Shalom brothers and sisters. Today I would like to elaborate on a virtue we are often told to practice, but sometimes have a quite shallow understanding of. That is, Faith. As believers, our very initiation into a relationship with YHWH is through this. Belief. We are saved through our trust and belief in HaMashiach. Our Faith is the ground beneath our walk. Our obedience walks upon the path that our faith lays out for us beneath. Without it, we fall, with no ground to support… The spiritual laws of gravity in effect as usual, making it necessary to have that Faith, that grounding, so that we may walk. We know this is the very core of our relationship to YHWH and HaMashiach. And at root, Faith might be, though debated, man’s original virtue. The thing that in itself at root, signified man perfect response to his Creator, and the link that allowed man to have the relationship that he was originally made to have with him. Faith, in another sense, is reliance, trust and submission to YHWH. The core of Faith being dependence upon YHWH in the deepest, most real sense. Now, lets go a bit deeper. Man once did this, in the purest and most direct way, physically, mentally, and spiritually. We are told that at one time man, through Scriptural speculation, that man was once perfectly united with YHWH. Adam, our forefather, that is. YHWH ruled man, and man was in perfect surrender and reliance (faith) to YHWH. However rich and varied man’s experience of his fellows (or fellow) in charity and friendship and sexual love, or of the beasts, or of the surrounding world then first recognized as beautiful and awful, Elohim came first in his love and in his thought, and that without painful effort.
In perfect cyclic movement, being, power, and joy descended from Elohim to man in the form of gift and returned from man to Elohim in the form of obedient love and ecstatic adoration: and in this sense, though not in all, man was truly the son of Elohim, and in the designed relationship of Creator to created. Perfectly enacting in joy and ease of all the faculties and all the senses that filial self-surrender which HaMashiach enacted throughout His entire life and in the agonies of His execution. Specifically, of YHWH to man, whom he had created to have this specific relation. Now here is the part where you have all been waiting for. The part where I describe the Fall of Man. The great descent from this, and I have only hinted at it, glorious state in which man lived while in complete surrender to the father. Let me stop us here, for the moment, and address specifically what this has to do with Faith, lest I have lost some of you. Faith as we are taught it, is something along the lines of “Put your trust in YAHWEH” etc. And indeed we should. However I have presented this short recount to give us a glimpse of the virtue in a somewhat different, yet purer form. At a time when man’s reliance/submission/faith to the Father was where it was supposed to be. And in this first, original and pure form, we see the power and ultimateness of Faith. In summary, we see that Faith is an adjective in a sense used to describe in totality man’s MEANING and role in his relation to His Creator (for whom he was created). And that role is one of Faith. At core, the relationship we are to have with YHWH is always servant to master, employee to boss, wife to husband, Robin to Batman (lol) etc. We are in response to Him at base. And this particular relationship being the highest one, requires submission and obedience of the highest and most kind. For this, man was created. Faith, we see, is the virtue that most strikingly resembles and symbolically represents this original divine union YHWH had with us, and intended to have with us. It is not wonder that even after the Fall all of our introductions to YHWH began by Him telling us to “believe” and “have faith”. He is getting us on the road back to that full self-surrender and perfect relationship that He once had with us, and one day, once more, will. Before moving on I would like to thank our Savior Yahushua for exemplifying this reliance, this FAITH, even in a fallen world which by all means possible is hostile to the ideology and behavior.
Now, to understand the other basic half of Faith that I wanted to touch on, let us go over the Fall just briefly. Now there is, as expected, much speculation on what happened at that time. What caused the fall. My personal opinion was that the original sin was that of covetousness. That being the root of sin itself, and particularly that heinous sin of Pride- spiritual cancer. Sooner or later man fell. Someone or something whispered that they could become elohim- that they could cease directing their lives to their Creator and taking all their delights as uncovenanted mercies, as ‘accidents’ (in the logical sense) which arose in the course of a life directed not to those delights but to the adoration of Elohim. You see we now want all of the glory that manifests/manifested itself in this perfect submission and faith to Elohim by devoting ourselves to ‘delights’. When delights were simply a product of first being obedient. As a young man wants a regular allowance from his father which he can count on as his own, within which he makes his own plans, so they desired to be their own, to take care of their own future, to plan for pleasure and for security, to have a meum from which, no doubt, they would pay some reasonable tribute to El in the way of time, attention, and love, but which, nevertheless, was theirs, not His. They wanted, as we say, to ‘call their souls their own’. But that means to live a lie, for our souls are not, in fact, our own. They wanted some corner in the universe of which they could say to Elohim, ‘This is our business, not yours.’ But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives. We have no idea in what particular act, or series of acts, the self-contradictory, impossible wish found expression. For all I can see, it might have concerned the literal eating of a fruit, but the question is of no consequence.
