Thursday, July 10, 2008

Corobborating Faith

This blog is about a faith journey, isn't it?

So many of my posts in the summer tend to revolve around some aspect of baseball that it's easy to lose focus on the purpose of writing.

While Rick and I were in Philadelphia last week, we visited the historic sites around Independence Hall. For me, perhaps the most striking part of that day was the presence of some Quakers singing, witnessing and "street" preaching. They were positioned on the lawn outside of Independence Hall near the Liberty Bell museum singing acappella. As Rick and I made our way toward them, we noticed the familiar words and tune of "Jesus Saves." We even sang along with them!

I was impressed by their courage and inspired by their conviction, if not made a little uneasy by the fact that on the sign (you can click to enlarge), they list "sports" among the vices that bring the judgment of God upon abominable nations.

Not fair.

Anyway, their passion to proclaim in the presence of thousands of disinterested bystanders grabbed my attention.

How passionate am I about my witness? How convicted am I about the testimony of saving faith in Jesus Christ?

In my daily Bible reading Wednesday, a passage from Isaiah struck me. It is from Isaiah 43.10 and draws a line from the witness of God's children to the strengthening of their own faith.

"You are my witnesses," declared the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me."

Through Isaiah, God is making a startling claim: that God's witnesses have their faith corroborated by their own testimony. I've never quite thought of witnessing as a means of strengthening the faith of the witness. I've often measured the success of testimony on its impact on people away from God.

Yet, God makes it abundantly clear -- you want a faith boost? Then share your faith! In need of spiritual strength? Then tell someone about God! Struggling in a state of spiritual lethargy? Then tell someone else what great things God has done for you!

It's the telling of what God has done in the past that reinforces and inspires faith to move forward into the future.