Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I've been thinking a lot the past few weeks about faith and surrender. I've journaled extensively. I shared a bit on the blog about being held and about contentment. I don't plan on transcribing my journal - but I am ready to share a few thoughts on faith.

I've been fairly widely exposed to diverse views of the definition of faith. It seems to me (and I've been doing a lot of reading in the word to check myself on this) that faith is not a dictating, demanding spirit which guarantees things I want from God. Faith, I believe, is a strong and vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is God all by Himself (LOL line from Yada Yada). It's a strong and vigorous confidence built on His nature. Whew - I feel preaching coming on - but I'll check myself. God is so good - ALL THE TIME!!!!

I've really looked. Yes, we are to specifically request things we'd like from God with a heart attitude of thanksgiving (Phil 4), but that is not the same as declaring that I will get what I want. I've seen a demanding, stubborn, self-centered spirit being passed off as faith. I don't mean to be harsh - simply stating something I've observed for a long time in churches. I have no problem ASKING for the things I'd like to see God do....I believe that is biblical. I have a problem DEMANDING that God do things MY WAY in trials, crisis or even just daily life. So often, I simply don't know what is best in a situation, even when I'm sure I DO know what is best. ::sigh:: I don't see how God will use my crisis to bless and mature others. I see MY viewpoint but I don't see what He is at work doing in the kingdom/church. If I could choose, would I be tempted to choose my comfort over what God may do in another as I surrender to His plan and His life is manifested in the midst of the trial?

I've been chided for saying that God's will will be accomplished....but there is STRENGTH in surrender. It's only as I surrender to what He is doing that I begin to experience peace. Oh, I still pray Phil 4 - but I also pray to be content where God leads. I consciously choose joy (satisfaction with His provision) because I'm commanded to. I can choose to surrender. I can choose to be content. I can be real with God and know that He is not appalled at my emotions. I can pray as Jesus prayed "take this cup BUT not my will - YOURS" and I believe THAT is faith. Faith to trust when I don't see the outcome...when life is uncertain maintaining confidence that God IS always certain.

I've read "My Utmost for His Highest" for years. I'm hit and miss. I don't read every day - sometimes I miss weeks on end, ok. MONTHS. Sometimes Oswald Chambers seems to pick a phrase from a verse and write a whole devotional that is great but doesn't match the context of the verse chosen..... all that to say that this week I've picked up this devotional. I've been amazed at the topics this week - habits.....good stuff...the habit of affliction. HUH? Anyway, a quote from today was such a confirmation to my spirit.

"It does not matter how much it hurts as long as it gives God the opportunity to manifest the life of Jesus in your body." YES. I greatly desire and have prayed for years that others would see Jesus in my life. That He would shine through - because for years and years that is NOT what they saw when they looked at me. If that is my prayer and my goal, then it's not really up to me to gripe when He lovingly uses pain to answer my prayer.

And, "May God not find complaints in us anymore, but spiritual vitality - a readiness to face anything He brings our way {or that comes our way}. The only proper goal of life is that we manifest the Son of God; and when this occurs, all of our dictating of our demands to God disappears. Our Lord never dictated demands to His father, and neither are we to make demands on God. We are here to submit to His will so that He may work through us what He wants. Once we realise this He will make us broken bread and poured-out wine with which to feed and nourish others {or a drink offering for your faith as Paul describes it}. " May 15th - My Utmost for His Highest

Isn't it cool that God would have me pick up that devotional at the exact time that I've been reading, meditating and journaling on the same topic? I could have been in August and who knows what it would say. ::snort::

James not only tells us to choose joy, but promises that properly surrendered trials will accomplish things in my life and faith....and he promises that we can ask for WISDOM to walk through a trial. My prayer at this point is wisdom.....wisdom to walk the paths that God has chosen. Faith to continue to surrender to His plan - with a thankful attitude.