Driving on the Frozen Lake?
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15-16
I ice fished once as a child, but when we first moved to Minnesota, I realized how serious ice fishing really was. It’s hard to believe in July, but once the lakes freeze over, entire towns pop up on the frozen surface as fishermen pull their ice houses out with pickups. I’d never driven on the lake, so I was skeptical when I saw it for the first time.
Gradually though, as I saw hundreds of others do it, I came to believe that the ice could support my vehicle. Believing it to be possible though, was completely different than doing it. In my head, I believed in the ice, but I didn’t truly trust the ice until I drove my vehicle out on it. Faith meant living out what I believed to be true.
I can remember a time when I wholeheartedly agreed with Peter in today’s passage . . . in my head. When Christ asked Peter who he was, Peter answered rightly, You are the son of God. Jesus praised Peter for his answer. I too believed this to be true, so I assumed that like Peter, I was on the right path. I believe Jesus is the son of God, just like Peter.
My addiction though, turned my idea of faith upside down. I realized that believing a thing was pretty useless unless I lived as though it was true. Believing God exists doesn’t really matter much as long as I’m living however I want. I can know all the right things and do all the wrong things. I must first know the truth to live rightly, but knowledge alone is worthless unless I live it.
I believed in the ice, but until I drove on it with my truck, I wasn’t practicing faith in it. The same is true of God. I can call myself a Christian, but until I daily practice faith by denying self and following him, I’m not really living as a disciple.
We aren’t saved by what we do. We’re saved by faith. If that faith is real though, it will radically change how we live. Faith isn’t simply knowledge in our heads, it’s a daily way of life.