The sin that blocks faith

Footsteps to Heaven Podcast Show

When we identify the sin that interferes with our faith in God, we can overcome it to grow in holiness and live the way God intended — with the same miraculous faith as the first Christians that we read about in the Book of Acts. The biggest sin is culture-wide, it has infiltrated the Church, and we easily give into it every day. We can change that! And in so doing, we will become more alive in the faith and – if enough of us repent from this sin – we will transform the world. 

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The sin that blocks faith

Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to send us out in mission to change the world, to transform the people around us, helping them to see — through us — a faith that’s alive. This means we have to have a personal relationship not just with Jesus Christ but with his Holy Spirit.

Sin blocks this kind of faith. And the biggest sin today is idolatry: the idolatry of thinking that something other than God himself should be in charge of our lives.

It could be the idolatry of money, thinking that if we get rich, this will solve our problems and we will be happy.

It could be the idolatry of self, wanting to do what we want to do rather than discerning what God wants us to do. The moral relativism that was increasing as I was growing up and increased a lot more while my kids were growing up — it’s still going further and further. The envelope of evil is pushing the moral relativism to the Nth degree to see how far we can go. This is so destructive, but people don’t know it. People don’t know that they are destroying their eternal souls.

It could be the idolatry of science, where if something is improvable by scientific methods it can’t be true, therefore, why worship God? Or the idolatry of the career, where the career comes first and, if it keeps me from going to church, so be it.

Fear is often our idol. We trust the messages of fear more than we trust God and what he has told us in scripture.

Think about the idolatry of suffering. For example: “I’m in so much pain that I am going to pursue every avenue to get rid of this pain — except God.” And why does this kind of idolatry happen? Because the Church has not been teaching how to live the supernatural life where we pray for one another for miracles of healing and the miracles happen! There are pockets of it. There are dioceses where bishops have said every priest needs to go through the Life in the Spirit Seminar of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in order to come alive in a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, and every parish needs to have a prayer group where people pray for one another and the miraculous manifestations of the Holy Spirit become commonplace.

Pope Francis has called for the Charismatic Renewal to not be a movement within the Church but to be the Church! To be waves of grace coming through the parishes bringing the supernatural life of Christians like we read about in the Book of Acts.

We have such a long way to go due to the idolatry of not understanding that God really does want to make miracles happen today. We fail to trust what we read in scripture. My favorite verse is John 14:12 where Jesus says, “If you believe in Me — if you really believe in Me — you will do the same works that I do and even greater ones.” He didn’t say, “You will do the good deeds that I did,” but he said “the works”. That includes everything: preaching the truth and working miracles. Miracles prove that what is spoken about God is true.

We tell people that God cares. We even tell people that we will pray for them. And then what? Do we see miracles happen? If we don’t, we need to ask: Why not?

One of the biggest reasons “why not” is idolatry. At its root it’s the thinking that “I know better than God about what’s not supposed to happen now. I do not have the faith to believe that God is going to perform a miracle, so therefore I’m not going to ask for the miracle.” That’s us trying to usurp God’s wisdom. That’s us trying to rewrite the truths that he has written throughout the scriptures.

We don’t live a supernatural faith because we trust our doubts more than we trust God.

We need to identify how we are committing idolatry. Each one of us is committing idolatry today. God wants to work the miracle of curing our wrong thinking. He does it through the Holy Spirit. He does it through the Sacrament of Confession and the Penitential Rite at Mass. We need to repent.

We also need to get to the root causes of what leads us to trust our own idolatrous thinking instead of God’s Word. A Christian counselor could help us with this, or a spiritual director.

Scripture is full of reasons to trust that God wants to do miracles in our lives. God longs to do miracles in our lives. Why don’t we believe it? It’s because we are believing something else. And that “something else” is our god. Jesus is our Lord and Savior; we are not committing idolatry all of the time, but any time we are not alive in the faith the way we see happened in the Book of Acts, we need to repent of our lack of faith and the idolatrous ways we are disbelieving God.

 

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