In The Name of Faith
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“I just have to do something!”
When I get that urge, I don’t mean I have a craving, or feel I have to do some sort of activity.
Sometimes, I will get restless when I feel life is back to a bit of an “ordinary” phase, or if something interesting in life or ministry isn’t going on at the moment.
I like action. I like results. I like feeling the “feedback of life” taking place! It’s not easy for me to admit. It’s a strength, but it’s also a weakness when not in proper balance.
When we become restless and think we just have to “do something” or “say something,” we need to be careful what we are doing or saying. We must ask ourselves, “Is this in my own might, or am I obeying a leading from God?”
As far as actions go (on a broad scale), it is easy to tell ourselves that our own action is that of faith simply because it’s an action, when in reality it’s just an output of our own self-will. Faith and God may very well not have had a strong part in it, perhaps not at all. A great example displayed in the Bible is a life event of King Saul. He thought he was taking action in his faith by offering a sacrifice without Samuel present. Instead of following instructions, he did it his own way. He acted through the flesh (action apart from God). Though it was a sacrifice to God and in the name of his faith, neither God nor faith were in it. So, what was truly in it? Disobedience that reaped GREAT repercussion and consequence (1 Samuel 15).
Faith is coupled through action, but that action may not always be as you envision it. Have faith in what God is going to do in and through your life even when you feel you are not doing much.
It is not just the world that struggles with the pressure to achieve so much after the intake of Pinterest, blogs, trends, and social media. It’s also the church — just with a different spin on it. God and faith are attached to our actions, foundational beliefs, and origin of speech. We hold an important responsibility.
In a social media prevalent world, we also need to be careful in what we say or type. There are times I feel that some restless fingers typed up some Christian verbiage in the name of “faith,” rather than applying discernment beforehand. Some desire to be “right” according to their intellect, rather than truly making a godly difference. It is so easy to tack on “belief,” “taking a stand,” and “faith” to justify our less-than-discerning actions whether through ministry, tasks, or typing up a thought/response! I have to ask myself a lot of questions and go to God often simply to keep myself in balance with culture’s complicated and cluttered flow! I have to seek his guidance when I use Facebook, just as if I were preparing a message for a large crowd! Both are equally important, especially if I am claiming to be a loving Christian without compromising strong biblical roots.
I certainly don’t say these things to pick on people or bring shame upon anyone; I say this because it exists, and it’s something we need more discernment on. There are those with a “lead foot” in the car, and there are those with “lead fingers” fueled by thoughts and emotions in the mind. Some things meant to be written will be met with backlash or lack of response, and some things not meant to be written with be met with praise and many “I am so glad you said this!” statements. The outcome will not always be a determiner of whether it was a right move or not. We simply have to keep in check with God, the Bible, and our heart.
We cannot . . . we MUST not lose what faith truly is, the direct Source from which it is derived, and that it MUST be coupled with obedience.
The Christian culture is so bent on establishing a culture of what works and who “did it more right,” more than it is passionate about establishing God’s kingdom. We must quit slapping faith’s name on our own human toil.
Take my own life for example. It takes more faith for me to believe what God will do, and is doing, in and through my life in the silence of “slow” and normal weeks, versus having faith in the more dutiful and actionable areas. I must not act apart from what God would have me do.
We need to have faith in God’s power even in the simple things . . . in the silence . . . in human “boredom.”
Allow God to guide you in the midst of busyness, in the midst of active events, in the middle of social opportunities, in the action of ministerial flow, and in the silent moments.
I was recently having a great conversation with another dear ministerial friend of mine, and I asked her, “What does God have for you during the waiting period? What ‘snacks’ await for you to ‘eat and distribute’ while the ‘main dish’ is in the ‘crockpot’? Who is he calling you to?”
Allow God to draw you unto himself. In a culture with a short attention span and fidgety tendencies, ask yourself, “What is God showing me in the present moment?” Prayer is an earth-moving ministry! Seek that just as diligently as if you were a CEO of a Christian organization or a lead pastor.
I pray you have clarity in your new journey into 2016, that you would have discernment in walking in action, obedience, and faith. I pray you would know the difference between what is truly of him and what is of your own will.
I will be walking this journey with you, praying ever so fervently that I hear God clearly, that I see as he would have me see, and that what I call an act of faith (or an act on behalf of my faith) will truly be just that.
I randomly desire to sit and relax at a campfire with good company on a grey-skied day and a cool breeze.