Read Romans 8:22-39
How much faith do you have in pizza delivery?
Every book of the Bible speaks on faith. Very few lines go by before another section of a page reminds us of faith (well, ok. Maybe not the genealogies so much). Despite that, some of us have greater assurance in the delivery of pizza than of Christ.
We read the Bible daily, but do we drink from its artesian basin—the underlying lake of faith whose waters emerge through the words to flood the pages from Genesis to Revelation? Can we read the Word of Life and still not drink from the living fountain of faith evident on every page?
When a family chooses a pizza or two from the menu brochure on the fridge, they ring and place the order.
"Yes," the pizza girl says, "that'll be half an hour. Thanks for your order."
In full anticipation, the family then prepares. They put plates out, get the footy or movie on the TV, get the drinks from the fridge, and ensure everything is ready to eat as soon as the delivery arrives because they want to eat them hot! As expected, the delivery lands at the door roughly on time, and everybody tucks into their favourite slices. Through the entire process, nobody experiences one second of unbelief that the pizza shop will not deliver.
Yet, as Christians, we must still write down the miracles to bolster our faith. Why do we remain so distrustful of God? When have we ever written down our pizza deliveries as we do with God's promises to bolster our conviction the maker will come through for us? Humans are odd creatures when it comes to faith in the unseen.
Our lengthy scripture above speaks of all creation (including us) groaning with the expectation of God delivering a promise. Paul talks so affirmatively of that promise and puts a rhetorical question to us, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" (verse 35)
He then answers his own question in verses 38-39, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Paul, the writer of Romans, is fully persuaded by that promise. Before being saved, Paul's name was Saul. As Saul, the Pharisee, he read much scripture, but it was merely head knowledge. He didn't experience a lake of anything but words. There was no lake. Following his conversion, he couldn't help reading it differently. Everything was different. There was an umbilical connection that wasn't there before. Now the artesian basin began pouring faith to him on every page, and he drank it up like never before. Knowledge and faith together.
Pages of faith can pour out to us in our daily reading. Yet, if we read as Saul did, only gaining head knowledge, we miss the main point of reading—the expectation of daily spiritual awakening. The Bible is effervescent— an endless living Word pouring life-giving, cleansing water into our souls. The Holy Spirit ensures the tap is always turned on for those who seek it.
Verse 35 says that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Yet, we create a problem for ourselves if we have greater faith in a pizza delivery than Christ delivering His promises.
Are you as excited about reading the Bible as Paul? Does your heart leap as the water of the Word strengthens your faith? Or, do you read the Bible like Saul, seeing only lifeless scripture full of history lessons, proverbs and prophecy?
Before you read next time, take some deep breaths and a moment to pray. Then ask God to animate what you read. Wait a few seconds, and read in expectation of a blessing. Read as someone fed by their Saviour who loves to bless. God gives to those who ask. Those who seek, find. Those who knock get the floodgates of the living Word opened unto them.
Still have faith in the pizza delivery. We all need that. But lack no faith in your Saviour. He is the King of Kings.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, I have read your Word too many times as if it were something I ticked off my list. Flood your pages with that precious faith so I can read like Paul. Bring every word to life, including the genealogies, often comprised of people of great faith.
Photo by Lucian Alexe