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11 October, 2013

Faith - Part 9

  How do we know we are actually living out true faith?

The answer is when we believe everything God said about Himself and everything He said about us. When you can believe that He is indeed everything He said He is, brings you to a place where you can make a total commitment to Him. But the challenge we all face, is getting to that state where the belief that is in the mind is transferred to the heart and into practice into the everyday life. 

A. W. Tozer said: The word “faith” is common these days, but placing one’s faith in God is a weighty action, uncommonly fraught with consequence and, by His design, inconvenience. Faith in God is reassuring and comforting only insofar as believers trust Him—and that depth of trust is the mark of a mature Christian who has allowed faith to intrude on his life and shift his gaze away from his.
When I was in the wilderness with God by the time I reached 2007, things have gotten so bad that for a moment I felt God was cruel.  You see, I had my own expectations and understanding and in my mind I was under the impression that God can only push things so far. Let me explain what I mean by that. While this is not biblical to think that God could push things so far, but I came to think this way, by hanging on to certain verses which I understood with the little intellect I have.  I can think of two of those verses right now.  One of them is “ I will never leave you nor forsake you” and the other one is “ for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  In my mind I thought, for God to take everything away from me was in contradiction to so many verses in the Bible and I could not wrap my brain around it.
Between 2005 up to the beginning of 2007 God kept bringing me to places where I needed to prove to Him that I trusted Him Even though the uncertainty was insurmountable and I could not see where anything was leading, I kept saying yes to God and chose Him over and over again thinking it would be sufficient. (After all, He did not let Abraham sacrifice Isaac)  I had no idea what God was doing, was simply preparing me for the worst that was yet to come.

In my mind, I kept thinking there is no way God would take me deeper because my life would be catastrophic so the alternative was unthinkable.  But, if you follow my thoughts so far, you will notice all throughout my hardship, I was looking at me, my pain, my failure and my losses. Yet, even though I was wrong all the way and Salvation was still about me, I had no idea I was failing Him miserably. I honestly felt that I proved myself to God when it came to my faith in Him and as far as I was concerned He should have been satisfied. After all, when it truly mattered and He put me to the test, I chose Him.

To make a long story short, when time was of the essence and I needed God to come to my rescue and end the waiting process, He told me it was time to come to terms with the worst case scenario. Then He showed me His worst case scenario would be me being homeless on the streets and alone. Well, I answered Him by lashing out to Him and I told Him He did not honor His word. After I hashed it out with God, I learned to trust Him and that He had a plan for me even if I could not understand the reason behind it all, it was not my place to doubt Him.  Even though I was scared, confused and in pain because the life that I knew was disintegrating before my eyes and I could not do anything to salvage it, I actually accepted my fate.  With uncontrollable tears and intense pain I went to Him and said “May your will be done regardless what I expect or desire.” When I finished, I asked Him to watch over me and I would appreciate it if He could show me which street is better. I prayed that He would sustain me through the pain, all the losses and the shame.

Later on, God showed when I accepted the worst case scenario that was the moment I showed true faith in Him.  He showed me the difference between the first few months when I chose Him but I made the outcome and everything else about what He was putting me through, about me. Even though I was still a babe in the faith, I found there was a world of a difference in my heart.  There was humility in my heart, I had a heart focussed more on living upon Him, I was persuaded of His right to my life and I surrendered to the truth of the word of God.

Amazingly, as soon as I made the decision to trust Him, He showed me how us Christians misunderstand and misused verses of the Bible most of the time because we understand them with our intellect. I also stopped thinking that God owed me anything. He also taught me why most Christians do not have faith but they are not aware of it. It was something out of this world how He opened up my heart to learn spiritual truths. But most of what He taught me during that time was about the state of Christianity out there and why I needed to be set apart.

Well, since He was so happy with me and He was teaching me so much, I again assumed that He was not going to go through with His plan for me to be out there on the streets.  Not only I was wrong, He did go through the worst case scenario with me.  Furthermore, I found out soon after, the loss of everything and being homeless was just the beginning of what was going to become my life.

When I first lost everything there was nothing left except perhaps my life for Him to take, I did not even have time to mourn my losses because God was busy putting me through the brokenness process, then it was a time of regeneration, the next that followed was declaring me holy. It all happened in that order. During that time, I was so shattered into millions of pieces on the inside I felt like a shadow of myself.  At times I wish I could get an epidural to endure the pain of the impartation process. There were times, I wish I could sleep while God did the work in me. But, this is not how God works. I am now in my eighth years and the waiting process is still in full fledge.

All this happened because I felt called by Him to draw closer. When I obeyed the call, I had no idea this was going to be a life long of testing faith.

The rest of this story is for another post.