Monday, March 31, 2014

Faith-Filled or Faith-Less?

A recurring theme in life lately is teaching me that I have a problem.  I'm absolutely certain I'm not the only one.  It seems so rampant that we are finding it in nearly every book we are reading right now or recently completed (especially The Well and The Circle Maker...both highly, highly recommended!).  It seems like it's showing up everywhere we look. Perhaps it's because we need to get the message in our hearts. 

It's called the panic button.
It's called wanting the easy button. 
It's called going to the wells of our comfort instead of trusting in the Holy Spirit.

When something goes wrong or a decision needs to be made (or a million at once it seems!), it's so easy to just go to our own strength.  Immediately act in a knee jerk reaction that causes us to take the easy way.  Or to "force" things to work instead of patiently waiting for His response. Especially for those of us that are "fixers" by nature.  Or impatient. Or that thrive on being in control.  (Surely, I didn't describe myself in one or more...or all...of those descriptions!).

We tend to act FIRST in our strength. We tend to go to Him LAST----when we feel like there is no other option.  Or maybe I'm the only one willing to admit that!

We claim to walk in faith.  Yet, we tend to FIRST try things our way.

You know what?

For me, that's a recipe for disaster. I tend to make my own messes worse.  OR the problem does seem to work out, but in hind-sight I find that there would have been an easier answer had I just given God a chance to work it out through me, instead of through my own flawed power.  OR I lose an opportunity to have seen God at work, growing my faith or being a witness to someone else how to walk in faith.  OR I don't want to go through His way because His timing isn't necessarily the same or His path *seems* harder.  I desire instant satisfaction of the problem being fixed. We are driven in a society that has come to need and rely on the instant.  The easy button.  The now button.

God has been revealing to my heart that sometimes we need to be in the moments of uncertainty.  We need to be in the places that our dreams seem suddenly out of reach. We need to be in the middle of the storms. 

I don't like it.  I REALLY don't like it.


It's necessary. 

Something I read last week has caused me to come back multiple times to read it again.  It's from a book by Wendy Blight that is going to be part of a Bible Study with Proverbs 31 Ministries beginning next week. 

She says:

Life is messy, and God knows that. One of the reasons He gave us the Bible is to equip us to live out our faith in the midst of our messy lives. Each new day can bring with it a myriad of issues and problems. And each one requires us to make a choice. We can choose to make "faith-FILLED" choices, or we can choose to make "faith-LESS" choices.  The faith-less choices tend to come easier for most of us.  They occur when we react quickly out of our emotions and basically "do what comes naturally". And more often than not, those choices have negative consequences that hurt not only us but also everyone with whom we come in contact.

Faith-filled choices are harder to make.  They occur when we react not out of our emotions but out of a Spirit-led heart and mind. And faith-filled choices have good consequences that bless not only us but also those around us.

Ouch!  Point taken.

I'm finding myself asking much more often, is this decision a faith-filled one (where I've sought God first and TRUSTING Him) or am I acting purely out of my own emotions and in my power and making faith-less ones?

Unfortunately, I don't like the answer I'd have to give much too often. 

Another question that keeps popping up that I'm asking myself (which will make another blog post for another day)--- is that a good intention or a God intention?  There is a difference.

Learning to surrender more fully to Him definitely causes you to start looking at intentions, how you make decisions, and where our faith TRULY lies (in Him or in ourselves!).  Unfortunately we don't necessarily like what we see when we CLOSELY look in the mirror. Fortunately, His grace is never ending and His power is made the strongest in our weaknesses. He didn't give us the easy button...but He did sacrificially  give us Himself!! 

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