Where Does "Faith Start"?

I have been challenged to think and reconsider how I view different situations. I do realize that I don’t have all the answers and I’m totally open to hear others opinions and even change my own ways of thinking if I’m wrong. Something that has especially struck me was a difference in how myself and someone I care deeply about approached difficult situations – specifically at what “point” did we throw up our hands (metaphorically) and “give it away to God” in faith. That may have been my way of wording it – or a mutual agreement. Regardless, that was the question that has been challenging me.

In the interest of full disclosure, my pastor made a great point when we talked about these situations. I can’t remember his exact wording, so I’m going to jump on the thought and run/ramble with it. But he was the one that triggered my change in thinking! Credit where credit is due, right?

Perhaps it’s the wording that is all wrong. “Do what you can do and then give it away to God. Let faith take over.” That’s essentially saying that I’m going to try as much as I can on my own and THEN, when I’ve exhausted all options, put it in God’s hands – in faith. But that’s not at all what I’m actually doing! I can imagine God saying, “Gee, thanks for finally putting me in the game and giving me a chance to play!” And then He hits a grand slam and, as He’s running to first base, He points to me in the dugout and mouths, “Told ya, bro.”

I am a very methodical person. I was raised to think logically and critically. When I have someone who will listen (and who I trust and sincerely value), I will outwardly explain my thinking – both to hear myself think and also to bounce the idea off of the listener – to get their opinion. I have come to better understand that others process things inwardly – by not necessarily vocalizing everything they are thinking – and may, in fact, take offense at my assumption that they haven’t thought things through. Externally I only see a decision – without their thought process behind it. It becomes even more difficult if it’s a decision that I don’t necessarily agree with. Without any context it just appears as an escape from dealing with the situation. Ultimately, this boils down to communication. It’s a lack of understanding each other’s ways of thinking. So, at it’s core, it’s not so much a “faith” issue as it is a personality trait. As Christians, we both have faith – it’s how we verbalize our thoughts and how we show our faith. In time, and with more open communication, I believe this can be overcome through truly making an attempt to understand their mind and heart.

So to answer my original question: where do I end and where does faith start? A life of faith starts the moment you admit you’re a broken sinner and are incapable of rectifying that fact on your own. It starts the moment you accept Jesus Christ into your heart – when you let Him guide your steps. From that point on, every decision “you” make is actually made with the God given abilities (Romans 12:3 & on; discernment, see 1 Corinthians 12:10) you possess – critical thinking, logic, reason! Decisions are made through life lessons – a life rooted in His way – His arms – His truth. It’s not me THEN God. It’s me AND GOD – with Him directing my steps that I’m following in faith.

My prayer is that I would exhibit faith, rely on God daily, remember what he has taught me (and apply it), praise Him always, and accept that I will not understand everything. Sanctus Real said it beautifully in explaining the meaning behind their song These Things Take Time “…This begs another question: Is having answers the only thing? Is knowledge the ultimate experience God wants us to accomplish? How often do we miss the glorious event because we’re fixated on aligning the details? This song is a reminder that God is found often in the journey itself as much as in the understanding of it.”

“On the way to Heaven, the truth unwinds. These things take time.” -Sanctus Real

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9, KJV

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

-JPalm
Ephesians 2:8
When I could only see the floor,
You made my window a door,
So when they say they don’t believe,
I hope that they see You in me