Daily Archives: June 19, 2013

The Edge of Faith

         I remember when I was a kid there was a soap opera on television called The Edge of Night. I had no idea what the words meant or whether they were supposed to mean something. I never watched it, and thus have no memory of the content, but I do remember the stark black and white graphics of a downtown cityscape on the opening title card.

         In retrospect, someone had come up with a great name, full of meaning and pathos, and the hard reminder that life often boils down to a very rough edge. Kind of like a concrete jungle. And you better get yours or life will get real bad real quick. And along the way we’ll engage in sin to help us make it through the dark nights of our respective, though not respectful, souls…

         It’s kind of like this with faith.

         Now, hear me out, says the man who’s going to drop a nonsensical bombshell or an invitation to a multi-level marketing meeting…

         Faith actually does contain a very rough edge. Its edge can also be very fine, like a tightrope, and require a spiritual balancing act. The Lord Jesus kept referring to faith as a commodity one could possess. But He also said faith is no good unless it is invoked and used. He also seemed to say that many people are afraid to use it.

         Why is this?

         I think it’s because it’s an all or nothing proposition. Faith doesn’t work unless the 100% rule is invoked. One has to risk everything. If one tries to do the sensible thing and hold something back in case one’s faith doesn’t work it won’t work. And there is no tangible guarantee that it will work. In this regard it is not rational, like so many other spiritual things.

         Faith is an all your eggs in one basket deal.

         Faith demands 100% commitment.

         This is why faith doesn’t work for a lot of people. They hold back. They want to be assured of success before they act. They might have stepped out in faith before and things didn’t work out. But the Lord said we must keep trying.

         His Word also says a very scary thing for new Christians battling with faith:

         And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. [Hebrews 11:6]

         In other words, if a person has doubts regarding the goodness of God, one will never please God. One might still try to approach God and make entreaties, but unless pure faith in God is involved such a person will only be whining. And God does not care for whining.

         The woman who had long been sick with an issue of blood and had spent all her cash on doctors without any relief reached a point of total desperation and decided to lay everything on the line.

         First, she purposed in her heart that if she only touched the edge of His garment she would be healed. Then she had to fight her way through a crowd to get close to the Master. Then she had to violate a powerful taboo about women steering clear of teaching rabbis and actually approach the Master and (gasp!) touch His garment! This took some powerful boldness!

         And when she touched the Master’s garment she was instantly healed! And the Master had done nothing. But He made a very curious statement:

         “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.” But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.” [Luke 8:45-46]

         We know by this that the power of God for whatever we may need is always available and is activated and released by our faith. We don’t really have to ask. This woman didn’t ask. She did everything correctly, though. She honored and respected the Master. She was greatly thankful. And she is an awesome example. She showed us how it’s done!  

         Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. [Hebrews 4:16] [1]

         The KJV says, Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace…

         One must be bold when one approaches the Lord. One must also be supremely respectful. These two don’t seem to go together. One would think a person should almost grovel before God as a sign of deference and honor. But such groveling, though one’s heart may be right, is not conducive to showing strong faith.

         Sons of God do not have to grovel before their Father!

         Remember, one must please God by knowing God is good, righteous, tender, merciful, loving, kind, warm, understanding, benevolent, holy, strong, and has a smile and a twinkle in His eye for His children. And one must know He loves us regardless of what someone or everyone else thinks of us or what we may think of ourselves. And we must believe this and act on it in pure faith with no holding back.

         We have gone before other people in authority thinking we would be treated well and we were often treated bad. But God is not like this. He loves us.

         So let’s believe the truth that God IS, that He is GOOD, that He is a REWARDER of those who SEEK Him, and come before Him in FULL CONFIDENCE, that we may RECEIVE the mercy and grace and help we need.

         Go ahead. Make His day!

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.