A Response to “Moving By Faith Into the Promises
By Fred Pruitt
Responding to the above-mentioned article, this is part of what a brother wrote me:
… I sat in my lawn chair, it held me. My wife sat and her chair held her. All around us people were obliviously expessing faith in their simple chairs, and their chairs held them. You see how Father works right now. Teaching, showing, guiding us to be His, then my son sat in his chair and it collapsed beneath him sending him sprawling, spilling his soft drink, him grunting in his backside being tossed, and of course there was laughter from the others all around. He was embarrassed. My heart broke instantly … But here is what bugs me… the faith, not thought about, simply enjoyed, understood at whatever degree He has brought us, taken for granted, … how is the chair example “sturdy” for me anymore since my son’s chair fell beneath him, collapsed him, spilled him in the grass?
All I know in faith is that our Father loves us so mightily we can never comprehend it to its depth and that all our son’s (indeed all our own) moments of faith broken, are working totally for his eternal interest and even those apparent times of our faith failing are for us too, we are blessed and honored to be part of his journey with God. But, the chair, as an example of faith, escapes me now. Sometimes the chair does not hold us. Nevertheless we sit in the next chair, trusting again. How does that happen?
Now, on the chair analogy. Like Freud says, sometimes an analogy is just an analogy, and does not ever completely describe the thing it points to. I’ve had chairs break on me. I have seen John B wreck a couple, too. Nevertheless, if we continue in this analogy, what does that tell us?
It is misplaced faith, i.e., faith in an object that could not hold us up. Like building one’s house on the sand. The builder’s faith was in the sand holding up the house, which the sand could not do. Another built his house on a rock, which could and did uphold his house.
So that gives us the opportunity to see that we do not place our trust in just “any” chair, but our best guess (?) or best hypothesis, of a chair that will hold us up. Of course, with a chair, we don’t know unless it looks visibly unsafe, so it’s a shot in the dark.
That is why it is important that the OBJECT of our faith be something that will hold us up. Chairs aside, do we believe this Living God will hold us up? We do not come to this ignorantly, because before He brings us to this place of being able to completely let go of ourselves falling into His Safe Arms, the Lord has taken us on a trek through a wilderness proving to us that He never leaves us nor forsakes us, guides us daily, feeds us daily, etc. So that by the time the Israelites were to go into the land the second time, they had a “history” of the acts of God they could draw from, so that when they made that final push into Canaan, their faith had already been settled in the Lord God for a long time. They are not babes at this point, but seasoned in the acts and ways of God, and their leap of faith (to cross the Jordan) was not done without all that which went before as preparation.
In short, the Holy Spirit, through experience, teaches us “which” chair will uphold us, and by this experience and faith we (He as us) keep selecting that chair which we have found solid and unyielding, and it always holds us up.
Clear as mud?
Love you guys!