Faith accidents simply put are faith attempts that fail. At some point in time, most of us have taken a step of faith that did not turn out so well or produce the desired result. If you indeed walk by faith and live by faith as the Bible suggests we should, then you ought to have had one or more faith accidents. It is important to recognize these for what they are and be equipped to respond appropriately.
The disciples of Jesus though they had been with Him for so long experienced a faith accident in Matthew 17:14 – 21. A man brought his son who suffered frequent seizures to them for healing but they could not heal him. Jesus ultimately came on the scene and fixed the issue. His disciples in their wisdom or out of inquisitiveness asked Him why they had failed in this and He pointed to their faith. This bunch had been sent out at some point and they saw results but in this instance, they suffered a faith accident.
Likewise, Peter suffered a potentially fatal faith accident when he decided to walk on water. He stepped out in faith as many of us do today and actually did walk on water for a while until something happened and he started to sink mid journey. These are some Bible examples of faith accidents. Do you remember your episodes?
Sometime last year, God said something profound to me that became the platform on which my faith journey is anchored and the foundation for a more practical walk of faith. It also rebased my thinking on the subject and has formed the basis for this post.
He said, “Faith always works. If you try something in faith and it does not work, it wasn’t faith but foolishness. You can distinguish between an action in faith and a foolish action by the results. Wisdom is justified by her children.” I have regurgitated this over and over and also tested it by the Word and I find it to be pure truth. Every faith adventure is inherently foolish but the substance on which it rests causes it to work out and in those instances when faith isn’t structurally sound or is lacking some of the molecular components of pure Bible faith, it leads to faith accidents. His main point to me was that faith in its true form never fails. It always works. A hundred times out of a hundred times, faith works.
In no particular order, some causes of faith accidents are elucidated below.
INADEQUATE FAITH: You are likely to experience a faith accident when you apply your faith to something above our faith level. Every unique situation we encounter has a specific level of faith to tackle it. Faith comes in different levels. Jesus who is the authority on faith alluded to the existence of little faith when Peter attempted to walk on water and experienced a faith accident, no faith when his disciples were petrified of the storm and feared for their lives, and great faith when the Centurion approached him for his servant’s healing. There must then exist from logical inference or in theological terms, necessary inference progressive variations of faith – whether in capacity or intensity. Paul in his second writing to the church in Thessalonica mentioned that their faith was growing. For you to attempt great things, great faith is required. It is not a one size fits all model. Faith is dynamic and must be growing. Deficiency of faith leads to catastrophes.
PHYSICAL ATTENTION RATHER THAN SPIRITUAL ATTENTION: Another cause of faith accidents is being more physically attentive than spiritually attentive in the course of a faith journey. We attempt actions in faith because we are physically incapable and must draw on the spiritual to make things happen. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. We don’t hope for virtual realities and certainties therefore we don’t need faith for such. ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ isn’t a prayer of faith when there is abundance in the refrigerator. I don’t need faith to drive a car because I can drive. I would need faith to fly a plane because I don’t know how to. However, and just by design and its applications, our faith will be tested by the very real physical realities when we step into these situations of hope. The boisterous wind and storm tested Peter’s faith when he attempted to walk on water. His physical consciousness of the storm caused him to lose faith and start to sink.
Once it is established that you are on a journey of faith, you must choose, rather deliberately to be more spiritually conscious than physical. Only a person operating at the height of spirituality can ignore the storms that arise on a faith adventure.
CONFUSING FAITH WITH BELIEF: Faith is not believing in God. It is part of it but not all of it. As a matter of fact, believing is a very rudimentary element of faith but does not entirely translate to faith. James helps us with this in James 2:19
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.
Even the devil believes but you couldn’t say that he has faith. Faith goes beyond belief. It is obeying God to prove that you believe Him or His Word. Faith is rooted in revelation which comes by the Holy Spirit. A faith attempt without an accompanying level of spiritual insight, aka revelation will lead to a faith accident.
Faith accidents are all too common among Christians and could do damage to our walk by hindering us from stepping out in faith again. This I believe is the most damaging effect of a faith accident. It often paralyzes some and consequently makes for a very frustrating Christian journey. It is required of Christians that we walk by faith. I will touch on how to recover from a faith accident in the next post.
Happy Easter!! We celebrate Jesus and honor His ultimate sacrifice today and always.