Breathing By Faith!
-by Linda Mhlanga
‘ I’ll do it tomorrow ‘
‘Let’s do it next week ‘
‘I’ll be home for Christmas/ New Year’
We all make plans for the next moment, the future that is the next second, minute, hour or even years to come, when we expect to see ourselves at a different stage or level of life. Yet, not any one of us on earth knows for sure if ‘later’ or ‘tomorrow ‘ or Christmas will actually happen. Not any one of us can say for sure that we will even take our next breath!
We simply live and breathe by faith.
What is faith then ?
As a Christian, I understand faith to be the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen”. Hebrews 11:1. To wit, faith is more than my religion or any other religion at that. Christian or otherwise, as long as you need to breathe to survive, you are doing so by faith. It is simply a matter of physiology rather than religion. Everything we do and say is based on hope in the unseen and faith that it will work out as we expect or anticipate.
If we need faith to live, do we need faith to bring healing to our physical bodies when they become diseased ? Can faith go beyond the physical body and bring other things to us such as jobs, relationships, provision or whatever it is that we desire ?
Maybe. Maybe not.
The answers to these questions and many others may lie in how biological processes of living organisms work. We learn from an early age that human beings and other living organism have 7 characteristics that differentiate them from non-living organisms. We memorize the mnemonic MRS GREN to help us to remember these. There is an inbuilt mechanism within the human body to facilitate each life process:
- movement through the skeletal system
- Respiration through the lungs
- Sensitivity through the skin
- Growth through the cellular system
- Reproduction through reproductive system •Excretion through the excretory system •Nutrition through the digestive system
What of faith then ?
If faith is so important to living, what is the built in system that facilitates our faith? Does one even exist ?
A built in system to facilitate our faith does exist and this is called the human spirit.
The human spirit is that part of us that helps us to decide whether to fight or take flight in the jungle of life. No matter your religion, you will choose to run when you encounter a dangerous animal such as a lion ! You do so with the faith that you will be able to escape from being it’s lunch !!! World champions such as Usain Bolt, have an indomitable human spirit and deep faith to be the best in their chosen field. So does a person that gets trapped under rubble for days after an earthquake, and survives without food, water or clean air simply through sheer human spirit and a faith to live.
Our human spirit must be in good shape in order for faith to work to our greatest benefit. Faith in the ‘unseen’ is what fuels many expeditions around the world and beyond, many scientific and other discoveries; and much religious and spiritual learning and study. All this has and is still being done in spite of many odds. And yet the explorers, the scientists, the spiritual scholars persevere in their quest, in some instances for many years and after many failures.
Faith, like breathing or eating is an integral part of living for those who undertake great pursuits that change or impact the global stage, their communities, their families and even themselves Faith is not a 5 letter word that resides in a religious book only to be brought out at designated times of religious study. Faith is alive and is exercised or practised every minute of every day in order for one to live with joy, be healed, live a purposeful life, be in the relationship you want, have your needs met and so on.
But human spirit can only take one so far. The human spirit is fallable. It gets worn out and tired. It gets battered by the storms of life. It will fail at some point. That is why we need to connect our human spirit to a higher power that is, God Almighty, our Saviour Jesus Christ and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is infinitely more powerful than the human spirit. The Holy Spirit can access areas that the human spirit with it’s limited capacity cannot access. The Holy Spirit can quicken the time it would take the human spirit to accomplish something. One’s faith remains strong when it has the backing of a higher power through the Holy Spirit. Even when the human spirit is at it’s lowest, at it’s weakest, overwhelmed, tempted and all odds seem stacked against it, One can stare in the face of the worst adversity and not give up or give in because of the faith that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, Philippians 4:13.
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