I read this recently and it resonated deeply with me, "Sometimes our experiences don't fit with our understanding of what the Bible teaches..." That's only a one sentence excerpt of an interview but I find that statement to be accurate in describing how I feel at times.
The truth is this, every single word in Scripture is true. But that space between truth and our present reality sometimes feels really far and distant. And as believers, that is where faith comes into the picture, it bridges the gap. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen." Now the distinction I want to make is this because I too am finding that I need to intentionally remind myself often that this faith is not a faith that I muster up in my own strength or will but it's a faith that intentionally puts, throws and casts my hope, confidence and trust upon the person of Jesus Christ himself. Jesus not only is the foundation, the base, the source of my faith but he himself - his character, power, authority is the very essence and substance that gives me faith and comprises my faith.
Guys, what does this mean for us? It's not all on us! We're not alone. It's not up to us to drum up "enough" faith to "make" things happen. What a load off of our shoulders! YES, we partner with God and join him where he is already at work. We are active participants in our own lives and our faith walk. We do our part but ultimately it is the Lord's purposes that prevails (Proverbs 19:21). It doesn't all ride on us, and thank God!! What is asked of us is to be obedient, willing, yielded and surrendered vessels to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. My portion is to abide in him and to stay connected to the Source, to the vine. To hear, listen and obey. To daily walk with my God and to live according to his word.
Why is this really good news for us? Because life is hard. The pressures and struggles are very real. The world screams at us to "do, do, do." Every where we turn, we're told to "do more, do this, go here, don't go there" if we want to achieve this, attain that or succeed at this. And somehow that mindset has crept into the church as well, or perhaps it's me with my strict, rule-based, religious upbringing.
Don't get me wrong, very well intention and God loving, bible believing parents; however, there was an imbalance and missing discipleship link in the transmission of truth and the application and practice of the Christian faith in our every day lives. Truth be told, at times I feel overwhelmed listening to certain messages that screams at me to do one more thing in order to see blessings in my life, or have healthy relationships, or experience this or that. Gosh, we really don't need more self help tips or books! We need the plain gospel truth of grace, repentance, love, forgiveness and friendship with God. We need truth that points people to the person of Jesus Christ, and causes people to consider their own life. And from there, we build community based on God's word to walk alongside one another, helping each other to live and walk out our daily faith. I'm just a really simple girl who gets a little antsy when I feel things are way more complicated or complex than it should be. Let's not feel like we have to know all of the answers or fixes or solutions. Let's just do life together and get out of the way and let Jesus do his thing.