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Romans 14: 23

But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.
I’ve got to tell you the truth about this verse. I have been avoiding it for weeks if not months. I wrote it down on my verse list a long time ago and every time I look at it I decide it just seems too negative to write on. I like bringing the good news and words of encouragement. None the less, there is something our Father is trying to say, especially when we combine it with yesterday’s Word of the Day.  

Okay, so now we can finally nail down exactly what sin is. It is everything we do or say that is not from faith. Wow! Pardon me while I go repent……. Alright, I’m back. That is a lot to bite off isn’t? But we just learned yesterday that these are the very things which end up putting us in chains. So, here is why the out pouring of the Holy Spirit was so critical. We are to live every single moment in faith and we can only do that when we become acutely aware of the indwelling presence of God in us and with us. God, in His three persons, is with us every minute of every day. The problem comes in when we do not acknowledge His presence.

What is faith anyway? Well, Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Did that clear it up for you? Perhaps not. I like that definition and I draw upon it often but I also have to translate it for my personal application and this is how I use it. At its base, faith is simply “trust in God.” It is that assurance that God is proactive in my life. I love the word assurance. The American Heritage dictionary defines assurance as freedom from doubt, certainty. You’ve got to love that. It even goes so far as to use the words boldness and audacity. I love it! Am I audacious enough to simply believe God? Or even to believe that God is God? 

People of faith have resolved these big questions in their hearts. Many of us have assented to the idea intellectually but faith arises from your spirit. It does not issue from you mind. Those who walk in faith have a deep, abiding trust in God in their gut. Now, you cannot reason with these people. Don’t even try. Their assurance is not a product of reason. No matter how cogent your argument, it will not prevail because they are not listening with their minds. God has persuaded their hearts and the heart muscle is much stronger than the brain.

How can we become as bold as they? How can we learn to walk step by step in faith and trust? It all begins with that relationship with the Father, doesn’t it? Think of anyone you trust. Haven’t they proved their trustworthiness through the course of your relationship? But also, didn’t you have to extend a little trial trust in the early stages of that relationship? You didn’t begin trusting them with the big things, did you? So it is with God. We try to trust him to give us a new car when we haven’t even trusted Him with finding our car keys yet. So start small. Run some experiments. I literally trusted him to find my car keys once. Then you can try a little bigger test. Keep going. You will soon trust him for big things. Don’t worry if you miss it now and again. You will find that practice helps you hone your hearing and your ability to follow his leading.

I want to live in this space that Paul intimates in today’s passage. Can you imagine if we all walked in audacious faith 24/7? Even when we sleep we would sleep in faith. Let’s give it a go. It sounds like a great way to live.  

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