Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Finding Faith 

Certain words carry baggage. Gay. Straight. Colored. God. Vote. Male. Female. Pink. It's a shame really, because those words are beautiful and innocent. They have profound meanings and implications, yet they are indistinguishable from the connotations and drama they evoke. The reactions to them are often immediate, passionate, and extreme. Whether an extremely sluggish reaction, overreaction, silence or screams there is hardly ever objective listening going on. You almost instantly want to smack, praise, turn off or tune out the speaker/messenger.

Faith is that kind of a word. Did you instantly shut down when you read that? Don't. Let go of the baggage. Hear me out.  Faith is more than church a word. Faith belongs to everyone. It affects, and infects us all. We all have it. We were born that way. Where we place our faith is the source of our differences, but there is no getting around it; we all have faith in something. We may not call it faith. It often masquerades as devotion, loyalty dedication, hope. Still those things are often a ruse for the measure of innate faith we all possess. Where we spend our time, and thoughts is often the area we've esteemed most faith worthy.  It could be in ourselves, work, our relationships, our gods, our finances, abilities, activities, careers and more. It could be invested in one main source or spread thinly over several sources. The latter is what most people do. They have faith in all the pots in their lives, no matter how shallow. It is a combination of a little here, a little there, tucked in away in what we feel will help us most in a time of need.

Untold is that a little faith in many places amounts to no real faith at all. If a thing is truly worthy of faith, it's worth a total investment. All in. That's what God wants. He wants all our faith. He deserves it.  In fact without faith we are told it is impossible to please Him. Furthermore, Jesus marvelled at one thing and one thing only: faith. Remember how He said that all the commandments hinged on two: love God and love others? Likewise, all He told us to do here hinges on at least one thing: faith in Him. Jesus said mustard seed sized faith can move mountains. Mountains.
Faith is the currency of Heaven. I believe it is why Jesus did works when He walked the earth, not to increase His faith. He already knew He could heal the sick, raise the dead, walk on water, curse a fig tree, and all the rest. He did it to increase our faith, the faith of those who followed Him and would one day follow Him. Yes, He wants our works, but only as a product of faith.

The faith of a person determines control. Destiny. This is why its placement is important. It needs to be in something eternally secure. Immutable. God is the only one who guarantees He does not change. To invest in any other but God is to invest in the uncontrollable, the random, change. It is pursue insecurity, to partner with inconsistency, and align oneself with the unfaithful.
Faith in other sources leaves us with a product that can fall apart, shake, change and shift. It is subject to the powers, or lack of power of the one, or thing that possesses our faith. This is why God must have our faith, and why He proved He is love. Perfect. All good. If He were not, He's no more deserving of our faith than any unstable, selfish person/thing which bends, break, shift, changes. God's proven, perfect love is the collateral for our faith. His faithfulness secures our faith. He can be entrusted with our faith, because He has done everything to earn it.
He knows and does what's best for us. He wants us to be able to withstand the storms of life. He doesn't want us to be shifted, carried away with every wind. He wants us to be stable not tossed by the waves. In/on Him is the only solid place to stand. He's the only one that cannot change. He is flawless and immutable. Forever. Everything and everyone else must change. Always. Thus faith in anyone or anything else leaves us subject to correction, to change. To invest elsewhere is to invite a shift. It is investment in instability. When the shift comes will you be able to withstand it?
How many people are affected when the stock market corrects itself, a child strays, a spouse leaves, someone dies etc? Those are hard things. They hurt. They also reveal the true location and whereabouts of our faith. In Him is the only place you can invest faith and have guaranteed return and growth. He promised to those who have more will be added. In exchange for you faith you will get more faith. It's a win win.

If you spend you faith on other things, you can be successful, or fail or be misled, but you will also be controlled. Faith in anyone or anything, gives it power and control. That is why you must put your faith in something or someone who doesn't seek to control you, but who knows you, loves you and wants to complete you. Despite what you've been told or feel, God's love does not seek to control you. It seeks to fulfill you, to make you whole. That will not change. You can trust it with your faith.
A wise man builds his house on a rock. When the elements test it, there is no movement of him in the storm, because there is no movement in his God. Indeed the elements come to reveal the location of our faith. It a opportunity to examine and correct any faulty faith investments. Are we steadfast, and immovable? That's He wants for us. It's the power of faith in Him. It will make us abound in Him, only in Him. He is the only one not affected by the rain, moved by the wind. He's a sure foundation. Of all the areas we can place our faith it is the best offer out there.

