2003-02-24 - To Believe God
James 1:17 Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.
I have been reading a book by Robert Tichtourne titled "The Rest of Faith."
It is an old book so you will not find it in your local bookstore. He has
three main points in his book and I think they are interesting both for what
they say, and for the order in which he puts them. He focuses on what it
means to believe in God to us personally and how it establishes us in our
lives. He says this is done in three ways:
I know from reading your emails and through life experience that to trust and believe in God is not easy for any of us. So Tichtourne gets it right here as he starts. We first must start out by trusting God in what He says about Himself in His Word. It is the starting point. The Lord is either our Rock and Foundation, or we are seeking those things in other places. We must believe God in what He says about Himself and even more importantly in what we know Him to be in Himself. We learn about the Lord in many ways. We learn through the Spirit, through the preaching of His Word, through fellowship, but mainly we learn about the Lord through His Word. We must be students of His Word. It is there where we learn about God, who He is, and how He applies to our lives.
God is also seen in His works. Psalm 66:3 tells us that we are to say to God, "How awesome are Your works." Part of faith is to rest in the works of God in our lives and in those around us. Sometimes we fail to recognize God's work in our lives, but it is always present. His preservation and care for us is ever present and yet it is common for us to take it for granted and to assume that God should offer His care and preservation as if it were to be expected. In some sense this is true. It is like a painter who puts his soul onto the canvass he is painting. Yet, just as the painter exists independent of the painting, so God, in His works, exists far apart from His creation.
We are to believe God in His Word. The Bible is, as it were, a compass to us. It is our direction pointer. It keeps us from running aground on the rocks. The Word of God leads us to safe haven in our lives. There is an interesting story regarding Dr. Charles Elliott, who, when he was 77 years old, and a month before his death, read the Old Testament through in three weeks. His daughter asked him what he was reading and he replied that he was reading, "News." In many respects we ought to have that kind of freshness in our view of God's Word. It is news. It is as fresh as the daily local news.
Where we learn about God and His wisdom, works, and who He is in Himself both in relation to Himself and to us is in His Holy Word. We must be students of His Word in this life. These devotionals are no substitute for study of the Bible. We must be students of God's word first and above all else. It is easy to forget this and Tichtourne got it right. I found it a helpful reminder.
Soli Deo Gloria,