Faith, You Must Have

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“I’ve watched this one for a long time. All his life, he’s looked away to the future; to the horizon. Never once did he keep his mind on where …he…was! Hmm? What… he… was doing! Hmmph! Adventure. Heh! Excitement. Heh! A Jedi doesn’t crave these things.  You are reckless!”

Anyone who claims to be a real Star Wars fan knows Yoda’s unique dialect doesn’t flow as simple as that. But, that’s what I heard. I must’ve watched “The Empire Strikes Back” a hundred times since I was a kid. But this time, those accusatory words hit me personally, and square in the heart. On top of that, I watched Luke Skywalker struggle with his faith in the Force; watched as he erroneously judged his command of the Force on the circumstances surrounding him. The icing on my cake of conviction was that infamous dialogue between Luke and Yoda, after Luke’s submerged X-Wing Fighter was levitated out of the bog.

“I don’t…I don’t believe it,” Luke said.

“That is why you fail.” Yoda sighed.

For most of my adult life, I’ve spent too much time star gazing into the future, and never really concentrating on the “here-&-now” tasks required to get me there. Spur-of-the-moment decisions and knee-jerk reactions cause more setbacks than successes. Eventually, life can become frustrating when you try to go it alone. Since I struggled with the concept of “faith alone”, I usually made up my mind to do something, then prayed about it afterwards. But, that’s not how it works.

Faith is a lot like the Force. In Luke 17:6, Jesus said, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” That kind of faith seems impossible, in the natural world, so most of us don’t even bother trying to cultivate it. Because we tend to look at our circumstances, we lack the faith to believe in miracles, despite claiming to know Jesus. The trick to changing that failing faith, is to do precisely what Yoda told Luke Skywalker:

“You must unlearn, what you have learned.”

We have to put our complete trust in the one who created everything, and controls all things. That’s Jesus. Faith in him is the way we conquer our giants. Complete trust in him, is how our lives will change. Believe it or not, trusting him all the way is a simple choice. I don’t mean it’s easy. If that were the case, everyone would be saved! What I mean is, you have to choose to trust the Lord. It’s a daily wholehearted choice.

Trusting in the Lord may start out small and seem ridiculously uncomfortable, in the beginning. But, that’s where he meets you, right where you are with his mercy and grace. As you continue to move toward trusting him, he gives more grace. And believe me when I say his grace is sufficient. There isn’t a challenge you will encounter that God can’t walk you through.

So here’s my call to action, friends. In 2016, let’s all train to be Jedi. Our lightsabers are prayers because our struggle is not against flesh and blood enemies, but against the rulers, authorities and powers of our dark world. Whether you realize it or not, our greatest battles are fought spiritually. Let’s start fighting back, by using the real Force: our faith.

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