I remember a girl who believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. She believed in the Bible. She memorized verses, could locate every chapter in seconds, knew popular stories, and believed Jesus came to earth to die for her sins. She was “saved”. She was “baptized”. She was a “Christian”. She could talk the talk. She would argue for God’s existence. She believed in Heaven and Hell. She believed in the good of Jesus and the evil of the Devil. She went to church and she prayed.
She was NOT a child of God. She was a Judus. She was broken. She was empty. She was dead.
Don’t shake your head. Don’t cast your judgements. I know her much better than you do. I know the battles she’s fought. I know about her failures. I have seen all her secrets and all of her sins. I know of her anger. I know of her fall from grace. I know of her doubts and her fears. I know her mistakes. I know how she’s punished herself and how she allowed others to hurt her.
This girl never stopped believing in God. She never thought He died. She just began to forget He didn’t care as much about her imperfections and sin as He did about the one thing He was still waiting for her to understand. He knew she believed, but He wasn’t still standing knocking on her door waiting for her to believe in Him. He stood out there knocking and knocking and waiting and waiting because of what she lacked that was required to enter.
What did she lack? Why wasn’t she a part of His kingdom? Why was she not a child of God?
Judus believed in Jesus. He stood in his presence. He touched Jesus. He followed him. He listened to his teachings. He watched him perform miracles. He believed Jesus was God. Yet, Judus lacked faith. When he betrayed Jesus, Judus believed his sin was greater than God, not worthy of forgiveness. What made his betrayal worse than Peter’s? Had you forgotten that Peter not only betrayed Jesus once but three times? Couldn’t one argue Peter committed a greater sin? Sin is sin. No sin greater or less than another. But one thing keeps you away from the Father – lack of faith!
That girl I spoke of, she was like Judus. The difference is she lived with her guilt. She lived in the shadows of evil. She lived with her sin. Until one day when she “tapped out” and ran until faith in God allowed her to hear His voice. Through faith she communicated with Him feeling He understood each word. Faith in him is where forgiveness was attained. Faith in Him is where peace was discovered. Faith in Him was where true, unconditional love was felt for the very first time. Faith in Him has set her free. Faith in Him was cultivated on miles and miles of roadways in darkness before many had even started their days. Faith in God was how she became His child.
I will forever argue you can believe in God and not be a child of God unless you have faith in God. Faith that God is exactly who He says He is. Faith that the will of God is better than the will of any man. Faith life was granted by God for His purpose and not man’s. Faith that no matter what sin has been committed, regardless of man’s degree of evilness or the judgement of that evil by others, it is forgiven and it is forgotten once you turn away and live for God instead of the desires of man. Faith is the finger of God connecting earth to Heaven.
One can believe in God and lack faith, but one can’t have faith in God and lack belief in His existence. I know this to be true because the girl I spoke of is me, and this is my story.
God knew cancer was in my future before I was ever born. He prepared me for this day all the way to the moment when I finally figured it out. When I finally understood faith was the key I hadn’t found. Without my faith in Him, there’s no way I could face this obstacle or overcome this challenge. God’s timing was perfect, so my faith tells me this obstacle will be made perfect and is part of God’s perfect will for my imperfect life.