If I said the words “extreme faith” to you, what would spring to mind?
A missionary leaving behind their home to go to an unreached part of the world? A terrorist bomber? The title of a Christian conference?
In our wider culture, faith to the extreme has become a no-go zone. Radical religion is socially awkward at best and dangerous at worst.
I want to invite you to ponder with me what it could mean if we pushed our faith in Jesus to its most logical extreme. What would that look like?
I think it’s fairly safe to say that the object, direction, and goal of our faith is God, fully revealed in Jesus and shown to us through the Bible. We are called to follow Him, love Him wholeheartedly, and serve Him in every aspect of our lives.
He is the One who was before all creation and yet came to earth as a baby. He took a little dead girl by the hand, told her to wake up, and she did. He called the influential religious leaders of His day cowards and hypocrites because of their refusal to see Him for who He was. He told a paralysed man to get up and walk; He calmed storms; He fed 5,000 people on 5 loaves and 2 fish. His ministry was public, powerful, and unapologetic.
Our faith originates in Jesus and is perfected in Him. As a guarantee of faith, we have been given the Holy Spirit: God Himself dwelling in our hearts, sanctifying and renewing us so that we look more like Jesus each day.
For that is our aim, is it not? Fully radical, extreme faith made manifest is to look like Jesus. To love God and love others in such a way that we would willingly lay down our lives not just for our friends and family, but our enemies too. To know the Father’s heart towards us deeply and without question. To experience and use the power of the Spirit available to us to declare the gospel, and do greater things than we might ask or imagine. Greater things even than Jesus! (see John 14:12-14)
We have a phrase in Agapé UK about sharing our faith. We say that it is “stepping out in the power of the Holy Spirit, and leaving the results to God.” That phrase has been an encouragement to many staff and students as they attempt to share faith in increasingly hostile environments on university campuses across the UK.
But I think that the saying has a greater application than simply to sharing our faith. It is something to be applied to every minute of every day. From the moment we put our feet on the bedroom floor in the morning to our last thought before we sleep at night, we are to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, trusting the results to God. We need to rely on His redeeming work to transform us and the lives of those around us. He cannot and should not be suppressed.
Our faith, lived out to its most logical extreme, is a Spirit-empowered demonstration of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection which brings glory to God above ourselves: self-sacrificial; other-loving; radically true; public, private, and integral to who we are. Faith should not be quiet. It should not be timid. It should be mountain-moving, water-walking, Spirit-filled intimacy with the God who made us.
This article was originally published in the Summer 2016 issue of Agapé UK’s MOVE Magazine.
The views expressed in this blog post are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the GC network.