1 Mar 1999


Submitted by theshovel
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As we are trying to define faith are we focusing on the focus? Ask a scientist to describe “sight” and he might show you a dissected eye and explain how it works. YOU would probably show me a beautiful sunset or a rainbow or a library full of books to read something that is SEEN by the eyes. I doubt you would show me a picture of an eye. Somehow, when it comes to “faith” we turn into scientists and start dissecting. It’s a good way to take the life out. Trying to define faith by a synonym doesn’t work, either, because a word that means the same thing only tells you the same thing! Here’s our logic: faith = dependence; choosing to depend = “exercising” faith. It is circular reasoning and revolves around ITSELF. Adding a phrase like “in Christ” cannot salvage this flawed concept; for it turns the focus on the “dependence” and NOT on Christ. This is why we ask: how much? how long? how sincere? how dedicated? how accurate? etc. But faith is understood by what it is dependent UPON. Consider a tree by a river (a very scriptural picture, by the way). Its roots have grown deep into the fertile ground it is dependent upon the soil. It is the difference between a choice and a factual relationship. The tree lives in this dependence. We, too, have been brought into a dependent relationship, for we have been put into Christ. The mistake is TRYING to live, instead of just LIVING; TRYING to depend, instead of being aware that we’ve been made dependent. In doing so, we reinforce the false concept that WE created the dependence. Believing this makes us trip all over ourselves in an attempt to be humble. Talk about diffusing the sense of the miraculous!! BOTTOM LINE: If you are one who believes in Christ, then you have been made alive in Him AND YOU ARE DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR YOUR VERY LIFE. It makes no difference if you feel it or even understand it. The good news of Jesus Christ declares this reality to you for the purpose of bringing confidence to you so that you can live in the awareness of what is already true about you. Trying to be what you already are will only bring confusion. For we walk by faith, and not by sight.
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It is even more then being dependent on Christ for life.
In truth He becomes and is are life.
He is the way the truth and the life there is no life outside of Christ.
By faith we enter this relationship and walk in it moment by moment.
Always knowing that everthing around us that would tell us these things are not true come for the words sake and by us standing when all else tells us we should fall we grow in Christ and He in us.
We run the race that is set before us never stoping never giving up and we will come to see that through Christ all has been done. We continue to stand when all the world is falling around us because He is able to make us stand His victory is are victory.
We serve a mighty God who is able to do all that He says He will do through His son.
By faith we all abide in the one Son. All that God has done and will ever do is for and through His son and by faith all we do is believe and act like that is us and we will find out that it is true and these things are for now.
We do all things with the mind set that the word of God will be at home in this temple.
We walk by faith that the Father and His word are at home in this temple that is how we are saved the cross was the way for God to enter this temple and live in us and we just agree with all that he has to say and every thing is just hunkie dory.
I believe this is the greatest game there is and better then any thing man has ever thought up.
It is a shame so few play. They are waiting for something that God has already done all we have to do is start acting like it in spite of what every thing else says.
It is when we believe what the Spirit of God says more then the next breath we will take then things began to get interesting.
Oh well enough for now.

theshovel's picture

You wrote:
"In truth He becomes and is are life. He is the way the truth and the life there is no life outside of Christ."

Yes indeed! :) This is the very basis of everything that we are. For we are connected to God through Christ. He being the vine, we the branches. Our dependence is a matter of reality, rather than an option. :)

Thanks for this, Dave!


theshovel's picture

These comments were all transferred over from the original website

Posted: Jul-26-07 at 5:49pm by luvin
thank you brother

Posted: Jul-26-07 at 9:04pm by Nannette
Thanks for the reminder. It's amazing that I still, after all these years need a reminder to take the edge off. Tell Sherri I said hey.

Posted: Jul-27-07 at 11:12am by Tim
Thanks for another spoonful, Jim.

Posted: Jul-27-07 at 4:20pm by John
Jim, I remember when I read this a few years ago and it is funny how I thought I understood a lot of it then. Now, it seems like I have grown a lot more in my awareness of what it means. I imagine in a few years,
if you send it out again, I will marvel again at what is didn't see in it now. Very interesting . . .

Thank you Jim!

Posted: Jul-27-07 at 4:21pm by Sprint

Good article Jim,
Our faith is not what we work up, but what we believe in (Jesus) and understanding the kind of person/being that he is.

Posted: Nov-08-07 at 1:06pm by Sylvia Andrews

Jim - you have stated the truth in such simple words!! Thank you!!
I'm thinking that as I "get over myself," I get to know Jesus better. And he helps me see what is REAL, which exponentially boosts my faith - IN HIM. Ex: I treat myself every couple of weeks to getting my nails done. The clinic I go to is staffed by young Vietnamese women, who all speak a little English. Recently I got a young technician who is always quiet and withdrawn and actually doesn't do the best job! But she was where I landed, so ... When she was almost finished with my nails, she suddenly started trying to talk to me in English. Her accent is so strong that I couldn't make out very many words, but did pick out "went to doctor" and she seemed distressed. After asking her to repeat a couple times and still not understanding, I just gave up and let her talk. I honestly don't remember what I said to her - not much at all - and I couldn't help but think that I was a terrible failure when she was needing a friend, someone to talk to. Anyway, the next time I saw her, her face was glowing, she was friendly and communicating - and Jesus said something to me: "She wasn't talking to you, she was talking to me ..." I was there that day so she could talk to Jesus about her problems. He obviously knew exactly what she said and more importantly, exactly what was in her heart. I just needed to be quiet and let her talk to him.
Isn't this what faith is? Believing that God is who he says he is, that I am in him and he in me - and that I just need to get over myself and let him be himself in me. It's never about me - it's always about him. Isn't he awesome!! Sylvia (the Charlotte connection)

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Random Shovelquote: Life-giving Spirit (view all shovelquotes)

The Spirit is ACTIVE. We were saved FROM a life of TRYING to gain the sense of doing something important, and INTO a life where the LIFE-GIVING Spirit is the empowerment of our lives.   source