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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Sharing life HOPE together...

It is hard to believe that 400 posts have come and gone. As I reflect upon the things I have shared over the years, some fun and some serious, I would be remiss if I did not consider the ultimate purpose of my blog.

As I say in my profile, my continual prayer for this blog is that God will help me to share the experiences of my life in a way that would minister to others and bring glory to Him!

Of course, bringing glory to someone does not come without a price. It's kind of like government services. They aren't really free. Someone must pay the taxes that fund the ventures to benefit yourself or someone else. It's the same with salvation. Jesus paid the price to buy our spiritual freedom. All we have to do is to accept the free (to us) gift He offers.

After salvation, though, we do have the opportunity to demonstrate our love for God by working out that salvation. By taking every opportunity, easy or difficult, to allow His glory to be shown through our lives and our circumstances. By laying down our own ideas of how something ought to happen and by aligning our will with His. By relinquishing our right to expect it to happen the other way around.

God has been bringing that concept to my attention recently in relation to my prayers and their purpose. I agree with MckMama on this particular subject, in that the purpose of me praying is to bring me to a place of submission where I am in alignment with God and His plan for my life rather than my own.

So, that is what I have been praying. LORD, bring me into alignment with Your will.

At the same time, then, God has convicted me that I need to come to a conclusion about whether or not I believe Him. After all, if I ask Him to bring me into alignment with His will, then I have to ask myself what that will is. I have to ask myself if I know what His will is. I have to ask myself if I believe what I know about His will.

That's where I stumble across a problem.

Doubt.

I often find myself relating to the father of the possessed boy who asked Jesus to heal his son and then responded to Jesus' question of belief by saying, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

You see, none of us have a crystal ball to allow us to see into the future. We, or at least I, only have the things God has told me. I try to hold onto the promises He's given me personally through His word. The only problem is that the more time passes and the farther away I get from when He promised, the more I allow doubt to creep into my thoughts. Or, maybe, I allow Satan to tell me lies. And, I believe him.

Tell me, why in the world would I believe a proven liar over the King of kings?

I don't know.

What I do know, on the flip side, is that I don't like the result of unbelief. I posted about that yesterday. You see, I want to trust God. I want to receive His promise. I want to enter His rest. I just struggle with how to accomplish that in a practical way in my every day life.

Perhaps, you do too. Of course, God does not expect us to be perfect. We can't be, and He knows that. That's why He sent His only begotten Son to die for us. Kind of circular thinking, isn't it? Perhaps, it is time for me to throw off perfectionism and to embrace grace?

In the meantime, while I continue to HOPE [read: wait] on His promise, I will also choose to believe. A Biblical scholar, I am not. However, I do try to use resources such as Crosswalk to help me understand what different words in Scripture actually mean. The word in the version I selected yesterday was believe. However, when I look at the original word used, I find that the meaning of that word is actually assurance.

It is the same word used in Hebrews 11:1, which says "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Something of substance, confidence, that which has foundation - is firm.

I think that is interesting. When God calls me to believe, He actually describes His very own characteristics. Qualities that have substance. Qualities in which I can be confident. Qualities that provide a firm foundation. You see, when I believe God, I'm not really believing in an action or the outcome that I hope will happen. I'm believing in Him, and Who He is.

Whether the outcome is what I HOPE for [read: expect] or not.

Now, that's somethingOne in Whom I can BELIEVE! How about you?


Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...


***Don't forget to pray for someone today!

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