Sunday, July 27, 2008

Faith


For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— Ephesians 2:8

Oh wow, what an amazing and wonderful week this has been. Words can not even describe the journey that God has me on and even if I told you there would be some that wouldn’t believe it. It is so completely humbling to know that God is up to something big here and to even be a small part of it is too much for words.

You see, Faith, no, not the George Michael song, “Faith”, but real, true, soul searching FAITH is not something that can be quantified through mere words. Oh yeah, Webster’s, and Dictionary.com have a “definition” of faith, but you and I both know that FAITH is so much more indefinable.
Faith – Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - –noun
1) confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2) Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.

My personal favorite definition of FAITH is found in God’s Word and it is in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 11, which just happens to be the “Hall of Fame” of Faith. Check it out…
Hebrews 11:1 [ By Faith ] Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. That just about sums it up better than any dictionary could, don’t you think?

A life of faith…enables us to see God in everything and it holds the mind in a state of readiness for whatever may be His will. -Francois Fenelon


I used to be one of those people who though I had it all figured out. You know, typical Type-A personality, leader, driven, bossy, you name it (those aren’t bad qualities, but they aren’t always good qualities either). I thought I had this thing called “life” under control. I was in charge of what I was doing and I could make things work out the way I wanted. With a little hard work, fierce determination, and will power it would all go my way. Needless to say by the time I turned twenty-one (didn’t we all think like that when we were younger) I was getting married to a man I only knew for ten months, moving out of my parents house, and oh yeah, one month after we were married guess what??? I was blessed to find out I was pregnant and would be expecting a baby boy within the next nine months.

It is not the cards you are dealt but what you do with them that counts. -Anonymous

You see, there are just some things we aren’t supposed to “have all figured” out. I will never forget that it was through these very circumstances that God would humble me and pursue me. No, I wasn’t a Christian. I didn’t know Him. I knew of Him, but I didn’t trust Him, not with my life, not with my circumstances, not with my new marriage, and now a baby. But then it happened…I will never forget that night for the rest of my life. I was eight months pregnant, twenty two years old, and scared to death. I woke up from a dead sleep in the middle of the night and just sat in my bed and cried out to Him. I begged Him to come into my life and redeem me from the mess called myself. I wanted to be a good mom, a good wife, and to be called His.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

It’s funny because it’s been almost fifteen years since that night and you know what? I still don’t have it all figured out, but I do know the ONE who does. I have, however, spent the last ten years or so of my life seeking Him more passionately, more intimately, more tenderly.

Until the will and the affections are brought under the authority of Christ, we have not begun to understand, let alone to accept, His lordship. -Elisabeth Elliot

I don’t know what road God has me on, but I know that as long as I seek His will in all that I do that even when the road gets bumpy I am safely buckled in with Him. Has it been easy? Not at all…as a matter of fact I believe it has been harder than anything I thought I would ever have to go through, but I know WHO made the roads.

The Christian is not one who has gone all the way with Christ. None of us has. The Christian is one who has found the right road. -Charles L. Allen


While I was doing my studying and preparation for this devotional I came across this verse…

Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

and it struck me that this is exactly the kind of FAITH that I want to have. I want to be able to look back on my life and when I get to heaven have Jesus say, “Melissa, you have great FAITH!”. Wow, wouldn’t that be amazing? I don’t have to have all the answers anymore. I am learning, day by day, to simply put my FAITH in Him, not me, not my schedule, not my email, not my blog, but in Him.

Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

God is getting ready to unleash some completely out of this world things in my life, and I am sure in yours too. I can feel it. I have to tell you, if I can be totally honest here, that it scares the living daylights out of me. There’s a BIG fear there…it’s sort of like a trap, 1) fear of being disobedient to what He’s calling me to do, and 2) fear of actually going after this BIG dream! But you know what…while I sit here with my toes on the edge all He is asking me to do is
Mark 11:22 "Have faith in God,".

Prayer begins where human capacity ends. -Marian Anderson

So here I am Lord…send me, send her, send them, send our kids, send us all out to do your good works.

If you’d let me, I would like to lead us all in a prayer as we seek out our FAITH in whatever God is calling us to do this week.

Father God, I know that you have anointed our time together today Father and I know that this message isn’t just for me, but it is for a dear sister or brother in Christ that is reading this message right here right now. Father God, you can do all things and I pray that you would give us your super natural strength as we seek to be more like you. Father, our toes are on the edge. Help us to see that all you are asking is for us to take a step of FAITH and walk down the road you have prepared for us. Thank you Father for directing each and every one of our steps. May they be honoring and glorifying to you! In Jesus Precious and Holy Name, Amen.

As you head out to prepare for your week I would like to leave you with this one final verse on FAITH.
1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

Go forth my sisters!

9 Mel's World Friends Comments:

R.L.Scovens 10:42 AM  

I have a bloggy award for you over at my place!

Mari 10:51 AM  

Melissa - what a great post on Faith. Thanks for sharing some of yourself in it.

Julie Gillies 4:10 PM  

Your blog is beautiful - I enjoyed your devo.

Blessings!

mommydani78 11:42 PM  

you have been blessed with every spiritual blessing girl! (ephesians 1) that includes more than enough faith for your next adventure. i can't wait to hear what He has in store for you!

Christina 2:01 PM  

Another great post. What a great testimony you have. Thanks for sharing. I am glad that you cried out that night 15 years ago to God and now you are touching so many through your posts. Great picture of the flip flop feet standing on the edge. Perfect for this post on Faith.

AlaneM 3:07 AM  

Wonderful post, you hit the nail right on the head with this one!
I just read a post over at livesayhaiti.blogspot.com you might want to check out. They speak on this very issue, trusting in God's provision & stepping out in faith.
God bless!

stacey 10:45 AM  

another great one to save to my email!

love that "FAITH" sign! did you find it online or where is it?

freetofly 11:23 AM  

Wonderful post again, Mel. God has done a rich work in you! I thought I'd share this scripture that you used, as an illustration of one of the many things I love about my Jesus, and what I'm trusting Him to instill in me and my loved ones.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

I LOVE that He got past the horror of what He had to do for the GLORY that was to come after and as a direct result of. I think this is such a critical aspect of our faith, I just loved that you used it!

God bless you in your greatness!
Maria

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate 3:20 AM  

Great post Mel and just what I needed to hear. I am wide awake at 3:18am (stupid hormones) and this really ministered to me. Sometimes I have a total lack of faith, I get caught up in fears and worries, and get so busy with the things of the world, that I lose sight of the ONE thing that matters.....Jesus and my faith in Him. It's a simple concept, but I make it so complicated.
Thanks again for sharing your heart!!!

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