As we were driving to National Convention a few days ago, Lauren was next to me in the back of a 15 passenger van brainstorming ideas around the themes of NC this year. She was typing up a description of one of the days, of which the theme is "tangible faith." I kept being critical and saying I didn't feel like the description was "tangible" enough, so finally Nate - sitting up a few rows - told me that I had to sit and free-write on the topic for five minutes. And this is the outcome:
Faith is believing what God says about Himself and about us. When we truly believe that, we are liberated by His love for us and re-identified as a true son of the Father. We are secure and unable to be snatched out of His hand. This Spirit-inspired, peace-producing faith changes us from the inside out. Our old man has died, and our natural desires are now, at the deepest level, to be who we were made to be and have – in Christ - become.
Faith opens our eyes. Suddenly we see the world around us for what it is: people in darkness waiting for light. We are the light-bearers, we are the little Christ’s. As redeemed and pure saints, we bring Jesus to others simply by letting Him live through us. We give Him control and let Him make the calls. We let our now first-nature direct us into living how Jesus would live through us. These open eyes see a sibling who needs a shoulder to cry on, and our shoulder is the one to come. These eyes see a family needing groceries, and our hands are the ones to eagerly respond. These eyes see indifferent, apathetic coworkers, and our mouths are the ones to begin a friendship that brings meaning to their lives.
Tangible faith isn’t a go-go-go or do-for-God kind of faith. It’s looking up to God and asking, “Where do we go today? Who do we love today? How do we do this together?” It’s tangible because that’s the only way it can be. Faith without works is no faith at all. We can’t just try harder and harder to be who we think we should be. Rather we must realize that we are being actively and effectively loved by an all-approving Father. And with that knowledge, we are free to actively and effectively imitate that love for others.