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God is the
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.