God is known for his fiats. Not the cute Italian cars that have become famous across the pond. I am not talking about fists. Fiat is not a typo but fiats do have a Roman element. When civic rulers want to get something new done, they create the rationale, convince their colleagues, write a law, and announce with some fanfare that the new situation exists, even when it really does not. For example, a new citizenship provision may be announced and its procedures and intended outcome will not see the light of day until someone applies successfully. Commands are like that. “Do not take hot food items from the oven without mitts” is out there, nowhere, until until one gets burned and chooses to use mitts. Even simple commands such as “Call your dad when you get a break”, “Please forgive me”, “Give me that”, or “Kiss me” may never hit life’s road. This ilustrates the futility of thinking that human fulfilment can come from obedience to commands. We only need to resist one command to be labelled as rebellious and stiff-necked; outside the stream of the divine will. Do we find our finest by fiat without faith?
These following two verses from Genesis 1 each contains a fiat. The Latin (old Italian language) is the surce of our word FIAT. It means “Let there be…”
- Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
- Gen 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
The Latin Vulgate (Roman version of the Bible) has for Genesis 1:3:
Dixitque Deus : Fiat lux.
and-he-said God: let light be.
When God said “Let there be…” whatever he named jumped into reality. Light, the firmament, the waters, and the sun and moon. Christian life realities are also the subject of a fiat. Life is tied up with light, both physically and spiritually. The sun is the powerhouse of our galaxy just as Christ is of the universe and more specifically of those who are not hiding from his influence, unlike the plants and ecosystems, or people with little melanin in their skin. We learn from 2 Cor. 4:6 that the light shining in our hearts is the outcome of a fiat. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.David addresses the effectiveness of God’s fiats when he wrote and Ezekiel mediated in a fiat. Ps. 33:9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. Eze. 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
Fiat power is not as widespread as some would like us to believe, even when the name of Jesus is used creatively and with appropriate intention. Very often our fiats fall to the ground because we are improperly positioned: (a) we are not yet in the habit of loving as God has loved us (b) our view of the situation is severely limited even when our intervention is aimed at relieving suffering and lifting the darkness. If fiats were the stuff of Christian daily life why are we still tolerating the corruption that infects us, the roadblocks to enjoying our Father’s world, and why are we living as less than birds and lilies in the field? Christ effectively touched lepers and coffins, spoke to dead and the deaf, and changed their conditions stat.
Those four verses are the fiats proper, but Genesis 1 also contains other orders that are equally effective. Verse 9 has LET BE GATHERED the waters. Verse 11 has LET SPROUT the earth. Verse 20 has LET SWARM the waters. Verse 24 has LET BRING FORTH the earth. These are practically fiats too.
We have tried to associate fiats – speaking things into existence or position- with faith, and often a particular high level of faith. In fact faith does not need to be big to upend a mountain into the sea. Human fiats are related to faith in two ways. God’s fiats stand alone and need no helper or intermediate. Our frustration with not being able to speak things into existence is due to the absence of the One the who matters: He who gives faith (which is the only means that ensures God’s pleasure). True faith needs no fiat because it copes with any situation by means of Spirit-fruit and speaking things into existence is not happening without unhypocritical love. Fiats for us seem useless and finding our finest by fiat without faith is indeed a pipedream, because faith works by love (joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness).