.
If you are on the verge of leaving the faith, hold on.
For both instances, you should be fully informed of what you’re doing and what this faith is about.
What do you need to do? Simple: get discipled (read: disciplined). Do that and I guarantee you’ll be okay in this walk.
Remember, God wants you to win.
P.S. I should probably add a disclaimer here that this is not a criticism of Jahaziel’s actions – I am sure that there were many factors that contributed to his turning away and like it has been said, “no single drop of water thinks it is responsible for the flood”. All Christians owe him is love and concern. We manifest that in prayers of restoration and continually watching for the opportunities to reintroduce Christ.