Without Faith

Out of “Experiencing God Day by Day”:  The writer of Hebrews reminds us that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).  Whenever God reveals something, He expects us to believe Him and adjust our lives accordingly.  What does this mean?  It means we trust Him implicitly for all of our needs because He says He will provide (Phil. 4:19).

Are you trusting God?  I don’t know about you, but I struggle with this at times.  Oh, it’s pretty easy to trust God when things are going OK.  It’s when things get sticky that my faith can go right out the window!

I had a realization today.  Years and years ago, I had a dream.  My dream came about when I was a little girl.  Some 20-plus years later, my dream came true.  But in the interim, my faith flagged and actually failed.  I didn’t believe anymore that the dream was possible.  The interesting part as I thought about this today is that the dream was actually a catalyst to remove me from a very dangerous period in my life!  Even though I had given up on the dream, God hadn’t.  And the dream I wanted in my future was able to catapult me into a new reality.  God used the dream to remove me from a dark future and place me in new surroundings with a fresh outlook.  That was all it took and my life was forever changed.

Romans 14:23 says, “But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.”  What has God planted in you?  What dreams did he plant in you years ago?  Are you allowing the enemy of your soul to cause you to sin by not putting your faith in God?  I’m guilty of this but I’m getting stronger and stronger in believing that God will do all that God says He will do.

All things are possible is more than a scripture to me these days…I realize that the strength I carry and walk in is not of my own anymore.  He is able, He goes before me, and He will see me through it all!  Blessings on you this day and may the Lord increase your faith to astounding levels of new joy!

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I’m Walking with God

I’ve arrived at a place in my life that I’m more and more in awe of God.  I have struggled with the fact that God loves me.  I could think of thousands of ways that I’ve disappointed, disobeyed, and otherwise disengaged myself from the Lord.  Oh yes, I knew that the Word, His Word, says that He remembers my sins no more as soon as I repent of them.  I’ve had plenty of practice with that.  But I’ve never truly gotten it that God loves me with a love so huge, so all encompassing.  Something always fell short inside.  “Oh, I’ve messed up again.  God can’t be very happy with me again.”

You see I was having a love affair with a God that I didn’t really understand.  He’s for me, not against me.  He’s always urging me on.  He’s used me in times when I figured I wasn’t very usable.  I always looked past what the Word said, and configured in my own mind this God who couldn’t possibly be happy with me and if He wasn’t happy with me, then He must not love me.  Unfortunately, these feelings come from our circumstances rather than truth.

Last week I had an experience that helped me see, I mean really see, just how much God loves me.  I was in a situation where folks around me were talking in a critical and judgmental way.  I recognized it immediately and decided that I didn’t want to go there.  Unfortunately I wasn’t in a position to remove myself.  The next day, the same thing happened, but this time I joined in with the criticism and gossip that followed.  Just that quickly I slid into sin.

Later in the evening, the Holy Spirit convicted me of my mistake.  It was as if I heard Him tell me, “Linda, you saw it yesterday, identified it correctly, and chose not to participate.  Yet, today you joined in the fracas.  Why?”  The conviction cut me to the quick.  I was so quickly filled with remorse and sorrow.  I prayed, asking God’s forgiveness of my sin, and that He help me in the days to come not to succumb again.  And do you know what?  He answered my prayer!  The situation didn’t change much over the following days and yet God helped me to simply sit back and not participate.  It was absolutely stellar!

I’m beginning to see that the shift I’ve mentioned before has to do with my perception of God and His position in my life.  I’ve followed the Lord for a good many years now.  In spite of the fact that I feel so many of those years were for naught, God is showing me new things about myself.  He’s showing me that He loves me in spite of myself.  I honestly don’t know what has kept me following Him all these years, but I’m so glad I never gave up.  My understanding of who God is and what He’s about in my life is shifting from head knowledge to heart knowing.  I never before quite got it what loving God was all about.  I wanted it, I just didn’t know how to do it.

I’m coming to a new understanding about God’s promises for my life and where I stand in His eyes.  He loves me with a love beyond anything I can think or imagine.  He knows I sin, and yet He loves me anyway.  He uses me in circumstances where I feel I’ve completely failed and yet, I can look back and see situations now where I know He used me to change something in someone else’s life.  Guess what?  He loves you the same way.

Take a moment today and consider what your thoughts are about God and your love of Him.  You may not be able to quite say that you know He loves you completely and unabashedly and, you may not be able to say that you love Him in the same way.  That’s OK.  As long as you keep on the road, as long as you confess your sins as soon as you become aware of them and ask Him for His forgiveness, as long as you keep trying to follow Him the best you know how at any given moment…well, God will continue helping you grow and moving you along the continuum.  How do I know?  Because that’s exactly what He did for this woman who didn’t understand His love and yet kept walking with Him.

Many years ago, not long after I was saved and asked Jesus into my heart, I heard someone talking about the fact that “they walked with God.”  That statement astounded me.  I didn’t get it and I’d never heard of such a thing before.  But do you know what?  Thirty-five years later, I understand that statement completely.  I’m walking with God.  I pray you will continue walking with Him too…He really is crazy about you!  And if you’ll keep walking, He’ll keep moving in your life.  I pray your journey won’t take 35 years like mine did to get the fact from your head to your heart.  Why don’t you talk if over with God today?  He’s waiting to hear from you…