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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Blind Faith

The term “blind faith” comes up a lot when it comes to Christianity.  We often use it to explain to non-believers how we can follow a deity that cannot be seen or heard.  We frequently use this terminology with pride.  This is how much I love God.  I believe in Him blindly.  What we fail to realize is that our faith is not supposed to be blind.

Contrary to what many…think, the Bible does not teach blind faith.  In fact, the Bible actually tells believers to test everything (1 Thessalonians 5:21).  No other “holy” book tells its readers to actually put what it says to the test – Rich Deem.

Believing in God is not like a five-year-old believing in Santa, not unless that five-year-old goes on a hunt to prove Santa’s existence.  As we age, as true knowledge sinks in, such childish beliefs dissipate.  If we follow God blindly our whole lives, that’s exactly what happens to our faith—it slowly fades away.

For nearly all of my life, I followed blindly.  I believed God existed.  I believed Jesus existed.  I believed Christ died for me and rose again.  I believed because that’s what I was told my whole life.  I had been in church as long as I had been alive.  My parents told me these things.  My Sunday school teachers told me these things.  My pastor told me these things.  So I believed them.

The problem with this form of belief is that my eyes were closed.  I was blind to Christ.  Consequently, I did not know Him.  Jud Wilhite says, “God doesn’t want us to go through religious acts of devotion.  It’s more than just being good, church-going people.  It’s about knowing and loving and serving Him.”

The song Amazing Grace famously gives us the line, “…was blind, but now I see.”  Of all the healing Jesus does, notice how often we’re told of Him healing the blind.  This is not just a physical healing, it’s a spiritual one.  We are meant to see.  We are meant to see Him.

When my eyes were opened a couple of years ago, I began searching for God.  Hunting for knowledge.  If I had a question, I sought answers.  If I had doubts, I pursued proof.  I prayed.  I read the Bible.  I spoke with strong, intelligent Christians whom I respected.  I bought and read highly touted books by reputable Christian writers.  I read blogs by renown pastors.  I watched hundreds of online sermons.  One of the coolest things for me was earlier this year when I set about the task of proving that Jesus Christ walked the earth using non-Christian sources.  Just like Luke wrote (1:3-4), I investigated for knowledge.  I investigated for truth.

What I found, was Truth.

At school a couple of weeks ago, I put a sign on my board that said, “Do Not Look” (I was conducting an experiment for something totally different).  Underneath the sign, I wrote the word boo.  During the class discussion, I told them what was under the sign.  Did that satisfy them?  Of course not!!  They couldn’t let it go until they had proof.  Until they had investigated for themselves.

That is exactly what God wants us to do.  Investigate.  Seek answers.  Search for proof.  Why is He so willing to let us put forth this challenge?  Because He knows where all searches will end.  Barnes & Noble bookshelves are lined with books written by people who went searching to disprove God…only to find Him.  Searching to disprove the resurrection…only to find Proof.  Searching for some cosmic answer to the whys and hows of the universe…only to find The Answer. 

God. 

Deuteronomy 4:29 = But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Lamentations 3:25 = The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
1 Chronicles 16:11 = Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
Proverbs 8:17 = I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
Psalm 119:2 = Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 = You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Matthew 7:7-8 = “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Hebrews 11:6 = And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.


Countless other verses could be included here, but the message is clear: If you seek answers, you will find God.  This cannot be a passive pursuit, however.  It requires persistent action.  That is my challenge to you today.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”  Stop behaving like a child and believing in some gift-giving entity simply because you are told he exists and start searching for proof.  Stop quoting memorized scripture to all of life’s issues and start investigating what those verses, chapters, and books are completely saying.  Stop blindly following and start actively seeking.

 

When I’m searching, here are the sites I usually hit first:
Francis Chan’s old church (still has plenty of his past sermons there…plus, the guys who run it now are pretty solid too)
Perry Noble’s blog (you can find many of his sermons here as well)

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