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A Foundation For Faith

By Michael Lane, Executive Director, Delve Christian Ministries
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That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. 2 Tim 1:12

"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
- John 6:67-68

I have a private pilot's license, but I am restricted to flying only when the weather is good enough to navigate by referencing landmarks on the ground. Although the airplane has very sophisticated instruments which allow for traveling through and above the clouds, pilots are not permitted to fly in these conditions without rigorous training. The reason is that when we cannot see the ground or some other stable reference outside the cockpit, most people slowly begin to get imperceptibly disoriented. In time, our bodies begin to send conflicting signals which don't correspond to what the instruments are telling us. For example, we might feel like we're turning, but the sensation is inaccurate and our instruments will faithfully show that we are flying straight and level. Sadly, without the necessary training, most inexperienced pilots will subconsciously begin to respond to their bodies and not their instruments. Disaster soon follows, and many pilots lose their lives in this way.

In our walk with Jesus, it's likewise extremely important to trust the information we know to be correct, especially when we become disoriented in storm clouds and our senses are telling us that we're heading off course.

The fact that I am the Executive Director of Delve Christian Ministries and the author of these devotionals should not persuade you that I possess exceptional faith; on the contrary, I am on the same journey of surrender as those whom our ministry serves. I also get "disoriented". On a few occasions over the past decade, I have been on the verge of walking away from Christianity. Those were the times during the journey which were so difficult and lonely that I felt I simply could not go on. My senses were telling me that "this whole religion thing is a waste" and that "it's time to get real". Each time, it was my instruments which allowed me to steer clear of disaster. Once I corrected my course, I found myself echoing Peter's words, "Lord, to whom shall I go? You have the words of eternal life. I believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

I have studied the evidence and have become convinced of the truth of the testimony about Jesus. These are my instruments in the cockpit. I don't just believe that Jesus is Lord - I know it. It has been proven to me beyond all doubt. Thus, whenever I feel disoriented, I can rely on this unchanging foundation of evidence. That evidence is so compelling that I simply cannot doubt where I'm going. It is strong and timeless and is not susceptible to the whim of my emotions. Thus, whenever I wonder how it is that God could possibly exist when I feel so alone or when there is so much pain in the world, I fall back on the evidence of creation, the facts of the resurrection, the fulfilled prophecies and the testimony of the apostles. Whether I feel it or not, Jesus is the way to eternal life. Feelings come and go, but truth never changes.

That is why it's so important for me to not only feel God's presence in my life, but also to know and accept all the facts about the life of Jesus which so convincingly persuade me that He is Lord. In those terrible moments when I don't feel that I want to follow Jesus anymore, I am able to stop myself from abandoning my faith when I realize that to reject Jesus is to reject truth itself.

Jesus is not a concept or an idea; He is an eternal, unchanging truth. We might be free to reject any number of traditions, customs or beliefs and those would cease to have power over us. However, we cannot make facts go away by ignoring their truth. We would do as well to reject the law of gravity. Whether we choose to believe or not, the fact remains that Jesus is Lord over all, believers and unbelievers alike. Our doubts cannot take Him off the throne or diminish His glory in the slightest.

Every Christian needs to possess this unshakable foundation of fact and evidence which will guide him or her though the clouds. Without this foundation, there is no means of getting back on track when our faith is weak and our emotions are steering us away from Jesus. We need to know and believe as Peter did, that Jesus is the Holy One of God.

Peter and the other apostles had the benefit of witnessing Jesus' teaching, miracles and resurrection and therefore needed no other evidence. We don't have the privilege of that first-hand experience, yet by God's grace, it was recorded for us so that we could see through their eyes. Therefore, knowledge of Jesus begins with the Bible. It contains all the information you need to build this foundation. As you read the Bible for inspiration and comfort, also spend time in its pages acquiring knowledge of who God is and what He wants you to know about Him. Explore the Gospels and allow yourself to become convinced that no man could have said and done what Jesus did unless He is the Son of God. In addition, diligently study the Book of Romans, perhaps the greatest presentation of the evidence for Christianity ever written. Paul's letters are not easily understood by everyone, and may require time and patience, but yield profound results for those who are willing to probe their treasures.

If you wish to supplement your understanding, I recommend reading the apologetic works of C.S. Lewis, Philip Yancy, Ravi Zacharias and Lee Strobel. These authors can help clarify your understanding and solidify your convictions. If you invest some time in reading apologetic literature, you will gain an enormous appreciation for just how intellectually fulfilling Christianity can be. That knowledge can serve to guide you when your senses are taking you off course.

 

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Comments


Arsin,
Your words are confirmation to all I've heard pastors around the country speaking this week. God is getting His people on one accord. Thank you for writing in a manner that us lay people can understand. You are so blessed.
1/11/2009 6:20:53 PM - mrspiggy, Member of Delve into Jesus since 1/18/2008


amen. thats good
1/12/2009 9:27:18 AM - jodieblunt, Member of Delve into Jesus since 12/2/2008


Thanks for this Devotional and all the material at Delve into Jesus pointing to the eternal truth of Jesus! Visual flight rules verses instrument flight rules is a great analogy! I sometimes fall back on thinking about reading the Word as the inverted cone of safe landing - with God at the apex. There is a lot of space, in all directions out there. But when fixating on the destination and headed straight ahead, I'm overwhelmed by how going through each circle of the cone makes the destination clearer and more definite. I have no idea how far out in the cone I am but, the view at each interval is tremendous and as long as I stay within the cone, it's a safe ride toward God. I have no ability to express the profundity and beauty of the Bible but, Im thankful that I been shown the irrefutable truth of God and His love for us!
1/12/2009 5:49:06 PM - Ryan, Member of Delve into Jesus since 12/30/2007


same line of thought as shared. serving on a leadership capacity and indeed, no one is infallible. reminded in 1 Corinthians 10:12 -- Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

thanks for this devotional.
1/13/2009 9:43:57 AM - anonymous


Praise the lord very good
1/22/2009 4:41:24 PM - anonymous


AMEN
3/17/2009 3:57:34 PM - diamant.noirs, Member of Delve into Jesus since 5/24/2008


Thank you for delving. Your insights and expression of your faith are inspiring and encouraging.
4/7/2009 2:25:38 AM - anonymous


Praise God. The message is true as God care us so much... i send this message to all my friends in email to extend the touch, love and care of God in their life. Amen.
5/1/2009 9:45:49 PM - gtagnejr, Member of Delve into Jesus since 4/30/2009


I know you wrote this awhile ago. But I just wanted to say thanks for the reminder that Jesus is our stable reference and to trust him. :)
12/2/2009 7:36:08 PM - Clair, Member of Delve into Jesus since 9/7/2009



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