THE THIN LINE
BETWEEN FAITH AND DENIAL
There’s a thin
line between faith and denial. A friend of mine once shared something humorous
with me. She said, single women praying for husbands do not have faith; they’re
in denial. I asked her why, stating that I knew many who had lots of faith in
finding one. She responded, “That’s the problem. They’re praying for husbands.
Husbands are already taken and married. They should pray for single men.” I
laughed my head off. Of course, when we say praying for a husband, we mean
husband-to-be. And we have tons of faith that God will bring one for the ladies. However, I took some time to think about that little joke she shared
when I realized she wasn’t too far from reality. There are people who pray for
husbands (already married) and wives (already married). They claim they have
faith and they spend hours in prayer calling upon the name of the Lord. They’re
in denial. There are those that have faith that God will split the traffic
after they purposely ignored the alarm clock. They’re in denial.
Faith is spelled
possible but it has parameters. The parameter is the will of God. We pray in
faith knowing that God will make it rain even when it has never rained on planet
earth, not because we want to float an ark but because GOD wants to float an
ark. It’s GOD’s will. His desire. His word. Faith’s fence surrounds God’s will.
It is God’s will that you are free from addictions. Jesus came to set the
captives free when he died on that cross. So it is His will to set captives
free. When drugs ensnare you and rot your soul, you have been captivated. So it
is God’s will to “de-captivate” you. Because it is his will, he will make it
possible to do it. But he will use a route called faith. So when you commit
your pain or addiction to him and trust him that he will do it because He is
able to do it, then you have faith. And faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). He rewards us when we diligently seek him on account of it.
It is not God’s
will for you to take another man’s wife/ husband. So when someone says they
have faith that God has given them another woman’s husband to be theirs and
they believe God can do it, they don’t have faith, they’re in denial. Even if
they claim that the "prophet" on TV said to send money and buy anointing oil for
10,000kes then it would happen. Can God make it happen? Sure he can. Will he
make it happen? NEVER! Having faith is not just believing in God’s ability to
do things but believing in his ability to do HIS will. His will and not yours.
|Image courtesy of http://affordablehousinginstitute.org|
Having faith is
to know the persona of God. Being in denial is simply to know the power of God.
When I know the persona of God, I know his will. When I know the power of God I
simply know his potency, period.
There’s no other
way to know the persona of God and the will of God other than spending time in
his word. If you have a problem with that, you will have a problem with the
rest of the blog. It is not by talking to your priest, praying with your
pastor, attending church camps or serving in a ministry. It is sitting at the
feet of Jesus like Mary did and not “working” like Martha did. It is the
quiet time in your room where you are sincere before God and acknowledge his
will over yours. It is in the brokenness before God when we sin and not in the
raising hands in the gospel concert in the auditorium. Such is knowing God and
thus his will. Knowing is step one. Doing divides the denial from
the faith for the world to see and acknowledge that Christ reigns.
When you are
cognizant of the will of God, you can divide faith and denial. There’s a thin
line but guess what, the will of God draws a huge chasm between the two such
that they are nowhere close. God’s will is what he has spoken. When he says
“bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33), it is his will that
you avoid bad company. But when we keep bad company and offer up the lame excuse
that we are reaching out, we are in denial. When we insist on dating them
because we will win them to the kingdom, we are in denial. Why? Because he has
spoken against it. (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)
But we are
tricky we humans, aren’t we? We look for loopholes to force God’s will to suit
us. We have sinful carnal tendencies that we crave to gratify and place a
pseudo-righteous front by saying even Jesus turned water into wine. We are
willing to argue for it like it was some right we deserve. Denial.
is not new. The early church faced it too. In Romans 14, there were some who
ate meat offered to idols and it brought controversy. The meat wasn’t bad or
unhealthy. But it had an effect. It stumbled young brothers in the faith. So
point one for the controversy. It’s not about you. It’s about the body of
Christ. Being in the body of Christ, it’s no longer your life to do as you
please. You were bought with expensive blood to live in faith, not in denial.
Paul ends the
controversial matter in Romans 14 with a profound truth. He says anything not
done in faith is sin. And that wraps our controversies too. Your justification
may be well articulated with deep points clear historical facts and strong
educational background but it is sinful if faith is apart from it. Before God
almighty, we will not present a degree or a college diploma showing how we
calculated everything before we acted. Before God almighty, our hearts
are tested. They are measured on a scale with “faith-weights.” If we do
not pass the test, our controversy becomes sinful and sin must be punished.
