Strong Faith? Not so much at times. May 29, 2015
I would think by now I would have a stronger grip on my faith. To be honest, I often don’t. Even with a faith built upon the many examples of life conspiring divinely in my favor time after time. From those last minute answers to prayer, to escaping death (many times) you would think daily faith would be pretty simple. Yet, too often I forget those times, and God’s faithfulness in my daily struggles which can get frustrating. Recently I was wrestling with how much my faith apparently ebbs and flows based upon the current, presenting realities while forgetting the historical blessings in my life. WHY!? My eyes, having lost focus on the faithfulness and goodness of God leads to something best described as blessing amnesia leading to faith weakening. Is my faith like the boat tossed in the sea?! Ouch.
Life gets tough when the grace of God extending through the cross becomes clouded because of “in my face realities,” or from the busy-ness and strain to keep up with… well, everything. Can you relate? Maybe you can identify with this, but what to do about it?
After going after God on a focused path of ministry, service to my neighbors, and a heart seeking MORE of God regularly, why after so many years does following Jesus have to be so hard and feel complicated. Love God, love your neighbor… sounds easy enough. Yes, the Lord tells us WE will have troubles and the path is not easy, but this is not what I expected, and not what I need. Or, is it? As I desire to strengthen and seek more faith, I also must remember He demands intimate relationship.
Truth is, if we are to continue becoming more like Jesus, then growing our faith must be something done through intimate relationship, worship, seeking. When intimacy will God loses its place as our PLAN A, we will face more strife, less peace, and unknowingly make space for the enemy to cause trouble. No thank you! So what we need to do. Check our intimacy meters every time our faith weakens.
Drawing close to our Father can be something we make too hard. I forget that when I am a mess and feeling pressed down or getting hammered, things spiral. I can start feeling bad about feeling bad and start hearing more darkness in my mind than His truth. Face down, I am almost embarrassed to go to the Father with my weaknesses and complaints. Yet, our Father waits to kill the fatted calf and celebrate our coming to Him for strength – E V E R Y T I M E! Isn’t that love amazing. When facing tough times and feeling weak, turns us back to the Father, we can discover new levels of faith. Ah ha.
Our father actually loves us enough to move us, even when it hurts, to lovingly expose our hearts, and to place things in our life to build and develop our faith. Whether we like it or not, is secondary if not actually irrelevant. Looking at the scriptures, the intimacy Jesus demonstrated with the Father while on earth showed us how important an active prayer life, quiet meditation, thanksgiving, and spending time with God really is! Yet, even in the garden of Gethsemane Jesus struggles with God’s path. Yes, Jesus struggled, but “Your will be done” and obedience won the day! Jesus – U ROCK! Ponder the profoundness of struggle being overcome with intimate obedience. Face down in the dirt, sweating blood, crying out.
God may ask hard things of us and even put us on a path we don’t embrace or like, but He is faithful! The more remote, systematic, routine, religious, or mundane our relationship with God becomes, the harder God works to regain lost intimacy and relationship. We can often end up in tough love 101 class. Why? Because, God’s primary goals are for me to become more like, and restore my relationship with, Jesus.
That path of restoration can be PAINful, yet it is designed to build faith. As faith creates more confidence in the things we hope for, that confidence in Him, that trust becomes our steering wheel to hold onto. Apparently my hands get greasy at times and my eyes leave the road. The enemy is a liar who hopes to have me agree with things about me that ARE NOT TRUE. In order to build our faith, the ebb and flow of faith is an important part of our journey and growth. Shaky faith is nothing to be ashamed of, but we are not supposed to settle for less either. It is an invitation to go deeper. God ALWAYS has more for us. Let’s keep going!