A Disturbing Faith


    "Faith is a perturbing thing."  This was a saying among the early Lutherans.  What they meant by it was that true faith in the risen Christ was a life transforming experience.  Nothing remained the same and nothing would ever be the same again.  Truly, real faith in Christ made all things new, saw old things passed away, and a transformation from the inside out had taken place and would continue to take place all the rest of the life of those who lived that faith.  A.W. Tozer writes, "The faith of the apostle Paul was a revolutionizing thing.  It upset the whole of the individual and made him another person altogether.....It took up its cross and followed along after Jesus with no intention of ever going back....it made earth a desert."  The world and all it offered could not compare with what was gained in Christ.  The world at its best was nothing more than, as Tozer said, a desert, compared with the wonder of knowing and having Christ and His Kingdom.  Such a transformation was not only upsetting to the individual, but upsetting to those who had no such experience or knowledge of Him.  This was the experience of the people of Thessalonica, who, upon hearing the preaching of Paul and Silas said, "These men who have turned the world upside down with their preaching are now here disturbing our city."  Make no mistake, a vital, lived out faith in Christ will turn our world upside down, and disturb a great many in the process.
     Now, believers have been guilty of disturbing many in the past, but too often for all the wrong reasons.  We can disturb and perturb with our judgemental spirits, our legalistic views, and our stiff self-righteousness, and the devil has gleefully taken full advantage, and fought back very effectively.  However, he has no defense against a life lived in the resurrection power of Christ.  Such a life will shine with the light of Christ in the midst of the deepest darkness, and the darkness can do nothing but shrink back.  I understand why a church feels it must explore ways to reach the lost and unchurched, but I have come to believe that such "ways" won't be needed if we, His people, truly live in the light and life of Christ.  Such lives will definitely disturb and perturb, but will also draw men and women to Himself.  They will upset the world and its spirit wherever they go.
    I leave off with these words of Tozer.  "Faith now means no more than passive moral acquiescence in the Word of God and the cross of Jesus.....We need only nod our heads in agreement.......Such a faith does not perturb people."  Jacob, in the book of Genesis, after wrestling all night with God, emerged a different man, with a new name.  32:31 says "The sun rose as he left Peniel" It shone upon him, a new day shining upon a new man.  This is true faith.  Disturbing, perturbing faith.  Is it yours?  Is it mine?

Pastor O  
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   May 2019   
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