Mar 9, 2010

Realizing Faith

Last night, I was sitting in bed wrapping up my reading and thinking about how important my books have become... Crazy Love - I've read it almost four times and it's changed me. Totally changed my life. My Bible - I love reading it. I never, ever thought I would enjoy reading the Bible as much as I do. I've read one version (almost completely) so far and am working on another. I actually miss reading when I skip a night. Jesus Calling - my most favorite daily devotional... ever! So Long Insecurity - Beth Moore's new book; I caved and decided to join the online book club for it and so far I'm behind three chapters. It's okay. I really like Beth Moore so I know I'll finish it...eventually! I have a stack of books beside my bed. It's probably pushing two feet high - I'm not even kidding!

So as I was about to close my eyes last night, I was just reflecting on how much I love my books and how much they have strengthened my relationship with God, when I realized that I don't need books. They have surely helped me, but Moses and Paul didn't have books. They wrote them! They had the REAL deal. They had GOD - Himself - speaking to them. I was thinking about how cool that was when I realized that I have that too! DUH! He speaks to me - I just don't always hear Him because I'm not listening.

My books are important to me, I look to them for guidance and for help when I need to understand something, but I often forget the One I need to look to most, the One who can actually answer me. It was a pretty big realization.

The next couple of months will hold some big changes - a lot of which may cause you to question my sanity for trying to do so much in a short period of time. The easy answer is, it makes sense for us. And so far, it works. If I was to make a list of the big changes we have coming up, I might have a mild breakdown - so I won't do that - but it's definitely caused me to rely on faith.

I've blogged about Francis Chan before - and I thought I posted this video - I think I did but the YouTube owner must have changed the link because it's another one now - here's the video though...

The first time I watched this, I was actually just starting to read Crazy Love - and I was on chapter four - Lukewarm Christians. Watching this was like seeing him make fun of me - for all to see. I realized that it really WAS me and I didn't want it to be.

I've struggled with faith over the last few years - I've questioned validity of all sorts of things and I still have no answers, but I'm learning to accept that. I'm learning to understand that I will never know because it is much bigger than I'm able to comprehend. Reminding myself that I never understood Algebra helps too because tons of other people get it and are so much smarter so of course God is going to be way smarter than what I could understand. (I have good logic, right?)

With all of these changes coming up - getting married, moving, finding a new job, etc... I'm oddly at peace with it all. It would be sooooo easy to stress about not having found a job yet, but I'm okay. I know the right job will come along and it is a piece to the puzzle - I know that we will be married whether or it pours rain or sun shines with dolphins swimming in the sound. I'm also learning that I really do have faith. I have it because I'm living by it.

I am finally doing things in my life that put me in a position to actually have to rely on faith. And with that, I'm also learning that it's the way He wants us to live. If we live comfortable and never have to rely on faith, then do we really have it? Or do we fall into a pattern of safety and arrogance because 'it's simple, God does bigger things.' If we live according to His plan, we rely on Him and we walk with Him. Living in His plan doesn't mean we are always comfortable, but it does mean that He is with us. In one of our last Bible Studies, Beth Moore talked about how we often don't feel His presence until we are in the storm. I've probably talked about this before, but it is so, so true.

Faith is believing in God - and acting on it. Living on faith. Stepping out. If for some reason the video above didn't work, this is the YouTube link.


Jill Foley said...

amen sister!

What a great post...I wish I had written it! I've been feeling similar things...maybe it's because I'm reading the same books, doing the same studies and listening to the same people as you!

I remember when you first posted this on your blog. It was before I really knew who Chan was and I remember thinking it was a great clip. I've heard that "blurb" in one of his sermons and it gets me every time.

I think I will post this same video on my blog soon...I've got many family members and friends who would benefit from its message.

Praying for you as you continue to walk this journey - it's exciting, isn't it? The unknown, the need to totally depend on God!

Nellie Dee said...

Sure is amazing to me how many people are being tried and tested. It's also amazing how "we" have become blog friends and all going through similar testing. This walk of faith is indescribable. There was a time that I felt poor and stressed if I didn't have $200 in my purse. Now, I often have nothing in my purse, but I say proudly that I have all I need. God's peace is truly the only way we get through these times. Praying with you. His Hand and blessings are on you.

Jill Foley said...

Gin...can you believe that the random sermon I heard by Chan today used this same illustration?!? How cool is that? It was the same balance beam illustration...he elaborated a little differently since it was a different talk, but when he started in on the balance beam thing I thought, "are you kidding me? Twice in one day?"

Just had to share that!

Suzanne said...

"If we live comfortable and never have to rely on faith, then do we really have it?" I really needed to hear that with all the "bad luck" we've had lately. I just found my new FB status. Thanks.

GinSpaghetti said...

Jill, that is so neat! I love that snippet - I think it is so true for a lot of people and we just don't realize it until it's out like that.

Nellie, I recently read a story about a girl who was on her way to pick up her son and saw a homeless woman selling newspapers for $1 on the side of the street - she felt a strong need to pull over and buy a newspaper but all she had was $20 - she said she never had cash and for whatever reason happened to have it that day and felt like that is why. I love that story!

Suzanne, :)

"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I'm afraid God would ask me the same question."
You don't change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by changing yourself.
-Gerry Straub