“It feels like I’m falling, and that’s what it’s like to believe.” ~Francesca Battistelli ‘I’m Letting Go’
I love how Francesca Battistelli describes faith in this song. She compares believing to falling. This is a rather shocking metaphor at first glance. See, we tend to associate the form of believing she is referring to, with our faith in God, and that faith is a good thing. I don’t know about you, but I relate falling with negative things, such as: failure, fear, and insecurities. How is it that a good thing can cause such a harmful effect as falling?
I think It is important to first understand, having faith does not mean that you always feel positive about the situation. Faith is a action, not a feeling. While this may not be news to you, a short, and I mean short, time ago, it was a revelation to me. I felt I did not have faith simply because I did not feel able to do the things God set before me. Then, I took time to consider the Bible’s definition of faith, and I realized faith had nothing to do with how I felt, but everything to do with what I knew to be truth. God is not telling me to feel brave, to feel secure, or to feel confident. He told me to BE brave, to KNOW I was safe,and to BE confident. I can be brave even when I feel like I am too weak to face the giants before me. I can know and act in the safety God gives me, even when I feel like the world is threatening to take it from me. And I can act in the confidence I have through Jesus even when I feel insecurities attacking me from every direction.
With this being said, I thing it may make a little more sense to compare faith to falling. With faith, you don’t know what is ahead, you are just trusting God won’t fail in His promises. Its like that game we all played as kids. The one where you put a blindfold on one person, while another one guides them through an obstacle course. If you’re the one with the blindfold, you feel like at any minute you’re going to either run into a wall, trip and fall, or that something is going to insert itself right into your path. And you can do nothing about it. That is often the way it is when trusting God. He is the one guiding us, telling us where to go, and we are the ones with the blindfold. We don’t see the big picture that God sees. So often the things he calls us to do make no sense to us. They appear from or view (the blindfolded view) to lead us right into disasters. Yet, God does see the big picture, and He will not lead us into despair.
We have to make the choice that we are going to keep going the direction God is calling us, no matter how we feel. Remember, faith is what you know to be truth, not what you feel. Hold on to God’s hand as he leads you through the obstacle course. It’s going to be scary. That’s ok though. Truth be told, the obstacle course would be a lot scarier if you had no blindfold, AND no Jesus beside you.
There are going to be multiple seasons of our lives when our faith will be exercised in different ways. For instance, right now God is building my faith through the words in John 12:25, “Anyone who holds on to his life just as it is, destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” God’s goal is not to rid us of things we enjoy, rather it’s to make us dependent on Him alone. He knows this is the only way for us to live a complete life. We can’t put so much value in things He gives us, that we compromise our beliefs.
God is revealing to me the things in this life that I have to too much value in. These are the things that are keeping me from being willing to lose my life, in order to gain the one God would give me. This is where faith comes in. I don’t see what God has in store for me, but I do see the life I am living and the things before my eyes now. To let go of this, to be willing to sacrifice it, means accepting something unknown. However, through the words in John 12, I am learning to lose my life through faith that God will not allow me to be left lacking in anything, but instead will provide more than I could imagine. This means I stop fighting so hard to justify my attachment to earthly attractions. It means letting go of my need for control. It means being willing to be broken if that’s what it takes for God to make me whole. It means no more compromising my values for the desires of my flesh. I’m giving God my hand, as I wear the blindfold. Yes, I feel like I am falling, but this, this, is what it is like to believe.
One last note, we begin to see, as we act on faith instead of feelings, that our feelings begin to go the direction of our faith. Let your faith lead you wherever you are, you will begin to feel that faith become a true feeling. But you have to push that faith through the deepest storms sometimes for it to become tried and true. James 1:3, ” And you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”