In the biblical narrative stories of faith…God does not dangle a positive promise in front of people…initiated by Him…then withhold the fulfillment of that promise for some length of time…for other than the highest and most profound of reasons…having eternal import…premeditated and pre-planned before these biblical people of faith…were born (Ps. 139:14-16).
Biblical faith in God…as opposed to any other type of faith…is singularly defined in Hebrews 11:1 as:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Five verses later…Hebrews 11:6 further defines biblical faith:
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
These two verses validate the divine origin of the biblical narrative stories of faith…starting in Genesis chapter twelve in the Old Testament at the beginning of the fully detailed and complex life-story of Abraham…to the close of the ministry of the apostle Paul in Acts chapter twenty-eight in the New Testament.
These two verses profoundly violate the philosophy of humanism as a worldview.
Only the real, living God…who possesses timeless foresight and foreknowledge (Isa. 46:9-10)…could create the inherent and innate capacities within people…then compose journey of faith life-scripts…having supernatural callings, missions, and outcomes unattainable through solely humanistic means…that match these created, in-built abilities and talents.
Certainly people today can internally read their own innate likes, talents, and abilities…and forge a career path…according to autonomous individualism…that leads to becoming a medical doctor, lawyer, accountant, engineer, teacher, scientist, auto mechanic, town mayor, stay-at-home mom, soldier, or movie actress.
But the goals and outcomes in the biblical narrative stories of faith require the input from a supernatural source.
Not only do the callings and missions of people like Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, Hannah, Samuel, David, Elijah, Jeremiah, Esther and Mordecai, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Joseph and Mary, Peter, John, James, and Paul…to name a few…contain supernatural goals and outcomes…but these goals and outcomes fall so far outside of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…are so foreign to worldly normal ambitions and aspirations…that they fall outside of human in-advance contemplation altogether.
If the biblical narrative stories of faith are to enter into our reality…into the marketplace of ideas…in the distant past and today…they must come through the proactive initiation of God…and not through human literary imagination or mythological, legendary fictional development.
An important point here of practical application…is that this component of the precise match between innate created abilities and the callings and missions in the biblical narrative stories of faith…initiated by God…makes a genuine calling from God…of whatever level of magnitude… assessable for every Spirit-born Christian today.
In fact, that is precisely the stated intention of God articulated through Jeremiah 31:31-34 in the prophesied future transition from the old covenant to the new covenant…that actualized in the first-century A.D. through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ…creating the new and living way for believers to have a personal relationship…to get to know God…”from the least to the greatest.”
This means that born-again Christians…no matter what their current status or situation…do not have to be afraid of being “too religious” or “too Christian”…in the fear that if we give our lives to Jesus Christ and begin to truly follow Him as disciples…that He will then ask us to do something wildly ambitious and over-the-top like becoming missionaries in the Amazon rainforest…being chased for our lives by natives with bows and arrows…and poison-tipped blow-darts.
The totally unconventional concept…that will not be found in any other religions, philosophies, and worldviews in all of human history…is that in God-composed journeys of faith life-scripts for new covenant believers…God matches our callings with our created in-built abilities and talents…and therefore would not ask us to enter into an adventure of faith above our in-built, bent-of-the-heart desires and abilities…to not only freely want to follow God into our destined purpose…but also to be able to successfully complete the assigned mission.
When God created the seeds for apple, orange, peach, and avocado trees…and for corn, wheat, and barley crops…for example…He placed within each unique type of seed the information that would not only grow into large-sized trees and farm fields as far as the eye can see…but would also produce very specific and different kinds of edible fruits and grains.
John 12:24-25 records the words of Jesus:
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
In these verses…Jesus introduces a concept that is unique in all of human experience and literary imagination…yet is universally commonplace within every biblical narrative story of faith…including His own experience in Gethsemane, at Calvary Hill, and on Resurrection Day…that establishes a commonly understandable…down-to-earth context for the incredibly novel and unconventional statement in John 12:25…for a biblical-quality adventure of faith following God…on His terms…that will amazingly match our talents, abilities, and the innermost desire of our hearts.