“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
‘Praying in faith is powerful’ is a strong value taught to most of us in our childhood. As a ninth grader, I had once forgotten to take my geometry box to school. I dreaded to face my arithmetic classes that afternoon. With no great options available, I resorted to asking God in prayer to change the lesson plan of my arithmetic teacher to deal with anything else other than geometry. I knew God could do it, yet as the time was approaching, the other side of me questioned what if God did not do it. During the lunch hour, few of my friends pitched in some money and putting it together with what I had, we could meet the sum just required to purchase a geometry box from the school’s stationery store. Feeling completely relieved with a newly purchased geometry box, I entered my class and settled down just in time for the class. The teacher who usually strictly adhered to her lesson plan was now changing it to teach a theorem instead of geometry. This incident hit real hard on me and taught me what it means to have full assurance of faith. There are some danger signs which hamper our Christian way of living in full assurance of faith which we need to be cautious about. The verse we are meditating upon for this month calls us to draw near to God with true and pure heart with absolute faith. Let us introspect at three danger signs that we may encounter in our daily lives that could hamper such sort of a Christian living: 1) Doubt 2) Disobedience and 3) Deceit. The scripture documents various men and women of faith with their strengths and weaknesses. Apostle Thomas, despite his faith and perseverance, to spread the Gospel is still called as the Doubting Thomas. If he who was martyred for Christ and serves as the key reason of Christianity in India, is continuously remembered by us for his doubting nature, where do we stand? Doubt is a serious danger sign that could cause our feet to slip away from faith. Hannah wept and prayed for a child and when she left the place after a brief conversation with Eli, she left in peace without any traces of doubt (1 Samuel 1). When things do not turn our way and we are at life’s uncertain crossroads, are we able to pray and leave it to God in peace without doubting God’s sovereignty, purpose, and plans? Disobedience is another danger sign which leads us astray. It is often said partial obedience is also disobedience. We find the huge price Moses had to pay by subjecting himself to partial obedience (Exodus 17 and Numbers 20). God had instructed Moses to speak to the rock while instead, he struck the rock and he took control of the situation. God, however, remained faithful and true to His promises but this disobedience of Moses greatly upset Him. These sort of unconscious disobedience could arise in our everyday lives unless we completely rely on strength from above. The third and last of the many danger signs that we can choose to introspect ourselves this month is Deceit. While we align our lives with trust in God, many a time evil conscience comes up in disguise convincing us to turn away from the full assurance of faith in God’s time and providence. We see Rebekah, one of the celebrated woman of the Old Testament takes the route of deception in order to secure God’s promises of Jacob. God could have accomplished His blessing to Jacob through any means, yet the impatient Rebekah cleverly devises a plan that deviates from a true heart. As a consequence of this, she never met her favorite son ever again. My dear friends in Christ, as we begin this month, may we introspect ourselves of these danger signs in our lives and draw closer to God. May we seek God’s grace to receive a true heart that will learn to have full assurance of faith without doubt, disobedience or deceit.