19 December 2006

Faith and conviction

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

I've been in Hebrews for at least a year now. Lately I've been dwelling on chapter eleven, verse one. I had kind of a neat experience with it this morning as I prayerfully dissected it. Here's a little musing with it:
Now faith equates to guarantees/the "it will get dones"/the natural ends of things desired/longed for/important/expected/deeply appreciated/wanted, the inner dialog of God with me on the things in my life that need action regarding things that are not perceptible/perhaps yet to be created or imagined.

The word "conviction" is the one that caught my attention. I suppose I struggle with the definition of faith because I see it as a means of making a wish come true, and for many the dreams never come true. It offers possibilities and life robs us. We scratch our heads. How does one live a truthful life when the experience counters the Word? We are often told to pretend. If you pretend or work hard enough, the experience will catch up. In reality, we are told it's not the experience that offends, it is the emotion. The line of reasoning is that because you feel a disconnect between the Word and your life, it is the feeling that is wrong. Sometimes this is accurate, but it doesn't move us anywhere. Sometimes resigning ourselves to the disconnect and pretending is as much idolatry as anything else we falsely attribute as God.

I guess what seemed freeing to me this morning was the cosmic sense of conviction. Faith does have a component of wish and desire, but there is also this dialog, conversation, sometimes lecture between you and God that is negotiating life, behavior, attitude. It speaks of lust in terms of imagination and love in the language of a stranger's touch. It flows through the context and culture and provides ground to stand on. Faith is in the midst of this dialog. For me, faith was a billy club to get what I want from God. I would distance myself and strike away. Funny thing is, He wouldn't budge. I could point to this verse until I was blue in the face and it didn't matter. I had neglected the love and dialog which is really what faith is all about...

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! It's like you say, maybe there is more to this stuff than we can every understand or imagine. Faith is more than a free cool ticket from God, it's not just insurance or a free go through start pass. It would be cool if you kept exploring this idea of faith and what the bigger picture looked like.

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