Monday, January 6, 2014

A Rekindled Faith

When Hudson Taylor was 17, he shared with his hometown minister that God wanted him to go to China as a missionary.  When asked how he proposed to go, the youthful Taylor replied that he would need to follow the same pattern that Jesus had established for His disciples, "...going without purse or scrip, relying on Him who called me to supply all my needs."  Trying to help Hudson to live more realistically, the minister said, "Ah, my boy, as you grow older you will get wiser than that.  Such an idea would do very well in the days when Christ Himself was on earth, but not now."   Despite these words of the "older and wiser counselor," Hudson went to China and lived and worked with this youthful, radical, and unrealistic faith.  ("Rhythms of the Inner Life by Howard Macy)

Macy goes on to write that too many who possess this radical unrealistic kind of faith have been smothered by the embrace of older and wiser voices who have said, "It's wonderful to dream and to want to live with radical trust, but it doesn't work in the real world.  At some point you must be practical."  Over the years I have been blessed by knowing some who heard this wise counsel to be practical and sensible, but chose to ignore it because the call of God was too heavy upon their hearts.  They modeled a kind of radical abandonment to the security systems of life that surely frightened parents and caused the pragmatic to shake their heads.

This place of being sold out to do whatever God wants us to do is where most of us started out with Christ.  The power of His love, the reality of His presence, and the joy of faith in Him caused us to believe that in Him nothing was impossible.  Too many of us allowed the bumps of adversity to weaken our resolve instead of strengthening our will.  Too many of us started out to change the world only to have the world change us.  It is an ever present danger for those who seek to follow Christ which is surely why the Apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy, "...rekindle the gift of God that is within you..." and who among us does not need our faith rekindled?

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