Is your faith a noun or a verb?

“Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the Lord tests the heart” – Proverbs 17:3

I read this verse in my “Proverb for the day” reading (which is reading the chapter in Proverbs that is the same as the calendar date).  I have been doing this for years and always see new things.  Well, God spoke to me this morning as I read that verse, it was underlined in my Bible, so I stopped and meditated on it a bit then continued on in my reading of the rest of the chapter.  Then I read verse 19…

“anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin, anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster”

It was the latter part of verse 19 that resonated in my heart and soul with verse 3…”anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster”.  In Biblical times the cities were fortified with “high walls” and thereby safe from invasion from enemies, animals and other catastrophes.  So, with high walls any citizen would feel safe and secure, live in confidence and assurance that they could go about their lives with relative ease and comfort.

Another verse of Scripture found throughout the Bible is “the ones who are made right walk by faith, not by sight”.   I heard someone say once that “most Christians think of faith as a noun not a verb”.   Insert that idea in the verse and it would sound like this, “the ones who are made right walk by “the faith”, not by sight.    For many  of us, myself included, “the” faith is more often our system of belief, our creeds and doctrines, the things we know instead of a living, dynamic, dependent, fluid relationship with the God of our belief, creed, doctrine or knowledge.

Sometimes I trust in “high walls” to protect me, like my bank account, or my wife’s love for me, or my family or our church, or my children being obedient rather than trusting in my Lord and Savior to protect me and take care of me, and those things.  Why do I or does anyone for that matter, trust in our faith (noun) to keep me safe from suffering, harm, sickness, difficulty, hardship, etc, etc, instead of living by faith (verb)?

So, back to the beginning…“the Lord tests the heart”, and “anyone who trusts in “high walls” invites disaster”.  Possibly, the disaster we are experiencing right now, is because of our misplaced faith and so the Lord, because of His great love for us, tests us to let us see whether our faith is a noun or a verb.  I know this is true for me and God has spoken to me clearly about this today…

We would do well to heed the writer of Hebrews’ advice…”let us hold firmly to what we believe…our High Priest [Jesus], faced ‘testings’ like ours, yet w/o sin, so let us come boldly before the throne of grace to find help when we need it most”!!

ya’ll have a blessed day!

MK

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