“It’s not a compliment to be called a person of great faith, because we serve a God that has never failed. It takes great faith to believe in something that only works half the time. But it takes little faith to believe in something that never fails.”-Pastor Hagee
I had to read that tweet a couple of times, chew it up a bit, but now that I’ve digested it, I’m rather pleased with it. I think ‘religion,’ parts of the church, have a tendency to build idols to our own works, to our own efforts, to our own ‘faith’ even, or at least so it has been since Biblical times and so it seems to still be today.
One of my favorite prophets is actually Jonah. Jonah is like the worst Christian ever, has a bad attitude, doesn’t agree with God, disobedient, runs away. He does have great faith however! He absolutely believes God can save Nineveh. Jonah, bad attitude and all, is also the prophet who eventually awakens the most people, 120,000 perhaps, and their cattle.
The book of Jonah has taught me a lot over the years, primarily about the sovereignty of God. God is God, our fear, our anger, our confusions, are not powerful enough to thwart God’s plans for us. He who commands the seas and made the whales is not the least bit dependent on Jonah’s cooperation. Also, God does not ‘need’ Jonah to help Him save Nineveh from….Himself. He is actually saving Jonah.
I often call myself the most faithless Christ follower ever, as in a skeptic extraordinaire, ruled far more by Murphy’s Law and everything that can go wrong than by the promises of God. While that is quite true, it is also not quite true at all. There have been times I have had an astounding amount of faith when there has been no reason to believe in anything at all. Sometimes the best way to find your faith is to just lose it altogether. Surrender all. When I am weak, He is strong. How much faith does it take to admit you are completely powerless in a given situation?
Nearly every one of us finds our way to Christ by doing exactly that. I am powerless, I need a Savior. Then after a few years, we often start thinking we can now earn it with our great faith, with our dedication to defending the truth, with our behavior and our acts. Someone has struggles and we suddenly all turn into Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. Guess you just need to repent. Guess you just need to pray harder. Guess you just need to have more faith…..like me.
I don’t think Hagee is contradicting the Bible at all. Over and over again we read, “by your faith you are healed.” But our faith in what? In the healing itself or in the One who heals? Is our faith in the goodness or God or is our faith just in the results that we find pleasing?
Even the demons believe, in fact they probably take God at His word better than most of us do.
It’s actually pretty easy to have faith when faith is all you have. When there are lots of other good options available, we do tend to chose anything but God. Ephesians 2:8 reminds us, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”