Let’s think about simple faith. How might you end up with a faith that can be described s simple? How can you end up with a faith that believes in God but doesn’t fully grab ahold of Him? A faith that isn’t very deep but kind of surface…
Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ” And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.
Mark 10:17-30 NKJV
We end up at just simple faith when we learn about doing things for God (like learning the 10 commandments in Sunday School for example) but are never instructed on how to go deep in God. This young man did what he learned as a kid and seemed to have been diligent over these things. Thus, he thought he was good. And sometimes when we find ourselves living for God we can get to a place where we think we are good. We think because we tithe or were baptized or served in ministry or whatever, that we are now “good” and justified in the sight of God. In reality though, we are not. We must not forget that God is the only one good and that only by the blood of Jesus Christ we are able to be justified. Only under the blood we are good. Only through the blood we are good. Outside of the grace of God and the faith in Jesus Christ, we are not good, and we must take heed unless we fall. Our pride can only lie in the grace of God. Any works we do is a response to His love for us- it is an expression of gratitude and service.
Next, it is important to note that this young man shows that he had enough faith to come to Jesus and ask Him how to become perfect. We have to have enough faith in God to ask what else we should do to be pleasing in His sight. As we continue to come to Jesus, He will tell us new things. Our faith will mature as we are obedient to Him. We cannot just read the letters, but we must pray for revelation and insight; we need ears to hear what He is truly saying to us individually at every point in our lives. This means that though it does not say in the Bible that we must give all of our money to the poor, that doesn’t mean that God isn’t requiring that of us. We end up at simple faith when we fail to obey what God is revealing to us in this season.
Jesus told the rich young ruler to give up his riches because it is extremely difficult for those who trust in their riches to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. The very thing he trusted the most in, God asks him for. And, as we grow in faith, He does the same to us. God is not interested in sharing our heart with anyone or anything. He is a jealous God, and He wants His creation to Himself.
Now, it is difficult to give up the things we trust in and follow only after God. This is why the rich young ruler went away sad and the disciples exclaimed in shock, “Who then can be saved?”
But if God is telling us to do something, as unconventional and as difficult as it may seem, we must do it! We must know that He will be there helping us all the way! We must know that we will be made stronger and better than before! We must know that He has promised us a hundredfold more now AND eternal life if we can learn to trust in Him! He came so that we would have life and life more abundantly! We must trust in Him! We must grow in faith and leave our elementary stages of belief behind!