“I finally got it!!” I spent 4 years in a Prosperity-Word of Faith cult, 1 of which I was awakened to my ignorance by the grace of God and then decided to get out and search for a Biblical body of believer’s. I could imagine this is how I felt once the Lord rescued me from that madness. 8 months later I would find a church; join and from this point-trying as hard as I could to keep away from the likes of the heresies taught by many faith teachers and charlatans. In my attempt to do this I; in my Reformed(Biblical) circles, skip over the scriptures that speak of things that seem charismatic or too faith oriented to grasp. I gradually place “Faith” on the shelf of the past and proceed for Biblical sound doctrine since I finally found what I was looking for. This is going to be somewhat of a culmination of what I have been studying and experiencing in the past couple of months on finances, faith, and life..so please excuse the clutter.
First let me clarify that I am trying very hard to lose the term “Reformed” and hence forth, that word will be replaced with “Biblical.” I have hastily come to the conclusion that reformed does not describe what I believe and is too broad of a term to really encompass who I(we) am in Christ. “Biblical” can more closely define who we are in Christ. I, along with Lionel am reading “The Reformers and Their Stepchildren”, by Leonard Verduin. This book is great and closely examines the reformation and brings to light-when we say reformed-what do we really mean?
I am a part of a great home congregation in which i believe the Lord is leading and has been with us and guiding us daily. Now I finally found a Biblical church and got away from the craziness. To my surprise I come to the knowledge that these believer’s like so many in the Charismatic circles have experiences to go along with their testimonies just like those in the Word of Faith churches. Is this wrong or is it Biblical? Isn’t there a little subjectivity along with everyone’s objective faith in Christ? Yes, just think of Moses, Samuel, Paul and so many others. Now what about “Faith” and what part does that play in “Biblical” circles. How do we build our Faith? How is Faith apart of our every day lives? Do we allow the Lord room to show Himself? Faith seemed to be such a integral part of peoples lives in the time when Christ was ministering before His ascension. I just recently realized that in my attempt to get away for the Charis-mania that I somehow lost the zeal to exercise Faith in ways that would not exactly fit into western christian reformed circles. What do I mean? Well, this may seem simple to some but…the last time your car broke down, what did you do? When your air conditioner went out in your house…when your family member died and you did not have the money to travel…when your child was sick..when you were sick…
Well I can answer for myself and say..I without thinking ran to my credit cards before praying for the Lord to intervene or provide without going into debt and using other resources. When my son gets sick I run to the doctor sometimes while praying other times without praying about it until afterwards. What aspects of our life in this western world do we see the Lord moving mightily and the result only able to be attributed to the work of God. My next book read is going to be on the life of George Mueller. I have heard rave reviews of this man and his faith, prayer life, and testimony.
I have read so many “Biblical” books about the Apostles and the works they did and for the life of me cannot be satisfied by this answer—-The miracles and work that the apostles did was only to authenticate the Gospel. HOGWASH!!! Exegetically being faithful to the texts we cannot make that answer walk on all four’s. It just does not hold water. I have stood by that answer for a long time now and it just is an excuse for us to explain away, possibly our lack of faith. I have even stood by Macarthur’s explanation (1 Cor 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.) about gifts but how we exclude certain gifts and then keep others?
Here is the question I leave you. How do we know when to exercise faith and believe God versus handling it ourselves? Is their a relationship of Faith and Works modeled by Abraham in laying with his wife after receiving the promise of a child? Are we to view our Faith as Synergistic or Monergistic? These are questions I ponder a lot in seeking the Lord about many things like salvation of loved ones, getting out of debt to be freed up for missions and ministry, and the lists goes on. Throughout the entire New Testament we are constantly reminded of the faith of others and how the Lord uses faith in the life of His people. Again…
How do we know when to exercise faith and believe God versus handling it ourselves?