Sunday, September 23, 2007

Testing of Faith

"Faith must be tested, because it can be turned into a personal possession only through conflict." My Utmost for His Highest (Oswald Chambers)

Philippians 2:14 Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation.

How strange to think that something stained, tainted and imperfect could achieve purity and perfection. We start with the pure; we don't become pure. If I add salt to water, can I then remove it? If I contaminate my air with a pollutant, can I ever restore it to purity?

God's ways are so much different than our ways. In my examples I started with the pure and added a contaminant. God starts with man who is sinful from birth. His nature is to be sinful, selfish, rebellious and God changes our nature so we can become pure.

The conflict is ever present in this verse. Christ's followers shine like stars. We are to stand pure and blameless in contrast to this crooked and depraved generation. We must stand firm, hold our ground but do not give way to methods the world uses like arguing and complaining. By doing that, we appeal to the nature of the depraved; expecting to change their ways through reason. The ways of the depraved are not changed through reason and we must not fight the battle on their turf with their weapons. The weapons available to the Christian are far superior to anything the world has at their disposal.

If we are to become pure and blameless, we must look to our Father and hold his hand tightly. Study to learn his ways that we might look less like the world and more like him. To grow into his pure and holy character, we must know more of him. Appropriate more of his qualities of faith. Let our faith be tried and tested.

This world is our testing ground. The more we endure trials of faith successfully the more we become like our Lord. What a mighty God we serve!

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