Biblical Faith and the Vertical Graph-Line of Light
Biblical faith is open to attack from the realm of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking, through the occurrence of challenging life events and circumstances (1 Cor. 10:13). For Spirit-born Christians today, this is part of the reality of living in a fallen, broken world opposed to the gospel message of peace.
For biblical examples, Paul is nearly stoned to death in Antioch Pisidia (Acts 14:19-20). Peter is arrested and is in prison awaiting trial (Acts 12:4). King Nebuchadnezzar decides to make a large statue image of himself for all of his courtiers, servants, and administrators to worship (Dan. 3:5). King Chedorlaomer and his armies attack Sodom and Gomorrah…taking away Lot (Gen. 14:12)…requiring Abraham to assemble his own small army to go and rescue his nephew Lot. The Israelites are trapped between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s chariot army…setting the stage for the miraculous opening of the Red Sea for the Israelites to safely cross on foot (Ex. 14:21-22).
But biblical faith…while vulnerable to attack…is undefeated and unbeatable when our hope and trust in God remains true…because a God-composed journey of faith life-script that brilliantly creates the novel storyline context for biblical faith to operate…is far above and outside of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…as understood by the nature of moral goodness and spiritual light.
Moral goodness and spiritual light can be arranged on a vertical graph-line continuum…having absolute goodness and brilliant pure light at the top…with a descending gradual diminution of light and goodness going down this graph-line scale.
On this graph-line spectrum…God is at the very top (1 Jn. 1:5; Jas. 1:17). The large bubble containing most of human experience…worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…is located farther down the vertical spectrum line of goodness and light…being a mixture of both good and evil…a mixture of light and darkness.
Within worldly conventional normalcy resides the commendable and admirable activities of “occupy till I come” (Lk. 19:13)…activities which we can accomplish using our innate, natural abilities and talents. But also within the very large realm of worldly conventional normalcy…resides the evils of prejudice, injustice, thefts, hatred, adulteries, unforgiveness, strife, violence, and war.
Worldly conventional normalcy and thinking is the zone that mankind fell downward into…as a result of the fall into sin in the Garden of Eden…lower down the vertical graph-line scale of moral goodness and spiritual light. Worldly conventional normalcy and thinking contains “the broad way that leads to destruction” of Matthew 7:13-14.
God’s Higher Callings
When God calls a person into an adventure of faith today…to become a pastor, an evangelist, a missionary, a Bible scholar, a deacon or deaconess in their church…that person is lifted upward on the spectrum-line of goodness and light…into a place where the events and circumstances of their new calling and mission are designed around moral, ethical, and character issues that will help a number of other people…as well as bring purpose and meaning into their own lives (Tit. 2:14).
A God-composed journey of faith takes place above and outside of the realm of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…first because God is located at the top of the spectrum of goodness and light…but second because a divinely crafted life-script that unfolds itself partially over time keeps Satan and spiritual opposition guessing in the reactive mode. If God gave us a full revelation of the entire game-plan of our lives in Christ…then the opposition would also have all of the full details upfront.
Ephesians 3:20 reads: “Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” This verse describes an elevated reality of life that by definition is outside of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…”above all we ask or think.”
In Psalm 23 the reason that David can walk through the valley of the shadow of death is that God can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…above humanistic imagination or contemplation…above human contrivance.
Colossians 3:2-3 reads: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
Our life is hidden safely with Christ in God…because entering in at the narrow gate of Matthew 7:13-14…in our God-composed journey of faith life-script…lifts us up and out of the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…described by Jesus as the broad way that leads to destruction.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7) for the highest reasons imaginable. Walking within a God-composed journey of faith life-script…in the elevated zone of goodness and light above worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…our steps are predetermined and guided by the living God and Creator of the universe.
Even though we have trials and tribulations that test and refine our faith and character…the partial revelation of the full details of our journey of faith…known only within the creative mind of God…means also that we are partially protected as we walk by faith within our calling and mission.
Our Calling Matches Our Capacity
Even though we are imperfect and flawed in our performance…often falling short and learning by our mistakes…God’s life-script composed for us is perfect in its initial inception…and individual crafting…to match our created capacity.
In nature, the lifestyle habits of the lion, cheetah, leopard, Thompson’s gazelle, elephant, and water buffalo work perfectly because they are designed by God.
The biblical narrative stories of faith never fail…they always succeed without exception…because the singularly unique context created within a God-composed adventure of faith that produces genuine biblical faith…cannot fail…because it is impossible for God to fail.
