By sis Leong Mei Ji
Have you ever wondered why a pigeon walks so funny?
A pigeon walks the way it does so it can see where it’s going. The pigeon actually has to bring its head to a complete stop between steps in order to refocus because it can’t adjust its focus as it moves. This is the way it walks: head forward, stop; head back, stop, -- that’s how it goes!
At times we find it difficult to focus in life. You and I may find some problems to focus in our spiritual walk with God. Just as the pigeon needs to stop between steps, we also need to stop between steps, to refocus on where we are in relation to the world and the will of God.
We must have a thorough focus/look.
In John 20:1, it is recorded, “On the first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.” The word “seeth” here shows a casual focus/look. In John 20:6, John wrote, “Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie.” Here the word “seeth” indicates a normal focus/look. However, in John 20:8, the scriptures record, “Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw and believed.” The word “saw” impresses upon us that the disciple gave a thorough focus/look. Children of God ought to focus thoroughly on any spiritual task before us.
Let us FOCUS to deepen and strengthen our faith
Christians sing the song, “When my love to Christ grows weak.” That line in the hymn rhymes with another line, “when for deeper faith I seek.” Christians need to focus on how we can deepen our faith in Christ.
Every human being has some amount of belief in the higher power despite what atheists would have us believe. As a child we will believe that our parents will protect and provide for us. As an adult we will believe that the government will provide the safety of law and order, protecting citizens from each other and from foreign enemies. But as for Christians, we have belief and faith in the higher power which is not of this world, and that is God whom we worship.
What is belief?
“Belief is an opinion or judgment in which a person is fully persuaded.” These are ideas and concepts that we gathered through acquired information and experience. These are the things which we are fully convinced of usually, but not always. Because of that, our beliefs can change over time and we can believe different things as we gain more knowledge and experience throughout our lives.
So, what is faith and how does it differ from belief?
What is faith?
Faith is belief plus action and confidence. Faith includes our belief but it is bigger than that. Faith requires action. If faith doesn’t move us to do something or to say something and act on some kind of action as required of God, it is not really faith. James put it in this way in James 2: 14-16. James concludes it in verse James 2: 17 “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead”.
Confidence is trust and knowledge that we have. Basically, it is a measure of how firm we hold to a certain belief. The writer of Hebrew 11: 1 states, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” So we understand that faith is trusting in God to fulfill His promises for the future, trusting in something we have not yet experienced based on what He has already fulfilled in the past. Our faith is not blind; it is actually squarely based on God’s proven faithfulness to us already.
Faith leads to salvation, which is plainly written in the Bible in Ephesians 2: 8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Faith (not faith only) is essential to our salvation.