In previous articles concerning our walk, we looked into love being the desire to move, glory providing the direction or path upon which we travel. Now we look at actual movement along that chosen path. Love does not serve its purpose as misdirected or extinguished desire/energy, but of necessary significance, love doesn’t exist unless expressed.
Our premise is that movement and momentum, whether forward or backwards along the determined route is determined by our faith.
Again we will ask the simple questions. What is faith? Why do we believe that love moves us along our chosen paths to our desires?
If there were a scriptural definition for faith, it would arguably be Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
When dissecting this verse, we see that essentially they are two components necessary for faith; faith is:
- the substance of things hoped for
- the evidence of things not seen
The substance of things hoped for
When first studying this verse, I was stunned to see that faith wasn’t necessarily presented as positive. That may seem like a strange thing to say but is hope positive or negative? Is it possible to hope for good outcomes only? Or is it possible also to hope for negative outcomes? The Greek word used in this passage for hope is elpizó (strong 1679), which is translated hope or expect. If “expect” is used instead of hope, does it become clearer? Would we disagree that it is possible to expect good or bad outcomes? If this is acceptable, then is faith, which is the substance of things hoped for, positive or negative?
On this basis, we asserted that faith moves us both forward or backwards; based simply on what we have faith in. To complete this thought, both hope and fear are components of faith. This concept took some getting use to and uprooted many concepts that I at the time stood upon, the main one being that I squarely opposed faith with fear, now I know to oppose fear with hope.
The evidence of things not seen
The other component of this verse that serves as a definition of what faith is, states that it is “the evidence of things not seen”. On considering this, I again looked at the strongest levels of hope and fear and recognized that surely undivided faith must produce expression. What I am saying is that, while being unsure or doubled minded as is mentioned in James 1:6-8, would cause us to be moved both forward and backward along our path, that being sure will move us consistently in one direction or the other. For this reason I understand with fresh eyes what James also said in James 2:24, that persons are justified by works and not by faith (belief) alone, now this seems to fly squarely in the face of others scriptures, which state that we are justified not by our works but on the premise of faith. But context is key and it really is saying that we are justified by unwavering faith, and that unwavering faith always causes us to move.
Faith, Focus and Love
Our faith is heavily dependent upon 4 general influences of focus, two based on our present trust in and expression of love and the other two based on our past and future expected expressions of love. Based on this revelation, another definition of faith is the trust or lack of trust, in anothers ability to love us. See the diagram below for clarity.
Again this topic is quite deep and also is one of the fundamental features of scripture and there is to be a separate series dedicated to faith and the other things God has shared concerning it.