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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Call to Faith

“Faith is not an instinct. It certainly is not a feeling – feelings don’t help much when you’re in the lion’s den or hanging on a wooden cross. Faith is not inferred from the happy way things work out. It is an act of will, a choice, based on the unbreakable Word of God who cannot lie and who showed us what love and obedience and sacrifice mean, in the person of Jesus Christ.”  Elisabeth Elliot

”Faith is not a matter of believing in oneself to fulfill one’s potential. It is not a positive mental framework or maintaining a serene emotional atmosphere. It is a deliberate decision to put one’s FULL trust in the character of God who will do what He has promised.” (Bible Study Fellowship, Lesson 14, p. 2)
This summer, the Lord was calling me to trust Him on a level I never had. He was calling me to faith. I responded in the same way the father of the demon-possessed boy in the Gospel of Mark did, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” (9:24). I did want to trust the Father but I had to get myself out of the way. I just wasn’t willing to let me go quite yet. I’m a mess like that.  

Then, this fall, the Lord smacked me in the face with this challenge again . . . “Kels, do you trust me – really trust me? Do you believe I can do anything – even greater things then you could ask or imagine? You talk big but I know your heart.”

Probably due to spiritual fatigue and the famine in my soul, I conceded. “Yes, Lord . . .  my heart is ready to bow down to your throne. I desire to know you more fully, because no matter what, I need you. I need you desperately.” And since that watershed, I have asked the Lord to do His work in me (although, I don’t think He had ever stopped). I have a Post-it Note I see everyday with these requests written on it: for the Lord to grow my faith in Him, to create a deeper dependence on the Holy Spirit, to show me what it means to completely trust Him (yeah, I know I won’t grasp that until eternity), and to renew my expectation in what He’s doing in and around me. I can’t say I feel like He’s answering that prayer everyday, but I can believe (in faith) He is.
So, that’s a super long intro for me to say I’d like to share what the Lord has been revealing to me about faith. (I must credit Bible Study Fellowship where the Lord has untucked a great deal of this Truth to me from His Word). Most of you mature folks already know all of this by now, but I’m a definite (and very stubborn) work-in-progress. To be honest, I hadn’t ever truly thought about what faith really is. It’s just a word we, Christians, throw around a lot. I pray this encourages you through whatever tug-of-war of faith He is calling you to. May we all heed the words of Hebrews and please God with our faith in Him! It’s seems it’s impossible without it.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

FAITH . . .
- “is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
- asks for no detailed explanations or plans to pre-approve. It simply trusts and obeys.
- is enabled through the work of Jesus in our lives (Heb. 13:20-21, 1 Thess. 5:24)
- is a way of life. It’s choosing to believe God – period.
- is what pleases God – always has been . . . always will be.
- saves and will be rewarded.
- waits on the Lord to fulfill His promises.
- walks with God and worships rightly.
- perseveres
- looks up
- says thank you

With a list like this, it seems exercising faith might be an unattainable goal for any believer. However, the author of Hebrews commands us to, “Fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (12:2). Jesus is faith’s author because He lived the way of faith first and creates faith in those who trust Him. And, He is faith’s perfecter because He will bring that faith to its final perfection (BSF, Lesson 14, p. 4).

We can rest assured “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6). If He calls us to faith, He will equip us for faith. The question is not will I have faith today? We all put our faith in someone or something. The question is, my friend, in whom will I put my faith? It’s your choice.

I choose faith . . . I choose Jesus. 

My dear friend, Melanie, recently gave me a cd called “Faith in You” by Jami Smith. It is so powerful. My prayer is I would believe these lyrics with the same conviction Smith sings them. I’ve included my favorite song with the lyrics – “Faith in You.”

Bow my head to pray
I know You hear each word I say
I’m pouring out my heart to You like water
I have faith, I have faith
I have faith in You
I know the road is long
And we don’t always get to understand it all
But we are asking, God, help us to trust You anyway
For every mile we walk
For every sorrow that seems to break our hearts
Would You give us strength to face each day
In Your grace

I have faith, I have faith
I have faith in You

I have faith, I have faith
I have faith in You

I see you there so strong
I see you open your mouth and sing along
I see you trusting in His words every single day
The courage in your eyes
Wish I could tell you how you changed my life
I want to live each moment now
Remembering your face

I have faith, I have faith
I have faith in You
I have faith, I have faith
I have faith in You

And when this life is over
I will be free from pain
I will forever be
Satisfied in You
I have faith, I have faith
I have faith in You
I have faith, I have faith
I have faith in You

Bow my head to pray
I know You hear each word I say

1 comment:

  1. so good to read this this morning. Thanks for sharing what God is doing through you.