This act of self-will on the part of the creature, which constitutes an utter falseness to its true creaturely position, is the only sin that can be conceived as the fall. For the difficulty of the first sin is that it must be very heinous, or its consequences would not be so terrible, and yet it must be something which a being free from the temptations of fallen man could conceivably have committed. The turning from El to self fulfills both conditions. It is a sin possible to any self. The mere existence of a self- the mere fact that we call it ‘me’- includes, from the first, the danger of self-idolatry. And if we think of it in another sense, the choice to abandon our submission to YHWH. To trust in the self instead. Since I am I, I must make an act of self-surrender however small or however easy, in living to Elohim rather than to myself. This is, if you like, the ‘weak spot’ in the very nature of creation, the risk which El apparently thinks worth taking. Alas, we have the choice of Faith in YHWH, or not….
TRUST. Now to once more bring us back from that short excerpt from the fall, I want to conclusively state the other part of the Faith equation. That being that ultimately Faith is the choice to have a relationship with YHWH. For we can have a relationship with Him through no other means. It means that regardless of the outside ‘delights’ or even ‘pains’ we choose to submit to Him. Man at one point thought he could have the delights that come along with perfect obedience without being perfectly obedient; that is not the case. And there is no rainbow’s end in another road other than submission to YAH. It appears even Adam thought perhaps there was a higher road then even the bliss he had in all areas through His reliance upon YAH, but he found death instead. On a lighter note and in a different light, we must remember that Faith is also trust. If we trust that what YHWH is saying is absolutely true, we will obey. It is the only natural reaction. That is why Scripture often rebukes our disobedience as disbelief as well. We are suffering servants, soon to be reigning Kings. Following the route of our Savior. Since the fall, man is able to once again submit himself to YHWH, but not without pain and suffering. Well, so be it. And He does not forget our suffering, nor the difficulty of our trials. However…
“To him who overcomes I shall give to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
^This is my answer to man. This is my answer to my enemy, and to those who would say I am a fool for not looting the spoils of this world, and pursuing some kind of pseudo-reign on earth during my time here. For my friends we will reign forever. Children of the Sovereign inherit endless time, and endless power. Ruling the universe is the family business. For now, in our fallen bodies, Faith in Him will never be, for long at least, easy. YHWH asks us to give up… everything. To make that kind of investment requires trust of the utmost kind that what He promises He will do. It requires trust to suffer pain of all flavors for a joy and a prize that you cannot see. Such is the task of the future sons and daughter of Elohim. It takes faith that YHWH is right and will reward to act differently, dress differently, and speak differently than the vast majority of people around us. We immerse ourselves in suffering, to arise out of the pool of pain in Everlasting Glory. Believe… Trust… For the mind has not conceived what He has waiting for His elect.
I am trusting YHWH that the future physical, financial, social, emotional, and other kinds of sacrifices I am making on His behalf and at His command(s) will be rewarded, and that He does not forget my suffering. That He indeed will do justice on the earth one day as He promised us. And I must trust in this not only when I am at a spiritual gathering amongst my friends, family, and fellow brothers and sisters in Mashiach; but when I am in my room, alone. When we go home to our apartment, or to our school full of worldly bullies that make living the Word immensely difficult. I must trust that He is absolutely right when He tells me that it is always right to forgive and not to strike back; and even that He will one day strike back for me. When I put on my tzizit on I am physically manifesting my trust in YHWH and reminding myself to whom I am betrothed and committed to. When an issue of a desire of mine and a command of mine come into conflict and I must either indulge or suffer whilst being obedient, that I truly must persevere and trust that He will provide as He has promised. I must believe this when I am struck in the face by the bully, or taunted behind my back by the gossiper, or when under subjection to rude, unkind, and inconsiderate adults, teachers, and classmates. We must trust him if we are to continue on this hard walk, continually swimming against the tide, trusting that He is all He says He is… It is the glorious burden of we, the inheritors of time and eternity, to lead the world in the walk back to Elohim. And that is first manifested in the small seed (that will one day be the full fruit) of that life man once enjoyed in union with YHWH. This time we will enjoy it to an even greater extent! But it begins with Faith (in HaMashiach). Which leads to obedience/righteousness… And that my brothers and sisters… Leads to Eternal Life…
Remember the word to Your servant, On which You have caused me to wait.
Here is the endurance of the set-apart ones, here are those guarding the commands of Elohim and the belief of Yahushua.