Thursday, October 25, 2007

Faith's Outlet

I've been having difficulties lately dealing with my desire to have a more tangible relationship with God. When grace and the gospel fill my heart with faith, I want something, but I have no idea how to get it. I long to see, touch, experience, etc.

Faith needs an outlet. It can't be contained. Garth Brooks' song called "Standing Outside the Fire" seems to describe the way I feel sometimes when it says, "There is this love that is burning, deep in my soul, constantly yearning to get out of control; wanting to fly, higher and higher. I can't abide, standing outside the fire."

This is faith and works. Do not even dare to make works a job or command people to have works. Then it's no longer faith operating. It's guilt and fear. We must first have faith to be inspired for works. Faith will inspire works if you simply believe the gospel. Works are a gift from God to us so that we can have tangible experiences of God's love. But we have made faith and works into theology. What a load of crap. Stay away from people who seek to get their theological puzzles in order but neglect faith and love.

God has called us to a relationship, not a job. He has called us to love, not a job. Don't let the ignorant bring you into slavery with guilt and condemnation. They say faith without works are dead, but they don't give people a chance to have faith, because they're so concerned with working.

God wants our works to be natural. He doesn't want us as employees. He wants us as His bride.


Grace Walker said...

Okay, wow! Reading that just now was like life being breathed into me. I'm so very angry with myself right now and it feels like an eternal condition. Thank you for speaking your heart.

Joel Brueseke said...

Very good stuff, Matthew. We've got a worldwide church full of people who are so focused on "doin' the stuff" (a phrase that I think was coined by Vineyard founder John Wimber) that they don't know the One who Does the stuff in and through us, as we abide in Him by faith. Indeed, faith needs an outlet, and it seems so many people have the cart in front of the horse on this.