Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Step of Faith

All my life I've heard everyone with some foundation of Christianity at some point in their life say something like, "you just gotta take a step of faith" or a "leap of faith" or have "blind faith".

Well, most of my life I've thought it means that even though I can't see what's ahead of me, know what's coming or maybe I'm not happy where I'm at but something needs to change or I have a job I can't stand and need a new one I just take a..."step of faith" and make that change happen.  Of course this is something I've prayed and angst and cried over time and time again.  Yet I've yet to receive my answer so I take a..."step of faith"  and trust that God will lead because "He can't guide you if you're not moving", right?  Wrong.

If I had just gone straight to His word for these answers this is what I would've found.

Romans 8:26-28 (The Message)  26-28"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."

Matthew 6:32-34 (The Message) 30-33"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with gettingso you can respond to God'sgiving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. 34"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Matthew 7:7-11 (The Message)"Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn't a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we're in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a thing. You're at least decent to your own children. So don't you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?

Isaiah 58:7 (The Message)

 6-9"This is the kind of fast day I'm after:
   to break the chains of injustice,
   get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
   free the oppressed,
   cancel debts.
What I'm interested in seeing you do is:
   sharing your food with the hungry,
   inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
   putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
   being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
   and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
   The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
   You'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.'

The list goes on...Ps 37:1-9, Lam. 3:25-27, 1 Cor. 1:7-9

The other night Rick and I had an aha moment.  We were facing another "crisis".  It was an honest mistake but a mistake none the less that just about ruined our evening.

Throughout the 11+ yrs of our marriage we've faced our ups and downs, had our share of the good and the bad and the "this has got to be worst thing that has ever happened...ever" moments.  This past year has been particularly challenging (does that sound familiar?) but we've made it, just like we've made it in the past.

One similarity that we were able to put a finger on were our "steps of faith".  We hadn't gotten it quite right.  We thought we were supposed to pray about it, give it to God, assess our options and then take that step.  We could've saved ourselves a lot of doubt, confusion, hurt and anger if we'd have gotten it right in the beginning and gone straight to the Bible.  But then maybe we wouldn't have learned all that we did along the way and I wouldn't be here telling of our aha moment.  Rom 8:28 "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose," right?  Is that why we keep getting out these messes we put ourselves in, slowly but surely?  I hope so.  Actually, I know so.

Well, our aha moment led us to realize that if we would've prayed, given it God and then waited for Him then most of our wrong choices could've been avoided.  Ok, so what now?  The past can't be changed but we sure as heck can change the future!  Or at least how we handle it.

You see, our "step of faith" is not, in my small understanding, stepping out and hoping that God will make all work together for good.  Each and every step of faith is having faith in knowing that when we make our requests known to God (pray), He will then take it and orchestrate something so far beyond our comprehension of time and degrees and cause and effect that when the end result comes back around to our prayer being answered it is unequivocally more perfect than anything we could've accomplished on our own, even if we thought we were making the right choice.  Pretty cool, huh?

Now, why then do we try to make things move on our own so sure that we are hearing from God?  Because our earthly minds cannot take into account the other person that God was going to give that position to or the medical emergency that we never knew was coming so we buy a new vehicle instead or how the paths of others we've never met and probably will never meet need to cross so they too can partake in the "grand scheme of things" or whatever other millions of possibilities there are.  Our earthly minds and bodies are wired to "survive" so when there is something we feel is within our own power to accomplish by gollie you can bet your bottom dollar we are gonna pursue that with all we got because that's all we can do at that very moment of desperate need!  That'st not a bad thing...that is until you continue to do on things on your own and feel like it's all up to you, all the time, for everything you need to accomplish in life.  That's when it will backfire... but that's another post so let's move on.

So there we were, sitting on the bed after this mistake reared it's ugly head, leaving in it's wake some, shall we say, "decorative wall insets", when we began to talk about our faith...again...and deciding to enact our faith as best we can and wait on God to help us get out of this situation.  We've gone through too much to not believe  and have seen enough prayers answered to know that it works.  We've had victories and we've seen miracles so why not continue on this crazy journey to see what other incredible things our Father God has in store for us?  But we will not continue relying on our own efforts and feeble attempts, no.  We will continue with praying and fasting, waiting and listening, watching and worshiping and giving our all in everything God calls us to do!  I want to be found pleasing to God and for Him to be proud of me and what I've allowed by Him to do with the talents, gifts and love He has so graciously blessed me with!

Thank you Father for this day, I love you and I praise your name.  I thank you for presence, for your protection and your direction.  I thank you for peace in my mind, rest in my body and courage in my heart that I may hear, see and do all that you ask of me.  Thank you for blessing me, my family and friends.  Keep us and prosper us according to your word.  In the mighty, living, loving name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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