A MOMENT OF SPIRIRUAL REFLECTION: DO YOU PERFORM BACKGROUND CHECK OF YOUR FAITH?
Then God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)
Our faith determines Our Character
Our starting point in Christian faith is the word of God. When we go through series of experiences of failures and frustrations, it’s no wonder to hear this remark, “I am done!” Listen, God is not yet done with you. Understand that you are because God caused you to become. What you need to do is background check of your faith. Does your faith spring from the word of God? What one believe in plays significant role when your life at some point is shaken by difficult experiences. Those who have built their faith in God are under His divine protection no matter what they face in this life. At some point, King Saul had sent hit men to watch over David’s house with the plan to kill him. David sang a prayer to God because he knew whom he believed in. “But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 59:16
Our faith is determined by our personal understanding of who we are. A faith of who we belong to. As much as we identify ourselves with our particular human descent, the more we need to identify ourselves with our divine origin if we are Christians. It is the tendency of us to identify ourselves with successful people. Identifying ourselves with particular characters portrays how much we trust in those personalities. Are these characters ideal?
But one thing I know is that only God is ideal; the only one who can transform our character to be like Him. As God was concerned about His chosen nation of Israel during the time Jeremiah, Say to them, ‘this is what the LORD says: “‘when people fall down, do they not get up? When someone turns away, do they not return? Why then have these people turned away? Why does Jerusalem always turn away? They cling to deceit; they refuse to return. (Jeremiah 8:4-5), so He is with those who believe in Him today. Our faith in God is the foundation of our building into a spiritual house. “As you come to him, the living Stone–rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him– you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:4-5).
The more we become like God in our character, the more we can have dominion over the things that challenges our daily living. This calls us to be faithful to God. These are the kind of people God is looking for. Living according to His divine will and purpose. How do we respond to God’s call to make our life right with Him? Many times this is what God is getting from our response: This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said, ‘We will not listen.’ (Jeremiah 6:16-17).
God is always seeking to keep us safe because we are His choice. Therefore, our faith is precious like Gold which is refined through fire to remove the impurities. Peter write these encouraging words to Christians of his time who were going through severe persecution. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Our faith is proven to be genuine by suffering trial and grieves. (1 Peter 1:6-7)
We need reflection or serious thought or consideration of the kind of faith we have in God. Can that faith stand firm in all life circumstances? Our faith is determined by how we take God at His word. And our character reflects our faith. In fact James in his letter to the early Christians argued that faith requires action to be whole or perfect. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. (James 2:18-23). It is one thing to know and memorize the Biblical word, yet it is another thing to live the Bible word.
Jesus gives analogy of making choices. Doing things in our ways and doing things in the way of God. “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” (Luke 6:46-49). Let us trust in God, our only solid and firm foundation.
By Rev. Andrew Mugo and Pr. Peninah Kariuki