Sunday, February 21, 2010

Faith: Between trusting & believing

A little something for Angie's 30 days of faith.

My testimony from childhood is a mixed up, confusing, and jumbled mess of intertwined lives and long drawn out personal battles which, quite frankly, lead me to be who I am today. The biggest obstacle I have ever had to overcome is releasing who I thought I was, believing in who He is, and trusting in who He made me to be. It took an overwhelming amount of trust and faith…which to me are very closely connected. Trust is letting go of everything (self preservation, fear, worry) and giving the Lord full control; but, faith is the exact moment of connection when we allow the Lord to become intimately involved in our lives.
I remember talking to a friend once and her bringing the conversation to a place where I finally realized that all my life I truly believed that I saved myself. I ran away from home as a preteen, I survived on the streets, I made life happen and I, I, I. She asked me where the Lord was during that time in my life. I’m certain I gave her a pitiful answer, but her question shook me to the core. So, I began to ask Him where He was at every point of my life, and eventually I realized that nothing I have ever done in life was without Him by my side…He gave me courage, He protected my life. It takes faith to allow God to show himself to us.
Today, I deeply trust Him, I believe He is who The Bible says He is, and somewhere in the middle, a light goes off…a mental “ping” resounds deep within me. I call that faith.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Voice of Another

The Voice of Another

I live my life at a fairly even keel…with one kink…living alone leaves me with nothing but my thoughts, His thoughts, and the thoughts of others. I believe I have a fairly good balance of the combination; however, at times I falter when my thoughts get in the way of His thoughts; but, I have some phenomenal people in my life who share their thoughts to pull me back into alignment when needed. That’s how it all works for me. Recently, I shared a fault of mine that I have been dealing with, not just to share this fault, but I was hoping to receive insight from a friend whom I know to be steadfast in this area. I was about to enter into prayer time, so I figured some quick counsel prior to prayer would be awesome. I was wrong. Instead of taking my fault before God and allowing Him to work it out, I opened myself to the voice of another. I find it interesting how easy it is to get away from following a voice you have grown accustomed to and follow the voice of another.
I’m reminded of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18-19) who loved God so much he destroyed all the items of idolatry. The Bible says he trusted God and “there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.” (18:5) Over and over, the King of Assyria taunted him & all his people saying (in Kate’s words): who do you think you are all confident and stuff…and you think the Lord God is going to save you? Then he hit the people where it hurt by reminding them of the high places and altars Hezekiah tore down…and tossed a bit more confusion into the mix by claiming that these things were The Lord’s high places. He made statements which were somewhat true, but skewed enough by the lies these people once believed, that it shook them up. Hezekiah himself was shook up. He pretty much said woa, we need to hear from Isaiah on this one. Isaiah came back and said NOPE God said I got this one. Of course the king of Assyria came taunting again saying: you are listening to who…don’t you see that I have taken out every god in every surrounding country, now be afraid. This time Hezie got on his face himself and worshiped the God he KNEW (I have to quote him here…chokes me up) “and Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “O Lord, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the Living God.”(19:15-16) Such an honest prayer. He said I know who You are and You are True, but I’m faced with some words that are also truthful. I believe he reaches the heart of God with his final words in prayer. He said “Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God.” (2 Kings 19:19). Isaiah came back into the picture to reassure Hezie that God said he would clean up…and God showed up strong and mighty!
It wasn’t long before God spoke to my heart and said “who are you listening to” … I continued to “but” and bawl and He again spoke to my heart and said “who are you listening to.” I listened that time…to the Lord, let him do His thing, and then I went to the Word. It was the most interesting thing…I am doing an inductive study of Luke and I happened to stop right at the place where I needed help…as I continued I realized my Daddy was teaching me. He showed up strong and mighty, because that’s who He is…Strong and Mighty. The voice of another I will not hear.