Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Faith Wavers, Grace Sustains

This coming weekend in my Conexus group, we will be talking about "Sustaining Grace." I'm looking forward to it, because I think it is a very important aspect of God's grace for us.

Last week, I posted something I called How Mustard Seeds Dislodge Mountains. It addressed stuff many people are concerned about -- assurance of salvation, feeling secure, worries and doubts related to one's faith. I think the issues I tried to illuminate in that post are very important, but even as I clicked "Publish" after typing the last period, I felt like I hadn't said it well enough.
The gist of what I wanted to communicate is there in the last paragraph, actually, and the point I was trying to make is this: Despite the fact that our faith in Jesus brings us salvation, it is God's grace that keeps us saved despite our level of faith or the severity of our doubts. In other words, your faith may waver -- it might be strong one minute, weak the next, practically nonexistent in one moment, all you've got left in another -- but God does the saving, Jesus did the work, and whatever the level and quality of your thoughts and feelings, His grace is always sufficient.

This week I revisited a favorite CD of mine, 40 Acres by Caedmon's Call. It's not one of their more recent releases, but despite not really being an "old" album, it was an instant classic. If you've never heard it, do get your hands on a copy. It's definitely one of the ten best works of Christian music in the last 10 years.
Anyways, there's a song on 40 Acres called "Shifting Sand" that perfectly captures what I imperfectly tried to say in that "Mustard Seeds" post. Here are the lyrics:
Sometimes I believe all the lies
So I can do the things I should despise
And every day I am swayed
By whatever is on my mind

I hear it all depends on my faith
So I'm feeling precarious
The only problem I have with these mysteries
Is they're so mysterious

And like a consumer I've been thinking
If I could just get a bit more
More than my 15 minutes of faith,
Then I'd be secure

My faith is like shifting sand
Changed by every wave
My faith is like shifting sand
So I stand on grace

I've begged you for some proof
For my Thomas eyes to see
A slithering staff, a leperous hand
And lions resting lazily

A glimpse of your back-side glory
And this soaked altar going ablaze
But you know I've seen so much
I explained it away

My faith is like shifting sand
Changed by every wave
My faith is like shifting sand
So I stand on grace

Waters rose as my doubts reigned
My sand-castle faith, it slipped away
Found myself standing on your grace
It'd been there all the time

Yeah, that's the ticket. As I said in that previous post, whether Peter walked on the water or sunk, Jesus was there to keep him from drowning.


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