We return now to our original framework for the #2 Pencil Faith. In way of review, the two outer pencils represent the fullness of our faith. Within this fullness are the certainties we stand on. These involve the things God has told us about Himself and the validation of His Word through our human experience. Also represented within our faith are our fears and doubts. Though we all have them, and should forever seek resolution, we tolerate their existence in order to journey forward.
As I have shared, in my personal experience I have estimated those things I am certain of to account for 80% of my faith and my fears and doubts, the remaining 20%. A dynamic middle pencil marks this dividing line (See #2 Pencil Faith graphic). I should qualify, when I speak of my certainties I do not mean to suggest I know 80% of everything there is to know about God, but rather that this region of my journey brings me mostly confidence and very little distress.
Yet, the middle pencil is only a fragile reference that reminds me of the norm. When I am in the midst of an unfortunate crisis, and Satan kindles the fires of fear and doubt, this sliding reference point compresses my certainties. In a short time I am tricked into thinking the things I don’t understand about God are more significant than the things of which I am certain. Like a dam on the verge of collapse the line that divides my fears and doubts from my certainties becomes unstable and spiritual catastrophe threatens my peace.
But this is a delusion. In reality I am certain of much more than it appears at the moment, and my fears and doubts are being blown out of proportion. The basic premises upon which my faith is built have not moved. I am merely forced to consider the immensity of God’s divine option and seek to understand how He might be working in a way unknown to me. This is how my faith grows: by watching God work in new ways as He proves the precept of the angel Gabriel that with Him, “Nothing is impossible”!
Are you prone to delusions? How do you think Satan uses them to undermine our faith?
Dear God, give me a sense of perspective. In Jesus’ name, Amen.