“Spirit, lead my where my trust is without borders.”
Those are the words I sang repeatedly this weekend when David and I took the youth group to Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters. I had never heard Hillsong’s “Oceans” before, but we sang it multiple times over the course of a few days, and I made a mental note to download it on iTunes upon our return.
Since we arrived back in Bluefield on Monday, I can’t count the number of times people have referred to this song. And not people who were on the trip, either. It seems like everywhere I turn – Facebook, Twitter, blogs – someone is mentioning this song. I can’t get away from it.
The first time I heard “Oceans” referenced since being home was on Twitter when a college acquaintance questioned whether we consider the meaning of the songs we sing because, in her words, “Asking for deep faith is risky.” Her observation prompted me to do what I should’ve been doing all weekend – actually think about what I had been singing.
I was so caught up in the retreat atmosphere and the music that I never stopped to consider what I was requesting of the Lord. It’s like realizing that prayers for patience and humility might incite situations which try your patience and humble your pride.
Do I really want a “borderless” faith? Do I want a faith that doesn’t tell God, “This much and no more”? What does that look like? And more importantly, what would it take to begin to have faith like that?
I believe this is a lifelong process, not a point at which we arrive or an item we check off a list. I think cautious, timid faith will always be a temptation. But take heart! The Object of our faith is strong enough to compensate for the weakness of our faith. I do believe, however, that through His Word and our circumstances, God can take us on a journey during which the limits of our faith are challenged and stretched – and hopefully eradicated, at least in a certain area.
Habakkuk is the perfect example. Through a series of conversations with God, the prophet was led to a place in his life where the borders of his faith were tested. Anything Habakkuk might have been tempted to withhold – God, you can have this much, but no more – was stripped away. His conclusion? Well, it just so happens to include some of the most bold, beautiful words in the Bible:
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places (Habakkuk 3:17-19).
The limits of our faith begin to disappear when our strength and joy are anchored to Jesus rather than to things of this world. Our faith can only extend as far as our treasures. If our greatest treasure is a relationship, a financial goal, an achievement, or a possession, we will struggle to trust God with that treasure. But if Jesus is the treasure of our lives – our strength and our joy – then we can trust Him with everything. We don’t need to cling to something or someone else for dear life; we can hold fast to Him, knowing that He is our portion – a treasure that can’t be taken.