I dream of living on a farm. No mortgage, I'm also a fan of being prepared. I wouldn't say that I'm a prepper, but I'd love to dabble. For me if I'm not careful, that's a dream that will steal my faith. Perhaps that is why God has me living on a patch of land in the city. It would be so easy to put faith in my food supply, and finance supply. If you loose your life for my sake you'll find it He promised. So even my beautiful country dream pales in comparison to the cross. I know I'd put my faith in my fortified house, my food supply over God's provisions and protection. Faith in ability has led many to overcome adversity and achieve dreams. Faith in a cause has led others to set people free. Faith in finances have led many to wealth, and poverty. Faith is effective. Potent. That's true no matter what your faith is in. Faith or lack of, is the driving force behind work, and the outcome of our lives. Faith in ourselves, our money, our abilities causes us to work in an on those areas, because faith without works is dead. That's also true no matter what our faith is in. I just happen to believe that faith in anything/anyone other than God is a pointless faith, resulting in death of the faith and works. Even faith in a beautiful farm. It's a beautiful fleeting thing. Not fulfilling, but time stealing. Yet, faith in other sources comes so easily for us. I believe the enemy makes this so. He keeps us distracted. He hides truth. He offers us shiny things to blind us to the substantive things of God. He makes fear to arise in everything and causes faith to feel impossible. Unattainable. Liar!

Now faith is not a magic pill. It is a choice to believe God over all else. Looking at a mountain? Need it gone? Tell it to move! God said it can move. That's faith: the decision to believe God despite what is seen. It is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1.
Fortunately, is not a feeling, or we'd never have any. It is an invitation to choose a team. It is the choice to believe in God's wisdom, vision, power, GOD over all else in all areas of life come whatever. That is what the enemy doesn't want us to have and know. He doesn't care if we are gifted, he can use that.. He doesn't care if we are love, he can use that. The only thing that he cannot use or have is anything completely given to God. That is especially true of our faith in God. Once you give your faith to God you have in one action surrendered everything to God. Satan cannot take back what belongs to God. He cannot use our faith in God. He tries, but faith in God cannot be overcome. He tries instead to get us not to have it, to doubt, to fear, and mainly to waste our days placing it elsewhere. It's a run out the clock situation.  He doesn't mind if we have a little faith in God, PLUS other things. As long as we don't place all our mustard seed sized faith in Jesus, Hell wins. Our enemy knows it's best to keep us from ever getting to a place of surrendering total faith in God, because once we do  the entire Kingdom of Heaven is unleashed in us on earth. We become unstoppable, and cause others to follow...and He'll be on the run. Powerless. So he keeps us circling the field of faith, looking over the fence and admiring the fine building faith can build, but never entering. How tragic to stay in the field of but never enter and build the house of faith! So many live this way, with the power at their fingers, but fail to press go. He who straddles the fence on any issue isn't really neutral, they are neutralized, no power. He who straddles the fence is uncomfortable. Be filled to overflowing friend! I beg you, don't settle for scraps when you can an full and wonderful meal.

Paul said He lived by the faith of the Son of God can you imagine that? Was Jesus ever defeated? To live by that kind of faith is to live worry free. Anxiety free. Victorious. Don't you want that? You can have that. Trust no one but God. Make that decision now. Give Him ALL your faith. Don't take it back. He doesn't take the cross back. Will things get hard? Guaranteed! Choose to believe especially then. Forget what you feel. Learn what God said. Live by it. That's truth. Trust it. Your enemy speaks to flesh. Flesh runs on how it feels. The spirit has power over the flesh. Believe in your heart all of it, all of what God says. God loves you. He died for you. He gave you the riches of Heaven. Experience them here. Faith unlocks the experience. Live free. Live by faith in Him. Live!

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