After a long night and struggling to get going this morning, leaving us with only 15 minutes to get ready, I was tempted to stay home from church this morning. However, I already had an expectation in my spirit that something important would reach my heart and I didn't want to miss it. Oh goodness...
I'm thankful that I was there was a heart of expectation....
Because God met me there.
Today's message was DIRECT to my heart, in exact response to questions and struggles I've been having.
I have genuine faith. I have personal relationship with Christ. I seek His will.
My faith conflicts with doubts WAY too often.
Let me just be honest, MUCH conversation has been taken place in our home and with friends in recent days about whether we have the depth in our faith to TRULY trust God.
As we seek to determine His will for the purpose He has for us, we've consistently come back to the question of, "Is God big enough"?
The answer to that is certainly He is.
The real question is, "How big is our faith?"
Today, our pastor, truly reached in through God-inspired teaching and really made me think.
He talked about four different obstacles to strong faith:
- Secondhand Faith
- Sign-Demanding Faith
- Self-Centered Faith
- Strong-Willed Faith
Just in the last 24 hours, I have found myself guilty of having sign-demanding faith. I have prayed multiple times through my life and especially in the last weeks, for God to give me a sign. Give me a sign that "this" is the path you want us on. Show me that if we walk in obedience to what we are feeling led to do that you are in control. I've been asking for Him to show me signs that He will come through. That He will provide. "Hey God, just prove to me that I can trust you".
Oh, how my heart was convicted today with that mentality. Yes, signs of God's ability to provide, answer prayers, etc.. are powerful and can truly boost our faith....they can't be the requirement. Unfortunately, that is where I've found myself.
I'll do this....., if you will first show me this........
It's dishonoring God. It's saying I can't take you at your word unless you prove it. It's a doubting Thomas mentality. It's the needing to see the nail scarred hands instead of trusting Him at His word.
Our pastor gave a moving illustration of what I'm guilty of. It goes something similar to this (tweaked a little to fit our family): Kevin comes home from work today and tells our son that he loves him and wants to provide for him. He tells him that he has opened a bank account in his name and that a deposit has been made for him. The opening balance is already in place and it belongs to him. Instead of taking Kevin at his word, our son starts in with disbelief and disregard for the integrity of his word. Instead of being grateful, he places demands on Kevin to show him proof. He MUST see the deposit slip, otherwise he doesn't believe it to be true. It would be dishonoring and disrespectful for my son to make those requests of Kevin. Obviously, he could show him the proof, but it is the attitude that is the issue.
I'm VERY MUCH guilty of the same thing. I want signs and proof. I've been praying fervently for those to be revealed.
Instead, I should be stepping out in bold faith saying I will follow in obedience FIRST. I can't demand signs that He is in control as a requirement for my obedience.
What a difference it is already making in my faith.
I want the kind of faith that POSSESSES me. The kind that oozes out of every pore and overflows my spirit. The kind of faith that says, REGARDLESS of the situation or circumstances, I trust in you. The kind that says, I will obey first. I will step out of my comfort zone when YOU are leading me on a path that feels hard to take. The kind that says, even when the world thinks I'm crazy, I'm confident in you. The kind of faith that is confident in dire circumstances, not just in times of "ease". The kind of faith that acts with confidence and boldness just because God is who He says He is.
That is the faith I want to have! That is the faith I'm seeking to grow!