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God is the Bridge

 

faith16.jpg (3241671 bytes)By:  David Deschesne

Editor, Fort Fairfield Journal

Fort Fairfield Journal, June 7, 2006, p. 11

   There are some atheists out there who argue against placing faith in the Lord God, our Heavenly Father, by philosophizing, ďYour Faith in God is like jumping off a bridge and expecting Him to catch you.Ē  They also quote scripture out of context (why, if they donít believe in it, I donít know) when they say, ďYou shall not tempt the Lord your God...Ē (Deut 6:16) when arguing against faithing in Him.  I will now answer both of those points.

   

The Bridge

   When you come upon a bridge spanning a deep ravine, and want to traverse it, you have to make a personal choice:  To walk onto it, or not.

   As long as you are on the land preceding the bridge, all is safe.  If it is an unfamiliar bridge, you will give it a cursory inspection, look at its design, construction and building materials.  You may believe it will hold you, but until you walk out onto it and see that it does, you will never know for sure.

   Once you step out onto the bridge, you have acted on Faith.  The late Dr. Gene Scott enumerated the ďABCísĒ of Faith as : Action based upon Belief sustained by Confidence.  It isnít enough to believe the bridge will hold you; Faith happens when you step out onto it and see that it does.   While you are standing on the bridge, looking down into the ravine below, you see that the bridge is keeping you out of harmís way.  In the analogy previously mentioned, the bridge is indeed the Lord God.  Stepping out in Faith with your Heavenly Father as your protector and supporter - even when the problems you face are as perilous as a deep, dark ravine - allows you to build your Faith in God the same way you would in a bridge.

    I turn the atheistís bridge-jumping analogy against him, by stating that to jump from the safety of the bridge - which represents God - is to remove your faith in it and invite the impending consequences to your life and safety.    To choose to jump from the bridge is to no longer accept it for safety and support.  Once you jump, you can not expect it to stretch itself out and catch you.  God is the same way.  If you donít want His Divine protection and guidance, you donít have to have it.  He does not force Himself on anyone.

   You may freely choose to place your Faith in the bridge, just as you may freely choose to place your Faith in God or not.  However, for both an Action is required - you have to place yourself into a situation other than where you are now. 

   As Christ hung His body on the cross, Faithing in His Heavenly Father to deliver Him from death on the third day, we all must exercise that same level of Faith - the Faith of Jesus - by figuratively hanging our bodies on Godís Word, His promise to get us through our dilemmas.  God, after all, doesnít require our perfection, just our trust - our Faith in Him. 

     Getting to Heaven is just like crossing that bridge.  If you never venture onto the bridge, or jump once halfway across, you never get to the other side.  You never get to your reward.  That reward is obtained only by Faith.

 

Tempting the Lord Your God

   In Deuteronomy, Moses warns the people not to tempt the Lord as they did in Masí-sah (Duet 6:16).  What happened in Masí-sah is Moses had led the Israelites into the wilderness where they had begun to doubt the Lordís existence and power.  They were very thirsty and began complaining and griping, debating whether the Lord was among them or not.   God eventually had Moses strike a rock and water gushed forth for the Israelites to drink (see Exodus 17:1-7), thus proving He was with them.

   Interestingly enough, Masí-sah is derived from the Hebrew word, מסּה   - massah -which means a testing of men or of God, it is derived from a similar Hebrew word,  נסה  - naw-saw, which means to fully assay or evaluate, to test. 

   The Lord Jesus also reiterated the maxim of not tempting the Lord when citing that passage from Deuteronomy to the devil, who was trying to break Christís faith while He was fasting in the wilderness (see Matthew 4:7).

  The ďtemptingĒ of God that is frowned upon is not Faithing in Him for safety and sustenance, it is putting Him to the test to prove that He even exists at all.   The Israelites, distrusted Godís care, were indifferent to His kindness, didnít believe in His power, tried His patience and fatherly forbearance and did not trust His minister, Moses. 

    God is the Lord and Creator of the entire universe.  Heís already given us enough proof of His existence in His creation.  To require Him to provide more proof of His being and power before submitting oneís Faith to Him is the essence of the word ďtemptĒ as used in those passages, and must be avoided at all costs.  You Faith in Him first, then see the effects of His grace; to wait for proof of His existence and evidence of His power is to nullify the very Faith that ultimately saves you to begin with.