My three year old has had a blue blanket that he’s loved, cherished, and been attached to since he was a baby. Just like Linus in the Charlie Brown cartoons, he carries his blue blanket everywhere and won’t even go to sleep without it. For Christmas, we bought him a Charlie Brown DVD entitled, Happiness is a Warm Blanket. In the movie, everyone is trying to get Linus to give up the blanket. Lucy, of course, is the most passionate about Linus giving the blanket up and actually takes it from him. When Linus tries to use Snoopy’s ear, a curtain, and a few other things to substitute for his blanket, Lucy yells at him, “NO SUBSTITUTES!!” This was funny to me, but I realized how I can apply it to my (our) spiritual walk with Christ. Many times, instead of walking and living by faith, we grope for substitutes, only to find them ineffective and unsatisfying.
While I am not by any means advocating blanket addiction, we should live as dependent on Christ and our faith as Linus and my son depend on the blanket. Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians , and Hebrews all tell us that “the just shall live by faith.” If we are in right standing with God, we are living by faith—not just going to church and knowing scriptures. When we live by faith, we do go to church and we do know the Word, but we live the Word out. We obey the Word and we exercise our faith daily in all that we do and say.
A lot of times I have to catch myself because in the situations when I have the perfect opportunity to exercise my faith, I do what Linus does in the movie. I grope for substitutes. I might want to talk to someone else before taking it to the Lord. I may try to figure out a million ways to make what I want to happen work out. Sometimes, when I can’t do anything to work a situation out, I worry and anxiety kicks it, robbing me of the peace I know that the Lord has given me free access to have.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “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.” We cannot please the Lord without faith, and faith isn’t faith if we can see or figure out the outcome. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). When we don’t know where to turn, and we don’t see a way out, we need to exercise our faith. We also must be assured that the Lord knows when we are truly believing and depending on Him totally, and He will reward us for our diligence in seeking Him and His will for our lives.
Through the trials and setbacks I’ve experienced this past year, I’ve discovered a lot of good spiritual fruit has been produced. I’ve needed and still need a lot of ‘working out’ in the spiritual area of my life. I’m not boasting, but it’s caused me to learn to trust and depend on Him in ways I’ve never had. It hasn’t been easy because my flesh wants to react the way that it has been conditioned to act. However, it is possible, through His Word and your faith, to use your pain, setback and trial to trust in Him totally. He has blessed me naturally and spiritually, and He will bless you. Don’t give up and give in to the temptation to use substitutes for exercising your faith! He loves you, and I’m a witness—He is able! He never fails! He is the only anchor that holds.
Trusting Him with You,