Day of rest. Went to church. Had a lesson on faith in Sunday school. Had some thoughts.
What exactly is faith? How does it really work? Faith is a very subtle thing. I would compare it to the TH sound in English. To a foreigner that does not have TH in his native language it may sound like T, S or F, but it is not T, nor S, and not even F, it is TH!
I would also compare it to driving on a narrow road in the fog while being pursued by the Russian mafia. You veer to the right and you hear the rumble on your right. That is how you know you went too far to the right. You veer to the left and you hear the rumble on the left. That is how you know you went too far to the left. You get scared of crashing and you let the foot off the gas, and the pursuers get dangerously close. So you floor the pedal and you listen for the rumble on your left and on your right. You must have no fear, yet you need to have a sense of balance and constantly adjust your course so you will not leave the bounds that the Lord has given.
I would also compare faith with physical endurance. In a Kenyan village the best way to get around for a boy is to run. So he does whether he wants to or not. Thus he develops a gift of endurance. In America the best way to get around is to drive. So that same boy while getting to places faster does not develop his gift of endurance quite the same. Instead of using the gift of science and technology to increase his fitness he becomes overly dependent on them and allows his fitness to slack. The blessings of scientific progress and resulting prosperity have become a curse because of our lack of gratitude for them.
Very similar with faith. When the necessities of life are no longer a daily certainty you have to rely on faith in order to survive. Thus a culture of faith develops. People grow up knowing what faith is and having a practical experience with it. It is as natural as saying TH to an native English speaker. With science and technology guaranteeing the necessities of life we become spiritually lazy and do not develop our faith quite the same. We could have used those gifts to create a culture of faith, but instead we become overdependent on them and our faith becomes atrophied. We are not able to see God with our spiritual eyes anymore. We want proof. We cannot tell the difference between right and wrong on our own, or are not even able to acknowledge it when taught by those who see. The little that we see by the Spirit we do not trust. The spiritual vision has become 20/800, God is 20 feet away from us but it looks like it is 800.
So what shall we do then? To develop our physical endurance we run. We defy the norm in a good way. Our friends think we are crazy for getting up every morning and running for an hour or more. Especially since we usually end up at the same place we started. Same needs to happen with faith. The mindset needs to change. We need not to be afraid to act on faith. Stop asking for proof. If deep down you know it is right, do it. If deep down you know it is wrong, do not do it. Learn to trust your inner sense of right and wrong, it atrophies otherwise. There will, of course, be missteps, given that we start with a spiritual vision of 20/800 or worse. But faith is developed by doing things that require it, and overtime that vision will become 20/600, 20/400, so on all the way up to 20/20.