Last week we took a look in to the word “radical.” Its something that is “normal” to God, but for some reason, we sterilize it and make it something that it’s not. This week I want to take a look at having a radical faith. This is the kind of faith that makes you look crazy, but it’s also the kind of faith that pleases God!
Radical faith is something that doesn’t just happen. It’s the kind of faith we had when we said “I Do” to Jesus in baptism. It was the most exciting and incredible moment of your life, right? You didn’t’ get there by logic alone—trust me on that. There had to be some element of complete and total dependence on Christ’s ability to save, and you took that leap. That’s radical faith.
So do we have that now? I want so badly to answer “yes”, but in reality, I know that most of the time I don’t really have to live by faith. I know where my next meal is coming from. I have a steady paycheck. I can pay the electric and gas bill so I won’t freeze to death in winter or melt in the summer. Sadly, there’s nothing radical about that kind of faith—that bothers me.
When I read the Scriptures I see a kind of ruthless trust in God, the likes of which I haven’t had in some time. This whole concept that no matter what, God will take care of me. “No matter what” covers a pretty broad spectrum, wouldn’t you say? No matter if I get cancer. No matter if I lose my job. No matter if World War 3 starts tonight. No matter if Christianity is illegal tomorrow. No matter what…God will take care of me.
It reminds me of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3. They’re about to be thrown headlong into a fiery furnace because they refused to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. They said the most incredible thing in response:
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).
The trio knew that God was able to save them—but maybe that wasn’t the plan, and they were totally OK with that. WOW!
We like plans—ours. We don’t like the unknown—God’s plans. Radical faith is something that embraces the unknown and trusts in God all the more despite how bad things look. Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego we need to be willing to stand firmly on the hope we have through Jesus Christ. God is more able to save that we will ever know, but maybe God’s “save” is a different version our ours. Ours would look like a miraculous healing, or landing that dream job after years of unemployment., or your son or daughter finally making the right choice to come home. God’s may be the exact opposite. The three faced death that day, and were ready to embrace it fully because they knew that God’s “save” goes well beyond this life. It goes on to eternity. Death is something that only God controls, and He is the One who conquered it once and for all through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
So how can your faith become radical this week? How can you step out into the unknown? How can you get out of the boat? Let me encourage you: You can do it! Just something to think about.