I've been thinking a lot this year about faith (no, kidding right?). When you find yourself staring at the floor of your faith, when there's nowhere to go but up, and when the descent into the valley has taken you places in your mind you didn't think you could go, well, on the upside, you find yourself thinking about faith a lot.
A friend posted some great thoughts on faith this morning and I've been stuck on one part of it all day:
"The real question about faith is “What is the object of your faith?” I’m glad you have faith, but faith in what? The Bible? Your confession? Praying perfect prayers? Hyper-faith teaching conceives a faith in faith. Other misguided doctrines teach faith in spiritual disciplines. The gospel teaches faith in Christ (1 Cor. 2:1-5)."
Faith in faith? How familiar does that sound? It probably doesn't sound very familiar because most of us wouldn't say that the object of our faith is more faith. But I'd venture a good guess that were we to whittle our prayers down to their barest bones, we would find at the helm and horizon a straight plane of faith. We ask in faith for an increase of faith to bolster our failing faith in faith. Where is God in this equation and what need have we of Him when our faith is the ultimate goal.
For so long I have prayed "I believe, help my unbelief!" and trust me when I say I would not take back a breath of those prayers. That line sustained me, gave me hope, comforted me, challenged me, blessed me, and helped to usher in that belief I so desperately wanted.
But it is lately that I see that that father of that boy prefaced his prayer with this lone word: Lord!
God. Jesus. Christ. The Way. Truth. Word. Life. Creator. Spirit. Teacher. Brother. Friend. Lord.
He is our Object and He is our end-goal.
To make faith or health or wealth or blessing or rest or contentment or healing or a good ending to our story on earth is not and cannot be the goal. This is why we are so broken when God does not heal or when He does not give wealth or when the blessings seem far from us--because our faith was in a good thing, but not the best thing. He is the best thing. He is the first thing.
He is Lord. First and only.