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.

Posted on June 19, 2013, in Real Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. For many of us, our stabs at great faith are like that of Peter who tried to walk on water (Matt.14:22-33) or that of the disciples who failed to heal the demon-possessed boy (Matt. 17:14-20). May we have the faith of the woman with the issue of blood or that of the Roman Centurion (Matt. 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-9) who both amazed Jesus with their 100% faith.

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    • Amen, Derrick! That’s why we must continue in learning to walk in ever-greater faith. Peter, of course, DID walk on water, and the apostles who had failed later succeeded in driving out demons and doing so many other things as they matured. And the woman who was sick finally succeeded by going at last to the One with the power. Thanks for the comment, and be blessed.

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  2. Thanks, Bob. God honors our faith with His presence in our lives. I am reminded of the great old hymn: “Oh for a Faith That Will Not Shrink.”

    http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/o/f/o4afaith.htm

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  3. Jacquie A. Bradford

    This article speaks to my current situation as I am moving into a new phase of ministry which is requiring faith like nothing else in the recent past. I am excited and released in this because the outcome is about Him, and the preparation for this work is on me. Faith is curious in that when it is required I may go weak in the knees, but I usually remember or am reminded of how the Lord has never failed me. Faith is the dance of a lifetime! Thank you for the encouraging words.

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    • Thanks for the comment, Jacquie, and for signing up. I visited your site and recommend it to all who read here: http://restorationranch.wordpress.com/

      It is often difficult to understand why faith must exist as it does, why God created it, and why we must possess and utilize it for His purposes. But we know it works. We also know it has less impact in one’s life if one does not have a close relationship with the Lord. Thus, the Lord blesses us with opportunities to grow closer to Him by calling us into work that demands faith and His direct participation. Blessings to you as you move into the new frontier.

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  4. I needed this today, right now. In about 1/2 hour we will be having a prayer gathering at our home regarding the launching of a house church. The enemy has been targeting several of us. It was good to be reminded that our God is good and we are his “sons” and need to have that respectful confidence as we approach Him tonight. Thanks RJ. Blessings. Marcy

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    • Wow. The Lord is GOOD, Marcy. I hope the gathering went very well. I’m much more of a house church guy, so I greatly appreciate what you guys are doing. I have a good friend who shepherd’s what is now a spiritual community without a traditional building. They transitioned from that model several years ago and now meet in homes. It has been very successful. I’m sure your launch will be as well.

      The house church movement is here to stay and will eventually (soon) have more members than traditional churches.

      And we don’t care what the devil don’t allow, we’re gonna have house church anyhow…

      Be blessed!

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      • Yes, “House Churches.” Let’s definitely pray for that!
        I wonder what the Religious leaders of this day would say
        If everyone started meeting in each other’s homes and helping
        each other on those manageable levels?…It would be the end of
        Organized Religion as we know it!

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        • Thank you very much for the comment! Since the house church movement in America began making great strides two to three decades ago, it is not only here to stay but exists by the Lord’s predetermined plan for the future.

          And in fact, according to Barna Research, there will be more believers attending house churches in the not too distant future than those attending traditional “churches!”

          But Organized Religion will never cease until the end. And Christians who refuse to move with the cloud will grow ever more galvanized against real Christians following and obeying the Lord. Those who have moved on know this.

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  5. Planting Potatoes

    such good words…..I am blessed to have found your blog….I know God has led me to it!

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  6. Awesome article. With all the talk about faith however, the article
    seems to hold this virtue as something that’s almost unattainable,
    but the Bible reminds us that all we need is a “mustard seed” of faith
    and (this is where our heavenly Father meets us half way). If we really
    want to know God, He gives us an ample amount of faith to persue Him. 🙂

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    • Thanks again, and right you are. Regarding faith being “almost unattainable,” it appears that way for a reason. It is why the Lord has to test our faith so He can grow our faith. Before one’s new birth, the faith the Lord speaks of is pretty much a non-existent commodity, and is due to our sin and distance from God. But faith is so powerful that even a small amount allows for great things and otherwise impossible deeds.

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