Following Jesus is a matter of faith

Sometimes I think Christians get hung up about Christianity and lose track as to what or more specifically the whom it is about.

Christianity isn’t what saves you,
reading the Bible doesn’t save you,
Praying on a regular basis doesn’t save you.

Only Jesus can.

It’s not a supposed to be a religion based upon orthodox (right way) or orthopraxis (right practice), but about letting go of closed fist beliefs and allowing God to work in one’s life to transforming them into open handed faith.

Recently I heard Rob Bell speaking live via video at The Viper Room in Los Angeles. It was a very good talk, and in a way it was a LAN Party for the emergent church, but one thing out of the many things he said stuck out to me “You can’t put anything in a closed fist”.
Too often I thinkΒ  that’s the case, that we come before God with closed eyes and clenched fists, a posture that seems like we’re unwilling for God to enter in and to change us, a posture that is unmoving and unchanging, caught up in the dogma we’ve imposed upon ourselves and to some extent what we’ve imposed upon others.

As I examine my life and what I have faith in, it is far less and more freeing than when I was operating out of a system of closed fist beliefs. Instead of making this post one of a “what I don’t believe” nature, I rather say that I have faith in what God is doing, the good others are doing in his name, and that somehow someway this is ushering in the kingdom of God the “on earth as it is in heaven” part of the Lord’s Prayer.
There is a freeing nature to faith, it’s not lackadaisical or laze-fare, it’s holding onto something I can grasp, it’s looking with eyes on the kingdom of God and looking at humanity, all of humanity with eyes of love – God’s love. I am a part of the kingdom work that ushers in perfect shalom and as long as I have breath in my lungs I hope to continue on with the various tasks set before me starting with what’s in front of me in the now.

It can be difficult to make the jump from belief to faith, but it is by all means necessary, to lay one’s life prostrate before God in surrender of what we make of him and simply let God be God. I’m not out of the woodwork yet, I still have self-imposed ideas of who I think God is and who God isn’t, but he’s working on my heart, he’s working on my beliefs and is extending his hand saying “follow me”.

“Follow me” is a lifelong challenge, because it doesn’t always come with a map, there sometimes is no itinerary, it’s all a matter of…you guessed it…faith. Sometimes I feel like God is absent or even not there, it’s something I’ve been wrestling with, but I realize that in faith sometimes it’s a matter of keep on walking despite the foggy and murky path that’s in front of me, sometimes I don’t see the light, but I keep going because he helps me to keep going.

Take God by faith, keep walking even if you don’t see, keep walking by faith and not by sight.

Learn to open your hands in faith, unclench your beliefs and allow God to come in and transform your life by faith with open hands.

~Nathanael~

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