Okay, so I have a confession. You know back when the Matrix movie first debuted, I was in high school and upon hearing some message about faith that can move mountains, I thought to myself, if I just had enough faith, God would give me the power to fly. I just had to believe… I’ll let your mind fill in the gaps, but I’ll tell you that the end of the story is my wooden futon was now broken… I may have left that part out of the story I told my Mom… (Sorry Mom)
So why couldn’t I fly? Let me assure you it was not due to a lack of “want,” and I really did believe that I COULD fly. However I was mistaken in that my definition of faith was found lacking.
I love the story in Matthew 14 where the disciples are on a boat; it’s the middle of the night, and they see Jesus coming up to the boat walking on the water! They’re freaking out, and Peter (I love this guy) says to Jesus, “Lord, if it’s You, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus says, “Come.” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water. How awesome is that!? Peter didn’t exactly get to fly, but walking on water would definitely have some benefits.
I’ve learned something through both Peter’s experience and my own. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes from hearing the word of God. Like the old game of Simon Says, if God didn’t say it, you’re "out" if you do something He didn’t tell you to do. God told Peter to come to Him on the water, so Peter had a word from God and could act in faith by listening to it, and doing what God told him to do. God never once told me to fly, so what I was doing was not faith, it was foolishness.
A more Biblically accurate definition of faith is: Taking God at His word, and then responding accordingly. It starts with a word from God, and ends with obedience. So if God says that “whoever believes (or has faith) in Him (Jesus Christ), will not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16) we need to be found having faith in what God has said. So I guess the next question to ask is, "What has God said?" To the Bible we go!