Is it really up to me to make my faith stronger? Or is my faith simply a gift from God that I have no control over?
The answer is Yes and Yes.
I can remember a profound event that took place in my childhood. The human brain is an amazing thing. Sometimes I can’t remember what my wife asked me to pick up at the grocery store, but somehow, I can vividly remember an event that happened when I was 3 or 4 years old! I believe the reason I can remember that particular event is because it was:
- a milestone in my relationship with my Dad
- maybe God intended for me to share it with you on this day in time.
Here’s the event:
Mom, Dad and I were at a swimming pool. I believe it was the city pool in Forsythe Park in Monroe, LA. My Dad was treading water in the deep end of the pool while holding his arms outstretched to me and telling me to jump to him. I vividly remember being very frightened. I was scared of the water and somehow at that early age, I knew the water was over my head and that I could not breathe under water. I guess I had reason to trust that my Dad would catch me. He said he would, and I don’t think I had any reason to doubt him. So far in my little short lived life he and mom had fed me when I was hungry, put clothes on me, helped me learn how to walk and talk, put bandaids on my cuts and scrapes, protected me from all sorts of life’s scary things…but somehow this swimming pool thing seemed different. It was so foreign to me, I had never willingly jumped into something that had the potential of killing me! 🙂
Finally, through much coaxing from dad, I jumped! True to his word, he caught me and held my head out of water, swirled me around in a circle and made me feel like I had accomplished the impossible. Little did I know at the time, what seemed impossible for me was as easy as breathing for him. I got back out of the water and ran to the edge, with a little more coaxing from Dad I jumped into his arms again. Bam! Again Dad was there to catch me! After another 3 or 4 times, I did not need any more coaxing. I KNEW Dad was going to catch me. My faith had grown stronger in my Dad the more I trusted and obeyed his command to jump!
No doubt, our faith is a gift from God.
But there is also no doubt we have a post-salvation responsibility:
So yes! God is giving us the desire AND the power to obey him. It is a gift.
But who can honestly say they have obeyed God 100% of the time in their lives? So this means we have the capacity to disobey. In other words, we have a responsibility to obey, a responsibility to grow our God given faith, AND it is not always easy, but God does reward us with a stronger faith as we obey.
The more we see that God is there for us when we decide to trust him and jump into the unknown, the stronger our faith in Him will grow!
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