Faith that Can't Be Shaken
I used to think that putting your faith in Jesus was like selecting a parachute when you’re about to be forced to jump out of an airplane.
You’d want to examine the different parachutes as best you could to see which of them looked the most promising, keeping an eye out for any obvious weaknesses or flaws. And then, you’d just choose one. You’d have to.
And as you jumped out, you’d be putting your faith in that parachute to save your life. You wouldn’t know with 100% certainty that it would save your life, but you’d be trusting it nevertheless.
That’s the way I used to think of faith.
But I think the picture of faith we get in John 9 is a whole lot more accurate. True faith isn’t doing the best we can intellectually to choose the option that will give us the greatest likelihood of success. It’s about God opening my eyes. It’s hearing the gospel and having our eyes supernaturally opened to see the gospel’s truth. It’s being granted spiritual sight from a source completely outside of ourselves.
That’s the kind of faith that will drive you to the radical passion and commitment Jesus says a true disciple should have.
When you’ve been granted spiritual sight in a way that transcends the intellect, no one can convince you otherwise. In fact, you’ll be willing even to risk your life for the sake of Jesus.
I think of Richard Wurmbrand, a pastor from the former Soviet Union, who was tortured by the Soviets for being a Christian. In his book Tortured for Christ, he describes the grueling tortures he endured over a period of fourteen years as he sat in prison.
The government finally allowed Christians from the West to ransom him for a price of $10,000 and bring him to America, where he was able to testify before Congress about what was going on behind the Iron Curtain. But for fourteen years, this man endured unspeakable things in a Communist prison.
And here’s why he could endure those horrific things without abandoning the gospel: His faith was more than just an intellectual decision to tentatively embrace the best of several options. God had opened his eyes to the truth, and he absolutely refused deny it.
Even though we may never find ourselves in a communist prison cell being tortured like Richard Wurmbrand, that’s the kind of faith we need as well—a faith that consists of God supernaturally opening our eyes to the truth.
That’s what will motivate us to give up sin in our life, that’s what will motivate us to be devoted to Jesus without reservation, and that’s what will motivate us to sacrifice for Jesus in whatever ways he calls us to sacrifice.
It all begins with God giving us eyes to see.