The number of times I’ve read the biblical statements: ‘your faith has made you whole’, ‘your faith has saved you’ and other close variants, are beyond account. And, here they were yet again, stated several times in just two chapters, Luke chapters 7 & 8, which were part of my morning devotional reading.
As I took time to meditated a bit about this, I realized that my usual unconscious reaction as I read these statements has been to give my mental assent to them, while at the same time, unwittingly relegating them to be largely statements from the past about biblical characters in whom faith was wonderfully manifested; which, in comparison with my own, I should at least feel fortunate today to have record of, however antiquated a bolster.
How short such a reaction on my part has fallen; how dead-in-spirit such a reaction has been, because it doesn’t take hold of such promise for today, the flesh-and-blood, space-and-time of the here-and-now. It fails to appropriate faith as an active, vibrant, possession and ingredient. Is the faith of the past somehow different in nature and dynamic than the faith of today? I think not.
Whereas, the truth of the matter, as I read these statements this morning, and as the spirit made them alive to me, is that it’s my faith, active in the here and now of today; it’s for all, our faith, that makes us whole, that completes us spiritually. Our faith completes us as a spiritual creation. It’s what links us to the divine and gives us wholeness of spirit, of life; completeness of body, mind and spirit. It’s what overcomes our old nature, what causes us to overcome spiritually whatever we face.
So never again, by God’s grace, will I react to these statements of faith as merely truth from the past, now on record for my encouragement, as if they were a kind of ‘canned’ nutrition or stale serving of formerly fresh food. Instead I’m going to strive to experience the freshness and wholeness of the faith of Christ that’s alive in me in the eternal now.
Thank God for the active faith he’s given me and of which I’m aware of and am a partaker of. Thank God my faith completes me and is ever working to make and keep me whole in Him. To help me appropriate and experience this spiritual reality I’m going to no longer read these statements, as ‘‘your’ faith has made you whole’; as though faith belonged to another, but as ‘‘my’ faith has made me whole’; and I might add, ‘is making me whole’, in the present tense’.
What a difference the exchanging of two little words and the right perspective can make.