One morning we planned to bring the kids to the park to play. Since the weather was forecast to be 29 and sunny, we thought we would go early so we could return before it got too hot. After breakfast, Joey, my son, out of the blue asked us for permission to play Wii Rabbid.
Of course, as a loving father, I said “No” because I had a better plan for him. I told him that he could play Wii after we got home from the park. He refused to obey and he was adamant that he wanted to play at that very moment.
Now, do you know why he refused to obey? His really wanting to play is one thing. But if you dig deeper, the real reason he disobeyed is that he thought he had better plan than I did. He did not believe that I knew how to or wanted to make him happy. He thought if he wanted to be happy, he had to take matters into his own hand. He had to do it his way or he had to do it in his timing. You see, the root of the problem is really the problem of trust.
We all know Adam and Eve ate the fruit that they were not supposed to eat. But do you know why they ate it? It is not because they lack self-will. Rather, the root of the problem is the problem of trust, of faith.
Do you think the serpent made Eve sin? No. The serpent’s temptation only highlighted what’s already in her heart. She did not believe that God knew how to make her happy. Or at least, if God knew, she did not believe that God wanted her to be happy. She thought God was hiding something within that fruit. In the end of the days, she thought God could not be trusted for her happiness, for her future, and for her well-being. By the way, the same goes for Adam too.
In the past few posts, we have learned that “Faith” is a conviction that God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do; therefore, as a result, we will do what He says we should do. But it does not stop there.
The result of faith is also that we do not do what He says we must not do. Not only we do what He says we should do, but we also do not sin and disobey Him.
Now, you might ask the question… “What has sin got to do with Faith?”
It’s everything. Friends, just like faith leads to obedience, sin is always a result of unbelief in a particular aspect or character of God.
Remember the story of Abraham. Before Abraham had Isaac, God has promised that Abraham will have a son with Sarah. But his lack of faith in God has driven both of them to plot another way to have a son. Sarah asked Abraham to lay with Haggar, thinking that they would have a son quicker. But that’s clearly against God’s will, and that’s not faith.
Their sin is not because they don’t have enough strong will to obey. But rather, it is because of their lack of faith in sovereign God. They do not fully believe that God will do what He says He will do. Your sin, our sin, is always a result of unbelief.
Let me give you some examples closer to home.
The Bible told us as Christians not to marry people of different faith. But, truth be told, many Christians unfortunately disobeyed that. Now, is it because of lack of strong will? I don’t think so. If you look deeper, it is because of lack of faith in God. We do not believe that God will take care of our need of a Christian life partner, that we take matters into our own hands.
What about cheating? Either in Exam or on our Tax Return?
Again, we do that because of our lack of faith. We do not believe that God will take care of us both in our study or our financial need that we have to take matters into our own hands.
What about Gossip or slander?
The same … if you dig deeper, it is because of the lack of faith that God is in control of your seemingly unfortunate situation.
So, friends, sin is always a result of a particular unbelief. The next time you catch yourself sinning against God, take some time to ponder what aspect(s) or character(s) of God that you find difficult to believe.
If we doubted, could it be his sovereignty that we did not fully believe?
If we were stingy, was it His generosity that we found it hard to believe?
If we became anxious, was it His goodness?
If we refused to be generous, was it His providence?
If we feared, was it His omnipresence?
If we sought acceptance in wrong places, was it His love that we doubt?
If we were unforgiving, was it His mercy that we did not trust?
Brothers and Sisters, faith is a conviction that God is who He says He is, He will do what He says He will do, and as a result, we do what He says we should do and we don’t do what He says we must not do.
In the next (final) post, we will look at how faith plays out in community.