No, I didn’t misspell detergents. I mean deterrents – something that prevents, checks, or suppresses. Something or someone that discourages people from doing something. This may sound strange, but my children and grandchildren are my deterrents.
From time to time I’ve had a major crisis of faith. It seems like that shouldn’t ever happen to a Christian. But the enemy tempts all of us at times to question our faith in God. It happened to Adam and Eve, and I believe it has been a problem for every person since then. “Come on, really, did God say that?” the enemy whispers in our ears, just like he did in the garden.
There are things in the Bible that I don’t understand. Rules I don’t like to obey. But it’s good for us to go back to basics sometimes and answer the questions that come to our minds. Is God real? How can we deny that when we see all that He created? Is God wise? How else could He know all things? Is Jesus who He said He was? God in the flesh? He certainly isn’t a lunatic or a liar. “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” He said (John 14:6). Some people don’t like that narrow statement, but it’s very plain. Is there any room for doubt?
For me it’s pretty simple. If any of the Bible is true, then it’s all true. Who am I to pick and choose what I want to believe or what I think is right? Who am I to question God?
But questions are not necessarily bad or wrong if they bring us to the right conclusion.
That brings me back to my first point. When I’ve been tempted to stray from the straight and narrow I am deterred by thinking, “How would this affect my children or my grandchildren?” If I turn my back on what I’ve claimed to be true, then I am encouraging them to doubt the truth. If I set a bad example of what it means to be a Christian, then how will they learn to trust God or any Christians?
Paul reminded us that faith is a gift from God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…” (Ephesians 2:8, ESV). And Paul said to Timothy, his younger protege: “Fight the worthwhile battle of the faith, keep your grip on that life eternal to which you have been called, and to which you boldly professed your loyalty before many witnesses” (I Timothy 6:12, J. B. Phillips). That means that faith isn’t always easy. James says that “the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:3). That means it’s a worthwhile struggle.
Let’s embrace the truth about faith and ask God to enlarge that gift within us as we live each day. What deterrents keep you on the right path? Aren’t you thankful for them?