While Paul was saying this in his defense, Festus said in a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind! Your great learning is driving you mad.” But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I utter words of sober truth.
1 Corinthians 4:10, We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.
Sometimes the most powerful, life changing truth appears the most foolish to those who are full of self importance and unwilling to receive it. Faith is more than just accepting facts. It is more than just understanding concepts of truth. Faith happens when one has heard the facts, seen the truth and through the conviction and power of the Holy Spirit submits their life to this truth. At the heart of biblical faith is a to be persuaded that God is real and trustworthy. It is a persuasion that changes one’s life and reorients their perspective. Truly, it is transformative. You know the one who believes by their words and actions. To the unbelieving Festus, Paul appeared as nothing but a fool.
King Agrippa, however, sensed something deeper as is evidenced by Paul’s statement to him.
Acts 26:26-29, “For the king knows about these matters, and I also speak to him with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you believe.” Agrippa replied to Paul, “In a short time you are going to persuade me to make a Christian of myself.” And Paul said, “I would wish to God that even in a short or long time not only you, but also all who hear me this day would become such as I myself am, except for these chains.”
If only King Agrippa would have been honest with himself and stepped out in faith. It’s always that last step of submission to the truth of Jesus that seems to be so difficult. Even C.S. Lewis, a renowned Christian apologist, considered himself the most reluctant Christian convert when he finally received this truth about Christ and stepped into the light. Faith is not easy; yet, it is the power of God in a life to bring about salvation. The mystery remains, at some level, for even our faith is a gift. The gift of choosing God and submitting to His Way. The gift of declaring Jesus Christ King of your life and walking in His blessing and strength. The gift of receiving the Holy Spirit and His constant presence and guidance. Faith is the deeper substance.
Humble yourself. Be a fool. Take a step into the deep water. Believe.