Strongholds of Faith
All that God does agrees with all that God is, and being and doing are one in him
I tell you this: if you have faith no bigger than a mustard-seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from her to there!', and it will move; nothing will prove impossible for you. Matthew 17:20
Is it possible to build a personal stronghold of faith? The answer is “Yes.”
Is it necessary to build such strongholds? The answer is, “Such strongholds already exist – in Christ.”
In American culture, we already know that confidence, a cousin to faith, is a richly valued possession. We see the need for confidence in many human activities from business to sports to parenting, and, with the unheralded exception of parenting, most Americans will pay much to have someone who is confident in his or her field of expertise. One such example was Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters of all the sport of baseball who was the last player to end a season with a hitting percentage of 0.406, 77 years ago in 1941. Williams feat meant that for every 10 at bats he struck out six times. He had possessed incredible personal gifts, talents, skills for a baseball batter matched exceptionally to an unshakeable faith that he could hit a baseball – four times out of ten. This legendary hall of famer made more outs than hits. Ted Williams is one person whose individual skill and personal confidence carried him to greatness in baseball, which in most areas of life would be counted as a failure.
Most agree that confidence, a cousin to faith, is an important character trait to possess and to act upon. A. W. Tozer writes “All of God’s acts are consistent with His attributes. No attribute contradicts any other, but all harmonize and blend into each other in the infinite abyss of the Godhead. All that God does agrees with all that God is, and being and doing are one in Him.” One attribute of God is faithfulness or being full of faith, and his actions are full of faith, and thus, he is faithful. God cannot be unfaithful or lacking faith. A man or woman of faith posses faith and “does” faith (or hope or love or mercy or justice…).
Scripture speaks that God who is consistent with his nature is full of faith and has given to each of us a “measure of faith” (Romans 12:3), and in response to the disciples’ personal failure of faith Jesus said “if we have faith as a grain of a mustard seed, you can speak to the mountains in our lives and the mountains will move” (Matthew 17:20). Seemingly, at least according to Jesus, it doesn’t take much faith to do the impossible. The few who entered to Promised Land mixed to Good News of such a land with faith and entered that fullness that God promised and intended for them. Inspired by such faith, I ask the question, “Are my own acts of faith consistent and agree with my own attributes of faith?” Admittedly, in some areas of my life I doubt; I do not have the faith that could move a mole hill. So I find myself in need of a stronghold.
“The name of the Lord is a mighty tower where his people can run for safety…” (Proverbs 18:10), speaks to the relational characteristic of faith. The stronghold of faith exists in the person of Jesus, the Christ. In the midst of our own trials and doubts we have a refuge, not in cold mortar and stone or in personal confidence but in the person of the Lord himself. Thankfully as well, we have such a historical host of men and women who struck out more often than Ted Williams, yet are found as the Faithful in the Kingdom Hall of Fame (cf. Hebrews 11).
Lord Jesus, my stronghold of faith, teach me to take my mustard-seed of faith and mix it with your Good News. Make my actions of faith harmonize with who I am bringing me into conformity with your image in me.