Faith and Reason

 In Catalyst

Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!” (1 Kings 18:38-39, NIV)

These verses come from the passage we’ll study in this Sunday’s sermon (I hope you’ll be there).  The Israelites who had strayed from God had their faith restored once they saw the fire from heaven.  Though they were non-committal before – they now believed.

Most of us have been poorly educated when it comes to the concept of faith.  We’re told: “just believe, just have faith.”  We understand faith to mean following blindly and groping in the dark.  But that’s not the case.  Theologian J.P. Moreland says, “In Scripture, faith involves placing trust in what you have reason to believe is true. Faith is not a blind, irrational leap into the dark. So faith and reason cooperate on a biblical view of faith. They are not intrinsically hostile.”

Faith and reason work together in conjunction. The people on Mt. Carmel who witnessed fire fall from heaven had reason to believe in the God of Israel and reason to disbelieve the god Baal.  They saw all the evidence they needed with their own eyes.

But what about Elijah’s faith to call down the fire in the first place?  What evidence did he have to expect such an outlandish miracle?  He’d seen the impossible before.  He believed God could send fire from heaven because he had seen God raise a child from the dead.  He believed God could raise the dead boy because he had seen a flour barrel refuse to empty for three years.  He believed God could keep flour in a barrel because he’d been fed by ravens.

He had plenty of evidence to support him.  My guess is, you do, too.

For what are you believing God today?  Do you have “reason to believe” he will work on your behalf? Search your memory…think back to when God has met your needs before, when he has miraculously intervened in your life.  That’s all the reason you need in order to believe he will work in you again.

Don’t stop believin’,

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