Defining Faith

Faith is something that we hear a lot.  Faith is something that we know is essential to our salvation which is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, but still there arises many questions about what does this “spiritual term” really mean and look like in our lives.  At the beginning of Hebrews 11Open Link in New Window, a passage commonly known as the hall of faith, we get a definition of faith.  The writer says “now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11Open Link in New Window: 1 ESV).  This is a definition that I have heard all of my life, but I began to see faith in a new light after reading the classic work The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer.  In the book, Tozer defines faith as “the gaze of a soul upon a saving God.”  This definition seemed to really bring the Hebrews passage to life.  This also gives us some practicalities for both salvation and practical living.  When we come to salvation, we put our faith in Christ.  This includes us glimpsing the great work of Christ on the cross for us.  It also includes that when we look at a holy God we see how messed up and sinful we are.  As far as practical living, when I am walking by the Spirit in faith, my gaze is on Christ.  When I fall and mess up in my walk with God, it is when I am not looking to Christ as the source of all comfort, joy, and as the guide for my life day to day.  I think that Tozer is on to something here with this definition.  This faces us with the question of “Is my soul’s gaze fixed on God today?”