It seems like only yesterday, you were...
This year has simply flown by!
and, Where has the time gone?
Yet, for months now, I have said things like,
Is it possible that my child is turning 13? It seems like yesterday I was rocking him to sleep.
2015 has been the shortest year ever. It's flown by!
and, Where has the year gone?
Yes. I've said ALL of these things, but I am NOT old! So, clearly my thought processes were incorrect. Time really is speeding up. :)
With time progressing rapidly and life moving at break-neck speed, I'm on a mission with the Lord. He is challenging me to BELIEVE Him fully, and I'm determined to do so.
Please don't be confused. I've believed in the Lord for the majority of my life. At any moment (since I was 7 years old) I would answer questions of my belief system with FULL belief in the God of the Bible. But, I'm going to say I've not really allowed myself to BELIEVE Him as His Word calls for me to believe. I'm going to go a step further and say that I've not SEEN many real life examples of this kind of belief in the lives of Christians I've looked to and looked up to. I don't want that to seem like a criticism! I'm not judging or blaming. I'm simply saying that I am currently under the conviction that I don't live with enough BELIEF (maybe because I haven't been readily exposed to it), but I want to!
The kind of faith I'm feeling challenged to pursue is causing me to evaluate my entire belief system. I've grown up in very conservative Christianity. I'm grateful for my upbringing. However, I have to wonder if I've missed out on the full revelation of God at work among us, because I've had certain expectations and guideline about HOW He works. And, I'm not going to beat around the bush, because my posts are long enough already, but my denomination has been so OUTWARDLY opposed to the "name it and claim it" teaching that I've found myself shutting out ANY resemblance to that philosophy.
Don't worry... I'm not leaping to the other side. I'm not tossing out all of my good, credible, BIBLICAL upbringing to jump on a bandwagon of sorts. But, I have some questions in my heart. Consistently, I find myself in passages of scripture urging believers to ASK, to SEEK FOR ABUNDANCE, to GO FOR MORE, and to MARVEL at the works of God. When I look to those with more education than I have or those who've been in spiritual authority over me throughout my years, I find a cautious belief system. Often, I see powerless faith that might be too uncertain of the reality of God's activity in our lives to ask BIG things with expectant hearts and to see Him work in MIGHTY ways. I honestly want to be taught to approach God COURAGEOUSLY and to lay out my petitions with hope but also with trust that His sovereignty rules. Yet, everywhere I turn I see whole hearted, courageous and public believers being VERBALLY DESTROYED for their faith, belief, and crazy ideas that God would somehow want to bless His creation.
I feel there MUST BE a holy and sacred space between powerless, unbelieving theology and simplified "name it and claim it in Jesus" teaching. So, this year, my word is 'BELIEVE.' I am committed to searching the scripture for myself during this year with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Godly teachers to challenge the cautious faith I've always had. Boldly, I'm going to ask for impossible things and watch for God's activity in my daily life. Don't worry, my prayer to Him also involves a pleading that He demonstrate to me where my belief is false and that he shield me from incorrect or improper thinking. I trust Him as my perfect teacher. I'm also asking that He FLOOD MY LIFE with real people who exhibit real belief. I'm asking for God to raise up people in my life that aren't afraid to approach the throne with MIGHTY requests... believing He will answer... and knowing that His answers ALWAYS come. They may not come the way I expect or want. But, if we're not asking, how will we see all the ways He is working?
I'm sick and tired of powerless Christianity! I'm completely OVER the mentality that we're here just suffering through this life to get to eternity with our Father. I've seen enough of it! This year I'm praying for LIFE CHANGING BELIEF, and I'm praying it will spread throughout all believing communities. I'm reading Beth Moore's book, Believing God. I picked it up in Lifeway a few weeks ago. I didn't want to read it. I wasn't looking for a book for me. But, I felt God wouldn't let me leave it. I got a few pages in and KNEW it was exactly what I need to be reading. I may need to read it over and over for a very long time. There are two quotes in the book that I've gone back to daily to read and think on,
A big difference exists between trying to manipulate God to give us what we want and cooperating with God so He can give us what He wants. The latter is our goal.
Godless philosophies have not been my temptation. In my life experience the most dangerously influential opinions have been those held by intellectuals and scholars who profess Christianity byt deny the veracity and present power of the Bible.
OK... So, I'm declaring my very own FAITH CHALLENGE. In 2016, I'm NOT going to be afraid to ASK, to look for WONDERS, or to question my current thinking. BELIEVE is my word; so to start, I'm going to trust He can handle my questions. He's God! In Him is power. John 10:10 says that Jesus came SO THAT, in Him, we could have abundant life. Personally, I want the FULLNESS of that abundant life. I don't want to miss out on what He wants to give. Ever! The Bible includes character after character that ASKED big things from God, believed Him for the answer, and received.
Like Beth, Godless philosophies have NEVER tempted me. However, I'm afraid I've adopted a philosophy that believes in God without ever really believing in the life-fueling power He possesses and shares. I've lived with such fear of asking with improper motives that I've preferred simply not asking. How sad! I will exercise my faith by ASKING, AND ASKING, AND ASKING all the while trusting that He has priorities when giving, because He is SOVEREIGN. He knows what brings honor and glory. He knows what I need for the future. And, He gives perfectly where both are concerned.
Full BELIEF in THAT KIND OF GOD will cast out FEAR and usher in POWERFUL, ABUNDANT, LIVING. I'm looking forward to a great year!