The Tulip Driven Life Podcast

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How Grounded is Your Faith?

By: Nathan Fox 
The Problem
For one reason or the other, I feel as if Christianity in America is on a rapid downhill climb. We can blame it on theological faultiness (and that would be correct), or on immorality in the church (correct also). But I will give one overarching reason for what I believe to be a continual decline of Christianity in this country: shallow faith. For many reasons, the Christian faith in this country is slowly fading into an activity, and not a wholly devoted lifestyle. Many “Christians” now walk into church not because they want to grow closer to God, but because it is something that they have traditionally done. And believe me, I was no exception to this growing up. I went to church because my parents did, and thought that my faith was something that I did, not something that I was. There was no depth to my faith growing up, and I would venture to say I was not the only one. I often wonder how many of us go through the motions like that. I often wonder how sincereand deep the faith of the people in this country is. How deep is our faith?
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not stereotyping all Christians in this country. There are people in this country whose faith runs deep, and ultimately their faith enables them to withstand the storms of life and the wiles of this world (of which I am proud to say my parents are a great example of strong believers). But, for the most part, generally speaking, this country is no longer a country where Christianity stands strongThis country is now a country where Christ is magnified on Sunday, but no longer is a Christian willing to live out their faith on the other 6 days of the week. Oh yes, we will praise God with our voices when the problems of life are at bay. But the moment that the storm of life comes up, we are so quick to abandon our faith and to cast all of our cares upon ourselves. And therein lies the problem: our faith is not that deep.

The Passage
There is only one verse that I want to focus on today (though I would like to say that it is indeed a powerful and impactful verse). One verse from the book of Colossians that I think will ultimately shed a great deal of light on how we as Christians can address this issue. Take a look at Colossians 1:23 as it says this (and take a note of the underlined words): “If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.” Several years ago, as I read this verse I made a note underneath it saying this: “A problem for the church today is that we are not that deep in Christ.” How ironic that a note I would make then would end up being a topical point that I would blog about years later!
The passage is pretty much as clear as it gets: stay grounded in your faith in Jesus, no matter whatLet’s compare our faith to a tree, if you don’t mind. If the tree’s roots are deep and strong, then no amount of storms can topple it over (for its roots have firm foundation in the soil). Yes, there will be storms in this life, but a strong foundation on Christ will be able to withstand any storm that could possibly happen (remember the story of the builder who built his house on the rock instead of the sand?). But if the tree’s roots are brittle, weak, and shallow, then even the slightest storm will lift the tree up and topple it over. Likewise, if your faith is weak, brittle, and not growing deep into God’s Word and God’s Son, then you better be ready for the slightest storm in this life to shatter your faith, because you will be toppled. The questions you have to ask are these: how deep is your faith? How grounded is your foundation in the Gospel? Have you moved away from the true foundation of the faith (which is Jesus Christ)?

The Point
God doesn’t want Christians who will walk into church on Sunday because they have to. God doesn’t want Christians who will call His name out in worship when it is convenient, and then refuse to acknowledge Him as the rest of the week progresses. From as far as I can tell in my limited understanding of the Bible, God wants whole-hearted followers. God wants people who no matter what, will stand firm on his Word and will stand firm for the Gospel. Can you just imagine how much different our churches, and even our country, would be if Christians would take the name of Jesus seriously? Can you imagine if Christ was the center of all that we did, and no amount of storms in this life would sway us? I want to be that kind of man; the kind of man that in every stage of my life I am wholly devoted to Jesus Christ.
My encouragement to each believer that reads this is pretty simple: stay firm in your faith. I am not talking about going to church, saying some prayers, and singing praises when times seem good. I am talking about something that is deep, and real, no matter the circumstance of your life. I am talking about singing praises to God when life hits you hard. I am talking about standing firm on the Word of God when no one will stand with you. I am talking about not apologizing for speaking the truth of Jesus Christ in love. That kind of Christian is the one that makes the impact. That’s the kind of Christian that God is truly honored by. The questions remains: how deep is YOUR faith?

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