You will often hear the term “The Christian Faith”. Have you ever thought about what the Christian Faith actually is? I feel that the term “faith” is used so much that people readily interpret it as referring to a belief structure. For example, someone may say that the Christian Faith is about believing that God loves us and sent Jesus the Son of God to die for our sins. There is nothing overly wrong with this statement, but I feel that it is not the central point of faith.

Faith is not passive – it is very much active. We have faith because God loves us and because Jesus died for our sins. But believing this is not actually faith in itself – faith is a response to this truth. Faith is living a life that really trusts that God loves us and He is with us wherever we go and whatever we do. To be truly living “The Christian Faith”, we need to live in a way, recognising that God loves us and is with us all the time, otherwise we are living in our own strength, which is devoid of faith.

For example, faith is:

  • Trusting that God will put food on your table each day
  • Trusting that God will maintain your health
  • Trusting that God will provide adequate finances
  • Trusting that God will move you into the right career
  • Trusting that God will place you where you need to be to share His love with someone in need

These are only examples and you may not always get these as you might want them, but the overriding faith is that God is in control and ultimately has at heart, the best interests of us and those around us.

In the Western World we have everything we could possibly need and most of us have everything that we want (within reason). My family asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I couldn’t think of much at all. There is certainly nothing that I need and I already have most of what I want. For us, this is both a blessing and a curse. But what if you ask a homeless person what they would like for Christmas… I bet you could find a lot of needs, let alone wants.

God has been speaking to me over the past few months and I feel that my message for 2009 is going to be focused around the concept of “Faith and Sacrifice”. Faith cannot be fully realised unless it is accompanied by Sacrifice. Unless we really offer up our lives to God in sacrifice, then our faith is meaningless and non-existent by the very definition of “faith”. There are many things that we can sacrifice: time, talent, finances, property, meals etc. From observation and experience, I can say that sacrifice is the short-cut route to seeing God work in your life; simply because He can’t do anything for you if you already have everything you want or need. I’m quite sure this is the reason why miracles are not as prolific in the Western World as they are in other parts. Jesus generally performed miracles to meet real needs that he observed.

I hope to write many more entries on the idea of Faith and Sacrifice. I’ll mention some of the sacrifices made by people recorded in the Bible, find stories of modern people of faith, and bring some of my own experiences. So, I encourage you to think and pray about what things God is calling you to sacrifice; and not just sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice.

I’ll finish this introductory post with a prayer I heard a few years ago, which I start every day with:

Dear Heavenly Father,
I want you to fully and completely
direct my life from now on. Because
of your love for me, I am willing go
where you want me to go and be
whatever you want me to be.