God never fails because He is located at the top of the vertical continuum line of moral goodness and light…where within a timeless existence…with pure love, holiness, and knowledge unlimited at His disposal…failure is unimaginable.
And as stated above…God cannot fail when He alone controls the narrative. When people pick up their cross…and by faith follow Jesus…they cannot lose.
A key biblical definition of faith is given in Hebrews 11:1…”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Like many biblical verses that reveal multiple truths, this important verse can be broken up into two parts. Substance and evidence define what biblical faith is…and things hoped for and things not seen describe the divinely created gap within the context of a God-composed life-script…spread-out through time, events, and circumstances…wherein faith can actualize.
Biblical examples of this gap…this space…this interval of time…wherein faith is created and demonstrated…are Abraham waiting for the birth of Isaac, Joseph being prepared for leadership in Potiphar’s house and Pharaoh’s prison, Moses being trained on the backside of the desert in Midian to become the deliverer and shepherd of God’s people, David walking through the valley of the shadow of death on his way to becoming a mighty king who would rid his nation Israel of its enemies, and the curious gap between Luke 12:50 and 23:34 where even Jesus the divine Son of God must work through His calling to become the blemish-free Passover Lamb of God for the sins of the world.
An obvious gap the Christian church is currently facing…producing the context for biblical faith to actualize and mature…is the wait for the second coming of Jesus Christ (Tit. 2:13; 2 Pet. 3:9).
Why is a good understanding of biblical faith important? 1 John 5:4 tells us: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world…”…which is…”even our faith.”
The Bible also tells us in many places that knowledge…that comes from God…is vitally important (Hos. 4:6; Isa. 5:13; Dan. 12:10).
Satan is Boxed-In
Even though as Spirit-born Christians we battle against spiritual wickedness in high places…using the weapons of Ephesians 6:10-18…the high places described here are not high up on the spectrum-line of goodness and light. God owns the top portion of the graph-line spectrum of absolute goodness and brilliant pure light. The darkness of evil will not be found there.
Anyone, including Satan, attempting to battle with God within God’s territory and using God’s weapons of love, justice, truth, and unselfish sacrifice…automatically lose the battle because this territory and these weapons by definition produce only unity and peace…not rebellion and discord.
This is why biblical faith within a God-composed journey of faith…as patterned for us in the narrative stories of faith in the Bible…is a protected zone wherein biblical faith is vulnerable and susceptible to attack…but which always and without exception ends eventually in victory…successfully crossing the gap between point A to point B within the events and circumstances of life in a journey of faith…because in this higher zone on the spectrum-line of goodness and light…God cannot fail (Jn. 8:36, 16:33).
Attacks upon believers walking with God in a journey of faith in the Bible and in the church age…often come from the lower realm of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking because this is where prejudice, hatred, unforgiveness, slander, untruth, and unbelief reside. Persecution and tribulation come from the large zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…because these things simply do not exist higher up on the vertical graph-line of moral goodness and light…higher up where Proverbs 3:5-6, Matthew 7:13-14, and Psalm 23 are found.
Spirit-born Christians must be careful not to be found living our lives in the mindset of “go along to get along” within the wide road of Matthew 7:13-14 that the mass crowd of people are taking toward destruction. Spirit-born Christians washed in the blood of Jesus Christ are no longer on this broad road to destruction, but are instead…by grace through faith…already placed in the position within the narrow gate where eternal life resides. Jesus is waiting at the foot of the cross for believers to begin their journey of faith…following Him into their God-composed life-script custom-made and individually crafted to match our in-built abilities and talents…all in the service of Christ our Savior and King.
Higher up on the vertical graph-line of goodness and light…is where every life-event and situation fits precisely into a life-script that has eternal purpose and meaning…to match the tight specifications we now see in the natural world in the Big Bang, the Anthropic Principle, in molecular DNA, and in the distinct and varied lifestyle habits of the large mammals of the African plains.
God wants today’s Christians to take His Hand and allow Him to lead us upward on the spectrum-line of goodness and light (Jn. 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:6-12)…safe and secure in the palm of His hand.
Barton Jahn is the author of five books on Christianity, and eight books on building construction. Four of his building construction books were published by McGraw-Hill (1995-98) with the fourth book translated into Chinese by the Architectural Society Press of China.
Barton Jahn has a blog at www.christiandangerzone.com, and is active in Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, and Goodreads. Barton lives in Southern California in the U.S.A.