Monday, November 30, 2009

The Faith Component by Guest Blogger Kristy J. Downing

Our lives are so filled with activities and obligations; naturally we grow and develop in the directions that pull us the most. We may be an outstanding engineer or minister but have a desire to be a better father or spouse. I want to ask “what in life is pulling you the hardest right now?” Is it work or your career? Is it your family? Is it working out and eating healthily? Is it being sociable? As we grow and develop in the direction of the things that have the heaviest gravitational pull in our lives, let us not forsake the faith component. Ask ourselves what practical routine we can implement in our lives to increase our faith? Like studying Japanese, learning the piano, improving our culinary skills and Rome faith and a strong relationship with God is not built overnight. It comes through communicating with God (or praying), it comes through studying His word (or reading the Bible) and it is evidenced in our actions (or treating humanity in the manner in which we would like to be treated).

This month let’s pick a way in which we can periodically bolster our relationship with God. Regardless of where we are there is room for growth and aspiration towards perfection. See Paul’s teachings in Philippians 3:12-14 (“not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” NKJV). For some it will be attending a church ceremony, for others who do that routinely already it might be studying Ecclesiastes – written by the son of David, believed to be the wisest person to ever walk the face of this earth – or taking 15 minutes in the evening or mornings to read a new Bible verse, and for others it might be volunteering at a local shelter during the holidays, showing God your earnest appreciation for what you DO have instead of asking for something additional.

Many times in life we are faced with obstacles and situations that are apparently larger than us: why do we have to die Lord? What will happen with my marriage or my family? When will I get a new job? Why do I have no friends? … these situations that are by and large out of our control. Yet we dedicate our life energy to worrying about them. Christ teaches us, however, that such worrying is fruitless. Matt 6:25-34. James later teaches that we should couple our faith with works. James 2:18-24. We are advised to rely on faith and do all we can.

I admire the faith and conviction of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego who defied king Nebuchadnezzar who requested that all in his kingdom bow down and worship a golden idol. Daniel 3. They were to be burned alive if they did not oblige. Do you think they were popular at that time or unafraid of the consequences of the empowered? Obviously. They were unwilling, however, to compromise their faith and do something they knew would be unpleasing to God. (“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case [that they were to be placed in a fiery furnace], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”) How many of us are willing to say, even if God does not save me I will stand in faith? Even if I am embarrassed, lose my marriage, my life or my job, I stand in faith? Instead at times the possibility of a disappointing circumstance serves as reason to abandon our faith or self it until more comfortable circumstances present themselves. Even though it is difficult, when opposition arises that is the time in which we should amplify our faith not diminish it.

Recollect the good things that are results of an attitude of faith. Hebrew 11.

Miracles & blessings!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful devotion, Kristy! I love the question "What in life is pulling you the hardest?"