Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Living by Faith: A Meditation - Reynolds

Living by faith means living each day with a sense of God’s presence and in the knowledge (the confidence) of God’s love. Living by faith does make a difference.

How does one “live each day with a sense of God’s presence?” Isn’t this is a matter of developing sensitivity to the reality of God, that reality greater than the ephemeral, material world around us. This is hard for some to realize, because the material world of the senses seems so apparent, so real. Yet we all, to some extent, have some sense of a greater reality permeating the material world. Some have so developed this sense that the reality of the spiritual seems more real to them than physical reality.

I say they “sense” that reality, but in fact it cannot be said to be knowledge through the senses. It is more a pre-sense of God’s presence – something before or apart from the knowledge of the senses. For some, this “sense” comes quietly and gradually, perhaps developed over many years of spiritual practice. To some it comes as a climacteric, changing their lives even to an astonishing degree. For some, it seems to be natural to all their living.

Living by faith is also living “in the knowledge or assurance of God’s love.” This confidence or assurance comes through my faith in Christ. There is a knowledge of the heart of God we can know only through the love shown us in Jesus. This is not to say that this love does not reach out to all people or that only Christians are “saved.” In fact, I believe that this love, this “grace” of God, means that we can stop worrying about our own salvation and simply get on with living life with a confidence in God’s loving presence – in joy and sorrow, health and disease, life and death.

It still matters of course whether we do good or evil. Surely what is good is what is good for us and for all God’s creation, and what is evil is that which destroys human happiness or the world God has given into our keeping. St. Augustine wrote, “Love God and do what you want to do.” Living by faith means that all we do will be to the glory of God’s love and in gratitude for all that we have been given.

Alan Reynolds
Author of A Troubled Faith

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