I begin this book by asking a basic question…why is faith then so difficult? If we stop for a moment of reflection upon the mechanics of our own journey of faith, it will not be surprising to realize that this also is a common question universally shared amongst all Spirit-born Christians today. The issue of difficult challenge…inherent in a faith-journey following God…is seen in every positive person of faith throughout the Bible, starting with Abraham the “father of faith” (Rom. 4:3; Ex. 3:11; Josh. 1:5-7; Jud. 6:14-17; Lk. 22:42; Acts 23:11; Heb. 11).
On the surface, faith should be much easier than it is…to place our faith in God in the middle of attacking the current, temporary life-crisis at hand…for ourselves and for others in need. In our Christian journeys of faith, the issues always seem to come back around to the successful strategy of centering on trust in God, releasing our faith, relinquishing self-sovereignty over the control of our lives, listening in the Spirit, and patiently waiting for the answer to our prayer, the inspirational solution needed, or the one right path to follow…all of which have an element of difficulty.
Why does the foreign missionary find themselves in the difficult situation of trying to make do with limited resources in their evangelical effort to bring the light and the transforming power of the gospel message to the lost? Why does the local church pastor find themselves frustratingly short of finances, church member volunteers, and community support to solve the many social problems they confront on a daily basis? Why does the heart-broken grandmother find herself investing many hours on her knees as a prayer warrior on behalf of a wayward grandchild…temporarily lost in drug or alcohol addiction and walking along the dangerous edge of falling into the abyss of oblivion at any moment?
Why does the calling of Abraham in the Bible involve a time-period of waiting for the birth of his son Isaac? Why does Moses, part-way through the ten miraculous plagues in Egypt, find himself waking up each morning without Pharaoh relenting and releasing the Israelites from bondage? Why does David have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death as penned in his beautiful and famous Psalm 23? Why does Jesus the divine Son of God say in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me”…then without missing a beat says in perfectly executed faith: “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk. 22:42).
Why is there this curious space…this gap…between where we are and where we want to get to…for ourselves or on behalf of others…that creates the opportunity, the environment, the expanded medium in the moral realm…the space…for free-will choice and biblical faith to operate?
Certainly within the vast region of secular pursuits there is an equivalent gap between where people are and where they would like to get to. This reality is what motivates people to pursue a college degree, advance in their careers, save up money for a European vacation or their future retirement, explore the natural world through scientific investigation, and search for the cure for cancer.
A thesis of this book is that the reality of the universal existence of this space…this gap…between where we are and where we want to go…is a necessary condition for righteousness to exist. Without this space or gap…as universal and as real as anything we observe and experience…on the vertical continuum scale of good and evil, with absolute good at the very top…the free-will choice of good that defines righteousness cannot exist (Heb. 11:1).
For righteousness to be eternally sustainable for created, non-divine human beings having the moral reasoning capacity for free-will choice, an understanding of good and evil…spread-out along this vertical continuum scale of reality…must be fully in play in our daily experience.
It is also a contention of this book that the exercise of biblical faith…that of enlisting God’s help and participation in closing this space or gap in some particular scenario of circumstances…whatever that may be…is singularly unique in all of human thought and experience. The dynamic of the interaction of faith between the living God and people in mutually working together through an adventure of faith journey to close the gaps from where we are to where we want or need to go…falls so far outside of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…so far above self-sovereignty and self-direction…that it requires an adequate and satisfactory explanation for believers and unbelievers alike.