Monday, November 9, 2009

Giving Faith Legs

I have been thinking about faith. Is faith when we resign ourselves to the possibility of the object that we dwell on? Is it when this object becomes as real to us as the pencil in our hand, or the stove in our kitchen? What does faith look like?

Oswald Chambers gives some useful thoughts regarding faith. He asserts that the first physical step in a faith relationship must be ours. We have to move toward God.

God offers the object of faith, but we have to get out of the plush recliner to walk to the throne and pick it up. Faith is in the righting of the body, the folding up of our comfy foot holder, and the rocking forward to propel ourselves to standing. It is all of this and the natural gifting of bipeds that allows us to stand before the throne, walk to the bottom step and throw ourselves at the foot of grace.

As we remain in our recliners, the invisible is just that. It is an idea, a theory. It does not hold power, only possibility. Faith has to have legs. It needs a body to solicit its power and observe its indwelling. I guess it would be worth asking if we have gotten out of our recliner this morning. Sometimes, it takes a while.

I was reading Mark 1:29-31(NRSV), this morning,

As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31 He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

Simon Peter’s mother-in-law was sick, fever sick. When I am sick like that, just leave me alone. I want my wool blanket that I save for sick times, and quiet. Fevers are heat and chills, they are weakness and exhaustion. Simon Peter’s mother-in-law was really sick, and we do not have evidence that she knew Jesus. For all we know Peter just got home after becoming a disciple.

They tell Jesus about her, immediately.

Jesus goes to her bedside.

He takes her hand.

She, hot and cold, weak and tired, allows this stranger to lift her out of bed.

What were these moments for her? Could she make eye contact? Was it like one of those feverish dreams that make everything odd and extraordinary? She agreed and got up.

It was only in trusting the hand of this magnificent stranger, while at her worst, that she found relief. In fact, the fever left her after she was upright.

It is amazing what can happen when we stand up, when we force ourselves to stand before Jesus. He offers the object of faith, in the form of a hand, and then we stand to grasp it. There is a moment between these acts that turns us into faithful creatures. It is an unexpected spark that drives us to motion. That is when faith gets legs.

Then she served. That is the only thing that can happen when we get out of our plush recliners. The idea of Jesus becomes as real to us as the pencil in our hand, the stove in our kitchen. We take Him in and then we need to serve Him.

Faith, I think that is what it might look like…

Do you need to be reminded to get out of the recliner every once and a while? I sure do. Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Father, thank you for giving us everything we need each day to be faithful to you. Teach us how to give legs to our faith. Tell us where to stand and how to serve you, today.


  1. wow- this is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing such a great example of what faith is. I pray that I can get up out of my recliner every morning!!

  2. I LOVE this. It is so beautiful and so very true. I think sometimes we need to see that Jesus is in front of us and who would want to sit in a recliner when you could walk with Jesus? Then it is easier to leave the comfortable recliner.

  3. I definitely need to be reminded sometimes! I like the imagery you used here. It's a beautiful post with a powerful reminder. Getting up out of my comfort zone (the recliner) and stepping out on faith. How hard. How worth it.


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