Christ-followers talk about faith a lot. It’s one of the most basic, most essential tenets of following Jesus. We have faith that the Bible is 100% true. We have faith that Jesus is who He said He is. We have faith that God will keep all His promises. We have faith that living the way God says is right will result in blessings in our lives. And the list goes on and on.
But somewhere along the line, faith earned a reputation for being blind. It’s not, and it never has been. Blind faith is naivete, lazy, foolish, and dangerous. God demands that we have faith, yes, but not without providing copious evidence that what He’s asking us to believe is true.
There’s faith and there’s recklessness. Some people think it’s the same, but it’s not. Being reckless is spending money you don’t have and expecting God to replace it. It’s living irresponsibly and expecting God to pick up the pieces for you. Reckless living means you don’t think. You just feel. And while there’s an element of feeling in faith, faith should always always be based on the solid bedrock of Scripture.
“Today when you hear his voice,
don’t harden your hearts
as Israel did when they rebelled,
when they tested me in the wilderness.
There your ancestors tested and tried my patience,
even though they saw my miracles for forty years.
So I was angry with them, and I said,
‘Their hearts always turn away from me.
They refuse to do what I tell them.’
So in my anger I took an oath:
‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”
Faith doesn’t test God. Granted, there’s a verse about tithing and giving to the church where God invites you to test Him (Malachi 3:10). That if you give sacrificially to God’s work, God will bless you abundantly. But there’s no verse in Scripture inviting you to test God’s mercy with driving drunk or even driving buzzed. There’s no verse in Scripture that says it’s okay to immerse yourself in debt and expect God to help you pay it off.
When Satan came to tempt Jesus, I think Christ’s response should guide our actions when it comes to taking unnecessary, reckless risks. Because if Jesus wouldn’t test God by throwing Himself into danger and expecting God to save Him, we shouldn’t either.
But what is faith then if it isn’t blind?
I know many people who have made choices that seem reckless. I have friends who’ve left a comfortable American life to live in third-world nations with corrupt governments. Some live there alone. Others are raising a family in that environment. And many people I know hear about them and comment on how dangerous they are. It sounds reckless. It sounds like blind faith, leaping into a dangerous situation and trusting God to get you out of it. But it’s not. It’s very different.
First of all, faith is knowing who God is and what He expects from His children. He expects us to follow Him, to agree with Him, to say that what He says is right. But the second part of faith is action. It’s doing what God says to do, going where He says to go, living how He says to live. And that is different for each and every Christ-follower.
For some, God directs them to leave their homes and travel through dangerous countries telling others about Jesus, but if God has told them to go, they’re safer in those dangerous lands than they would be at home. For others, God has told them to walk away from their jobs and live a life devoted to Him and to ministry and to others, and if God wants them to do that, He’ll provide a better way of a life for them than if they made six-figure salaries.
I guess, what it comes down to is that it’s not what you do for God that matters. It’s why you do it.
Faith isn’t blind if you know who you’re trusting. If you’re following God with your whole heart, He won’t lead you into a situation He can’t get you out of. And even though your actions may seem crazy to everyone else, if God is leading you, you need to follow.
If you live recklessly expecting God to put your life back together when you’re done having fun, you’ll regret it. God will help you, but it won’t be easy. If you give your life to God now and He leads you to do something the world calls reckless, that’s a completely different story. It may not turn out how you expect, but you can trust God will provide because that’s what He’s promised to do.