2000-03-31 - Is Your Christianity Too Practical?
The Bible is full of practical wisdom, and we need to apply it to every area of our lives, every day. The Proverbs are an excellent example; they are chock-full of pithy sayings. But in another sense, being practical can be a faithless way to live. If we are basing our Christian walk only on things of which we can be certain, or that we can see, that is not truly faith. Faith is based on what we cannot see:
Heb. 11:1 (NASB) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
I myself have been guilty sometimes of not being willing to step out in faith. Jan is a very logical, concrete and practical person. I want to be guaranteed of results. I want to know that my little world won't be rocked too much. How about you? Do you want to only work in ministries in which you are settled and comfortable? Do you want to avoid people who are "different," or give only up to a certain amount of money?
Or are you willing to step out and trust God to provide? Christianity should be a continuing adventure for us, frequently furnishing new joys as well as proofs of God's existence, love and care. Even though God is Omnipotent, in one way He allows us to "limit" His work in and through us. He does not often force Himself into our lives. He wants us to willingly follow Him, even when we can't see what is ahead, even when we are scared. Can't you just hear Abraham sounding like us? "But God...I don't know these people. They dress funny. I can't go there. What if they don't have Cable TV or Pizza Huts?" Or can you hear the widow clinging to her "mite?" "God, you can't really expect me to give any money. I barely have enough to make ends meet as it is! Besides, my relatives and friends will think I'm crazy if I give that much! Surely You don't really expect that!"
On the other hand, we need to retain our balance. If we are considering something really unusual, we do need to pray hard for discernment and seek the counsel of Christian friends. I hope you will join me in trying to be less practical in your Christian walk.