Friday, May 9, 2008

Who's Faith is it Anyway?

I've been a christian all of my life. I was raised in a pentecostal/evangelical home and I don't know of a time when I didn't believe in Jesus. There were times in the "wilderness" but I never stopped believing in Him.

Faith on the other hand is something a little different for me. I have always thought of myself as a woman of faith and I would say that others would have agreed with that statement. However, all of this seemed to be challenged when I was 38 years old. That was a year in the fire for my family. We had a death in the family that left behind a young widow and child and another teen in the family go through a year of pain with her fight to beat cancer (praise God she is cancer free today). We then had our family's matriarch come down with an extremely painful ailment. All of this really challenged my faith. As a matter of fact, I'm sad to say that all of this left me in a very desolate place for about 6 months. I remember telling my husband that I believed that Christ died for my sins but after that I didn't know what I believed.

Thankfully, God doesn't leave us in our desert places forever. And, just as with the Israelites, He brought me out of the desert and into His promised land. How did He do that? Well, He started me on a process of searching out the truths in the Bible for myself. Why did I believe what I believed? This has been an incredible journey for me and I do have a very different faith from the one I was taught all of my life.

I used to put a lot of faith in my church to "fill me up" and I've come to realize that it's solely MY responsibility to receive manna from heaven daily as I grow in my relationship with God. I used to think that there was "big faith" and "little faith" but I have not seen that anywhere in the Bible. As a matter of fact the scripture that comes to mind is:

Matthew 17:20 ...For truly I say to you, If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Move from here to there. And it shall move. And nothing shall be impossible to you.

It seems to me that moving mountains would be "big faith" but Jesus calls this faith as small as a mustard seed. This is proof that there is only 1 kind of faith and that is faith in God. This was very encouraging to me. This showed me that if I truly had faith in God for something and it didn't come to pass, that it was not my lack of faith that caused the undesirable outcome it was simply God overriding my will for His.

Isaiah 55:8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways, says Jehovah.

This verse sings to my soul. Our ways and thoughts are NOT His ways and thoughts. If you've developed a faith because of others teachings alone than you need to study yourselves to find out why you believe what you believe. Having someone else's faith won't do any good when you're going through the fire. Take it from someone who has been burned. Thankfully, God takes our burned bodies and grows fresh new skin where the old burn was! He is the ultimate healer.

2Timothy 2:15 Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.


Chatty Kelly said...

This is my favorite blog for you so far! It is really good! (not that you were burned, dear friend, but your description and the outcome).

I remember learning where my faith came from - - not my "parents" faith, but my "own" faith and it is wonderful to know why I believe what I believe (not just because someone told me so).

Keep growing! You are a beautiful work of the Lord!

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