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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Spiritually speaking…To believe or not to believe
A black man's thoughts on submission and being lead by faith
Published Monday, February 24, 2014
by James Washington, The Dallas Weekly

Men, particularly black men, often survive in this natural world, on instinct, ego, stamina and an unwillingness to submit their wills to that of another man.

Life teaches us to be and act independently. Almost from birth, we are told we don’t have to take “that” off anyone. It can be difficult to reconcile the dilemma of faith and submission and that of sacrifice and accepting someone else’s will superseding our own.

However, as Christians, the Bible teaches us in Hebrews 11:1-3 that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. So, we are to submit to the will of God while following the teachings and the example set by the life of Jesus Christ. We are not to lead ourselves but allow our lives to be guided by the Holy Spirit and fly blindly into the fray, so to speak, allowing faith to be our lighthouse.

Ultimately, faith is what guided the prophets including Moses. Faith brought down the walls of Jericho. By faith the Red Sea was parted. Enoch was transformed by faith. Abraham was delivered by it, but the reality of faith can be foreign to those who rely on what they can see, touch and confirm by their senses. To do otherwise, goes against everything natural and learned in this life. If that sentiment were to prevail, then we all should pack our bags and go straight to hell because the devil has indeed won. I just have to believe there is more.

Even in the natural world, man does not live by bread alone. For example, love and its pursuit can drive many of us to do great and sometimes extraordinary things. Yet it is something you cannot touch. Friendship and special relationships are sometimes manifested in superhuman deeds on behalf of others. Yet you can’t see them. Respect can change the behavior of the worst wrongdoers, but you can’t taste or smell it. We are guided by the unseen everyday.

I submit to you that we must focus on our faith in God as opposed to our faith in men. Faith in someone we trust typically manifests itself as loyalty. When we deliberately put God into the mix, then we are face to face with what we truly believe.

I believe everyone struggles with this as they look for a personal encounter with the Lord. But once we get it, decisions are much more simple. Faith based decisions lead to confirmation of who God is and who we are to Him. The promise in Matthew 17:20 is that “If you have the faith of a mustard seed…nothing is impossible to you.”

Still the dilemma of faith and submission can keep us from seeking and confronting our faith. I believe it to be another trick of the devil. As long as we do not confront the faith question, we will never find our personal road to salvation. We can actually get in our own way.

I can admit that I have work to do in coming to grips with my own faith. But there is no doubt in my mind that I live under the fulfilled promise of grace. Jesus completed His task and a new covenant has been established. The things of this world can sometimes cloud that fact, but every time my faith is challenged, my faith wins out. I will inherit the promise of grace and the rest of this stuff is just irrelevant. It doesn’t mean anything.


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