The Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the Western hemisphere. It is 26,372 feet long. At its highest, the roadway is 200 feet above the strait that separates the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. All suspension bridges are designed to move to accommodate wind, change in temperature, and weight. It is possible that the deck at center span could move as much as 35 feet either east or west due under severe wind conditions. It is one thing to learn all the facts about the bridge, and it is quite another thing to actually drive on it and cross the strait. Some people don’t try it. I have driven on it several times, and it is a hoot! In order to cross the bridge, we need to know it will hold us up above the water. Then, we actually need to use it and drive on it.
True biblical faith is neither an existential leap into darkness, nor a simple recognition of certain facts. Rather, faith is a reliance and commitment to Jesus that results in taking a risk. Faith is knowledge that God exists. Faith is stepping out and acting. It requires both. One can read all the facts about the Mackinac Bridge, but it isn’t the same thing as crossing it. Conversely, one can cross the bridge, even daily, and have no real appreciation as to its true magnificence and structural wonder.
The author of Hebrews wanted a fickle church to know Jesus, both intellectually and experientially. He knew that both elements were needed in order to sustain a faith that would endure. A lack of high level commitment on the part of professing Christians points to the reality that many believers are missing a crucial part of real faith. There are people who rush into situations half-cocked without a solid base of understanding. There are others who talk an issue to death and never act. We are to eschew both by embracing a full-orbed faith that seeks knowledge in order to respond in action.
Almighty God, without faith it is impossible to please you. Help me to be neither cocky, nor timid, but to live wisely in light of Scripture so that I might actively express faith in both words and deeds, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.