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The Process of Faith

Picture three little girls, their blonde heads bent down as they walk along the seashore. Beach combing was one of our favourite things to do when we were in Papua New Guinea. The shells were numerous and almost all of them beautiful. My daughters and I spent quite some time walking the white sand and usually went home with pails full of treasures.

But we had been cautioned to be careful. There were certain kinds of shells there which contained a creature that was deadly. Tourists who weren't in the know had died because of them. We had to learn which were safe and which were not. We had to learn that some things, even though they look beautiful, can be dangerous. As I watched my daughters pick the shells from the sand, I was thankful for the warnings we had received, thankful that we could rely on the wisdom of those who knew the dangers.

In the same way, we sometimes have to be careful about spiritual things in our lives. We have to understand that not everything that looks and sounds good is true or even . . .

Picture three little girls, their blonde heads bent down as they walk along the seashore. Beach combing was one of our favourite things to do when we were in Papua New Guinea. The shells were numerous and almost all of them beautiful. My daughters and I spent quite some time walking the white sand and usually went home with pails full of treasures.

But we had been cautioned to be careful. There were certain kinds of shells there which contained a creature that was deadly. Tourists who weren't in the know had died because of them. We had to learn which were safe and which were not. We had to learn that some things, even though they look beautiful, can be dangerous. As I watched my daughters pick the shells from the sand, I was thankful for the warnings we had received, thankful that we could rely on the wisdom of those who knew the dangers.

In the same way, we sometimes have to be careful about spiritual things in our lives. We have to understand that not everything that looks and sounds good is true or even of benefit. It's easy to get drawn into something that appears wholesome, appears right, but is a concoction of deceit. The writer of the book of Proverbs knew this when he wrote ? "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."

The Apostle John also warned us to be careful, when he said ? "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1John 4:1)

God has given us ways to discover the truth and He has promised that if we seek Him with all our heart, mind and soul, we will find Him. The key seems to be that we never stop. If we sit back, thinking we know all there is to know about Him, we are in danger of arrogance and self-deceit. Finding and knowing God is not just an event in time. Faith is a process and a lifestyle that produces fruit.

A wise person once said, "No-one has the complete truth but God Himself." I think that's why it's so vital to get to know Him, to depend on His wisdom, to lean only on His strength. In this thin slice of time we call our life, we are far too limited to assume we know it all. So it's wise to heed the writers of scripture when they tell us to be careful. It's wise to heed the words God inspired, to gain His wisdom. It's wise to acknowledge that we are frail humans and only God is God.

Marcia Laycock is a pastor's wife and freelance writer living in Alberta Canada.  Her devotional book, The Spur of the Moment has been endorsed by Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and others.  To order, and to view more of Marcia's writing, see her web site - www.vinemarc.com
Copyright Marcia Lee Laycock, 2000, 2001,2002,2003,2004,2005

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