Last time, I wrote, “My faith is marked by my reliance on and trust in Him without regard to circumstance or outcome. … That faith, the one I think pleases God, walks with Him in the midst of the fiery furnace, praises His salvation in starvation, sings hymns to the Most High God while chained in the bottom of a prison … drinks the cup empty that will not pass otherwise … without regard to circumstance or outcome. That faith remains fully trusting of, fully loyal to, fully assured in, and fully reliant on the Most High God, no matter what might come, has come or remains here yet.”
Ok … but that’s the EASY part…
When you’re drowning, grabbing the lifeline is easy.
Remaining “fully trusting of, fully loyal to, fully assured in, and fully reliant on the Most High God” is a little more challenging when things are level; nothing on fire, not in jail, things are normal. When things are normal (whatever “normal” is in our lives) we’re easily distracted, our minds wander and as our thoughts go so goes our reliance. When things are normal we don’t seem to “need” Him, do we? But when the bottom falls out we desperately seek to restore the bond. As my sister Cristal said in a comment on the previous post;
“I think “faith” is both scenarios – praising Him in sunshine and in thunderstorms. It just doesn’t move. I believe real faith doesn’t roller coaster with the ups and downs of life. It’s a steady trek through life with an eye on the Prize.”
That is the “fidelity” part of a faith that pleases Him; relying on Him in plenty just as we rely on Him in need. Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians 4:11-12
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” (Philippians 4:11-12) *1
He had learned to rely on God, not only in need but also in abundance. It was not something that came to him naturally; it was something he had to learn. I can’t speak for others, but for me learning requires practice … lots and lots of practice. When things are “normal”, I must practice relying on Him. As I go about my day doing those things I do every day, I must practice trusting him. Even in the drudgery of just going through the motions, I must practice my loyalty to Him. That means understanding that He is not only the God of my salvation, but He is also the God of my next breath; not only did he command all creation to exist by His Word, but He commands my next heartbeat; not only does He desire for me to be where He is in His coming Kingdom but He has taken up residence within me here and now. His Holy Spirit lives in me, in the middle of my drudgery, in the middle of my “normal”.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) *1
By the power of His strength I can learn to rely on Him, to need Him even in my normal. I can learn to praise Him in sunshine and in storm by His strength. By His strength I can steadily trek through life with my eyes on His prize … on Him.
till next time…
*1 “ALL Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
“Anything is a blessing which makes us pray.” — Charles Spurgeon