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  • Writer's pictureLuke Shackelford

Doing Everything From Faith

For the past month or so God has been revealing a lot to me about faith and the reality of what faith is. This has been helpful for me because like so many others, my idea of faith has mostly been wrapped up in my own agenda or the things I desire.


Over the past month, I have learned that faith must be both counterintuitive and transcendent.


Counterintuitive faith has the ability to push us past the boundaries of human reason and lead us into the promises that God has for our lives.


Transcendent faith, on the other hand, reassures us that the God who promised to restore the whole of creation is the same God that can restore any situation in our lives. As much as transcendent faith is a reassurance for our own lives, it also puts things into perspective. This perspective is that we are in the middle of God’s mission to restore all creation and have the privilege to play a part in His doing so. Through this, we come to see that God doesn’t revolve around us, it is us who should revolve around Him and His plan to bring heaven back to the earth.



In the previous blog post, we established that faith is not a belief in something that we want God to do for us, faith is instead simple and total submission to Jesus. In this, faith becomes simple. It becomes childlike trust in Jesus as we follow Him through every door He leads us, and trust in His step-by-step instructions in every season of our lives.



So, true faith is, at its core, total submission to Jesus. Total submission then leads us to pursue becoming like Him in response to His command “Follow Me”. Every one of us exists to carry on the life and work of Jesus and in this, we are purposed to become like Him.


With this framework of faith in mind, we can better understand what Paul is saying in the latter part of Romans 14:23 when he says; everything that does not come from faith is sin.


At first glance, this can be a pretty terrifying verse to try to reconcile our own lives with. I know that I do a lot of things outside of faith. I make a lot of decisions not based on faith but instead out of fear that I’m not doing enough. There are a lot of decisions that I make that are in total submission to my flesh instead of total submission to Jesus.


But what I see here is not a condemnation but rather a call higher. Not a discouragement but instead an encouraging reminder to do everything in pursuit of Jesus. For me, this verse serves as a rule of thumb for decision-making in my life. It helps me to create a habitual practice of analyzing the things that I do in order to align them with my ultimate goal of becoming like Jesus.


So, my encouragement to you today is to analyze your life, analyze every decision you make from the biggest things to the simplest and make a habit of bringing all of them into alignment with your pursuit of Jesus. I am convinced that when we do this, our pursuit not only becomes easier but we are given the gift of true faith that can carry us into the life God desires for us.



SCRIPTURE CONTEXT


What Paul is saying is that everything that is not done out of the pursuit of Jesus is ultimately sin. When we view this statement in its context it makes a lot of sense. Paul is speaking to the Roman church about eating food that is considered by some to be unclean. To paraphrase, he says: we know that no food is unclean because everything belongs to God, therefore the food is safe to eat, but if eating that food causes someone else to stumble in their own walk with Jesus then you should refrain from it. In our pursuit of Jesus, we learn that we must sacrifice for the sake of others just as He did. This is one of the most critical parts of total submission to Jesus.

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