The former stage
of denial is easy to spot because we easily measure it up to the word of God.
E.g. You can’t revenge cause Jesus said not to. Therefore, because He sais it,
you hold back your revenge in faith knowing that God is the lifter of your head
and he will take care of the injustice done to you. However the latter denial
is blinding because it wears a robe of righteousness. So here’s how to spot it.
Is it building the body of Christ?
If it destroys
and builds at the same time it’s not right. There’s no double standard here.
It’s one or the other. If the controversy divides the body more than it unites it, abandon the mere prvilege. After all, the Kingdom of God is not of eating and drinking but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy ghost.
Do not ask what’s wrong with…?
We lose faith
and live in blind denial when we say, “What’s wrong with kissing if I’m not
married?” Stop pursuing what is not wrong and start pursuing what IS right.
Instead of asking what is it we can’t do in a dating relationship as a believer
boy and girl, ask What CAN WE DO as a dating believer boy and girl? There’s so
much, I can inbox you a long list starting with “reach out to sick people in
hospital as a couple.” Yeah, you’re laughing now but wait and see. The answer to
WHAT CAN I DO is clear and God-led as opposed to tackling “How far is too far?”
with a devil who has had thousands of years in experience arguing with believers.
Believe me, he can’t lose here. By the way, if you have trouble with the How far is too far as far as physical
intimacy is concerned, you should probably read the article by clicking here.
Do not read the Bible to fit you
Accept it whole.
Do not say Jesus turned water into wine and reject Proverbs 31:4 “It is not for
kings, O Lemuel not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer.” In fact believers who struggle with this controversy have a warped view of eternity. Alcohol and wine would not cost anyone to fall away from the faith in Jesus' time. But today it can. Some say, "Getting drunk is wrong, drinking is okay." I say to them, "Getting wet is wrong, swimming is okay." It is not about getting drunk or not but about whether the world of unbelievers sees God in our actions. If it can discourage even one person (just one person) from giving their lives to Christ because you want to prove Jesus turned water to wine, then your priorities are warped, your motives are skewed and you've lost sight of God's will for the kingdom. It's sin. Do not lose sight of the heart of God. Whatever we fight for should be for the cause of the gospel and not for triviality. Jesus said you'd rather lose an eye and get into heaven maimed. But we want to get into heaven holding onto carnality based on reading the Bible as we want. Do
not say Hosea married a prostitute so you’re also doing what God said. When you
read the word of God holistically, you understand the heart of God. But when you don't you may lead others astray. Will you get into heaven? Yes of course if you're a believer. But you will reap from it either way. This is what I mean
5:19 “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches
others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but
whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the
kingdom of heaven.”
Let me give
you the perfect example of how dangerous it can be reading God's word to suit your arguments and desires.
Corinthians, Paul says to the church in Corinth in Chapter 9 verse 11 “If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is
it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?”
used this passage to say that money should be given for the preaching of the
gospel and even justify their ministries fleecing people. It’s like writing on
Pen Strokes and asking for money for every blog you read that teaches the
gospel. I could use 1 Corinthian 9:11 to justify my demand for pay and place my
account number or Mpesa digits at the bottom of every blog. But many do not
read the next verse 12.
“If others have this right of support
from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On
the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.”
the apostle and writer says, they have a right to reap materially for spiritual
sowing but he continues in verse 12 to finish the matter by saying that even if
that is the case, they would not take any money from the church because the power of gospel would be watered down. Don't hinder the gospel because you want to prove a grape-fruit drink point. For Paul because taking the money was not done in faith it became sin. Don’t
read the word to suit your taste. Read it as it says. The best commentary for
the Bible is the Bible. Then you will live by faith and not by denial.
4) Do not twist the word of
22:18-19 says “I warn everyone who hears
the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God
will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes
words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in
the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
That should scare you enough not to do it! Haha! But seriously. Don’t twist it.
The blessings in obeying God’s word are so much more that the temporary benefit
of having it your way.
your faith and let the word of God break the thin line into a great chasm.
4:12-13 “For the word of God is living
and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing
soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the
heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is
uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”