DayBreaks for 6/25/18: The Nature of Reality
From the DayBreaks Archive, June 2008:
What is faith? The fundamental aspect of faith (biblical or otherwise) is the confidence that we hold either in a thing (such as the brakes on our car to be able to stop the car), faith in a person (I believe that my friend is as good as his word), or faith in the truth of a statement (the sun came up today). We live our lives everyday through placing our faith in things, people or the truth of a statement. We believe the food we eat is not tainted nor poisoned, that the water we drink is not going to harm us, that a husband or wife will be there for us when we need them, that the laws of physics that control the motion of the heavenly bodies, the braking of our cars and the rules of thermodynamics will be as true today as they’ve been shown to be in the past.
What does that mean in everyday life? It is evidence that we believe faith is as good as the object (thing, person or proposition) that faith holds. We don’t think twice wondering if the engineers who designed our cars made powerful enough braking systems. Astronauts on the shuttle don’t wonder if there’s enough fuel in the tanks to get them into orbit.
But, somehow, when it comes to God, we’re told that there is no such Reality. If you can’t see it, touch it, taste it, smell it or hear it with one of the 5 senses, then you cannot know if it is real – therefore, it must be rejected. Really? Have you ever tasted guilt? Heard anguish (not the manifestation of it, but anguish itself?) When is the last time you saw love walk past on the sidewalk? Have you seen gravity itself? We have no problem believing such things exist, even though we can’t test them or touch them.
When it comes to spiritual things, people have bought lock, stock and barrel into the ungodly idea that knowledge about anything beyond the physical world is impossible – therefore, it is mythological at best. Do some myths come true? Perhaps, from time, to time. But knowledge about the unseen is mere speculation. So, to placate those who hold beliefs in the Supernatural, they would tell us that what is important is for people who are inclined to believe in such things, it is the fervency of their belief that is more important that the object of their belief.
John, the apostle, didn’t seem to agree, nor did Paul, Peter or any of the other men and women of faith who believed in a reality that was Unseen. As J.P. Moreland put it in The Kingdom Triangle: “Reality is basically indifferent to how sincerely we believe something….As far as reality is concerned, what matters is not whether I like a belief of how sincere I am in believing it, but whether or not the belief is true.” I could sincerely hope a gondola cable will hold me, but how fervently I hold that belief doesn’t make the cable one bit stronger. What matters it the strength of the cable, not the strength of my belief in it. I may never get on the gondola if I don’t belief it is strong enough to hold us up, but my belief matters not one whit one way or the other to the cable.
God is Reality. He is the GREAT Reality…whether I choose to believe it or not. Jesus doesn’t need by belief so that he’ll become strong enough to save me. He’s already strong enough. My faith should be in Him – He is to be the object of my faith. That’s the bottom line on Reality.
PRAYER: Almighty God, You Who made a world of reality and who lives in a universe of reality, open our eyes to see that You are the One Reality with which we must all ultimately deal, and by which we will all ultimately be confronted. Don’t let us be deceived, nor let our friends and family be fooled into thinking that what matters is whether we really believe in something. Let us believe it You, for You are true. You are the only reality that can save us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.