I’ve heard different preachers use gravity as an analogy for our faith in God; just as we know gravity exists even though we cannot see it, so we know God exists even though we cannot see Him. We know gravity exists because we personally experience its power, and we witness its effects on other forms of matter. We also know that it is constant because we can meticulously weigh its pulling force upon objects and we can identify and calculate ways to oppose or defy it.
Over the past three Sundays, at the church in Center, we have been discussing our faith in God. We have developed a working definition of faith and defined it as: Fearing God enough to Act in obedience as an Individual, Trusting in the Hope of God’s promises. Sunday, we will be speaking about trusting God.
As I thought about both the use of gravity as an illustration of faith and the fact that faith is sincerely trusting God, it struck me just how adequately the illustration serves its purpose.
We not only believe that gravity exists, but we place a major amount of trust in its consistent power. We trust gravity to hold us on this earth while we move about, yet we also trust it never to exert so much power that we are forced against our will to remain stationary. We trust gravity to allow us the freedom of momentarily testing its power by leaping to rebound a ball or pick an apple from a tree, and then we trust it to pull us back down to the safety of solid ground. When we leap from the bed of a truck or from the tier poles of a tobacco barn, we trust gravity to both keep us from floating away, and to refrain from body slamming us against the hard ground.
We respect and appreciate the God- established law of gravity for through it we can securely live our lives upon this earth. Many times this respect is taken for granted, but a bone jarring fall will quickly rebuild the respect gravity deserves.
Many of us are also terrified of gravity. We call it being afraid of heights, but what we actually fear is gravity. Many’s the farm boy who has been jokingly chided as he demonstrated a fear of falling the first time he ascended a silo or climbed up the tiers of a tobacco barn, “It’s not the fall that will hurt you. It’s the sudden stop at the bottom that causes the problem.”
Being afraid of heights is fearing the consequences of disrespecting and defying gravity. The farther away we get from the center of earth’s gravitational pull, the more intense our fear becomes of possibly suffering the consequences for having defied the law of this invisible power.
Remember the first word in the definition of faith: Fearing God. There are two ways in which we are to fear God.
The first one is to be terrified of God. Many do not like thinking about being terrified of God, but it is biblical (Isaiah 8:13). God is both our creator and our judge. As our creator, God has every right to establish parameters which govern the way we should serve Him as we live here upon this earth (Psalm 33:6-22; Matthew 7:21-23). That’s called a law. As our judge, God has every right to determine the penalty for breaking His law (1 John 3:4; Luke 12:4-5; Hebrews 10:26-27). That’s called justice.
The penalty for breaking God’s law is eternal condemnation. (Romans 2:1-6) That’s terrifying. When we develop faith in God, the farther away we find ourselves from God, the more terrified we become.
But God is also a loving Father who provides away to safely come back to Him (1 Peter 1:13-21). Through obedient faith in the blood of Jesus, we are brought back safely from our defiance and placed on the solid ground of God’s grace (Romans 5:1-5; Mark 16:15,16) . Through faith we can trust God to consistently pull us toward Him, yet never so strongly that we cannot exercise our free will or momentarily test His love. Saving faith fearfully respects God for the comforting consistency of His grace.
God and gravity. Believe in them. Be terrified of them. Respect them. Be saved and kept safe by them. Or face the horrifying consequences of defying them.
Do you wish to follow us