"According to your faith you will receive." --Jesus
My wife and I had a rather animated discussion about tomato plants one day. We were attempting to follow the "square foot garden" method of growing vegetables. The author suggests some things that are outside our experience (by the way, my gardening expertise would fit into the little finger of my wife's) and she was, what is the right word here, hmmmm, "hostile" (that works) to a particular idea. My response: "we're all in on this method and some things I can read in the book but I need to see the meaning of it in my experience. The only way to do that is try it!"
Jesus' challenge to everyone who would know what faith is is to go "all in" with him.
George MacDonald sheds light on the kind of faith Jesus is looking for and developing in his followers:
"To the man who gives himself to the living Lord, every belief will necessarily come right; the Lord himself will see that his followers believe the right things concerning him. If a man cannot trust him for this, what claim can he make to faith in him?
'What is faith in him?' I answer,
- The leaving of your way,
- your objects,
- your self, and
- the taking of His and Him;
- the leaving of your trust
- in men,
- in money,
- in opinion,
- in character,
- in some definition of atonement,
and doing as He tells you!
Is not faith the highest act of which the human mind is capable? But faith in what? Faith in what He is, in what He says—a faith which can have no existence except in obedience—a faith which is obedience. I can find no words strong enough to serve for the weight of this necessity—this obedience."
"Obedience is not perfection, but trying. You count him a hard master, and will not stir. Do you suppose he ever gave a commandment knowing it was of no use for it could not be done? He tells us a thing knowing that we must do it, or be lost; that not his Father himself could save us but by getting us at length to do everything he commands, for not otherwise can we know life, can we learn the holy secret of divine being.
He knows that you can try, and that in your trying and failing he will be able to help you, until at length you shall do the will of God even as he does it himself. He takes the will in the imperfect deed, and makes the deed at last perfect.
Correctest notions without obedience are worthless. The doing of the will of God is the way to oneness with God, which alone is salvation.
--George MacDonald, The Truth In Jesus
Still trying...still learning...still growing!