What Kind of Faith are We Living Out?
Today, Wednesday, was such a crazy and lovely day. I woke up at an hour that is to late for my good and went about my morning business of preparing for another day/blessing from the Lord. You see, I had the day off from work. Because my boss was so gracious to give me my Sunday free every week for Church, I don't get many of these days off during the week, so it is rare to have other days off as well. So, I took advantage of this rareness. I wanted to make today different. So, I did one of my favorite things, I went to the gym. Right after that I went to a book store for 4 1/2 hours to begin a challenge I have given myself.
Lately God has been working at my heart, I have been wrestling with what to do with my life. You see, I have talents the Lord has blessed me with and so many things I want to do, but, I don't know how to use them and God hasn't led me to anything yet. I recently read the book 'Radical' (I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to live a radial, different life for the Lord.) Anyways, At the end of this book they gave 5 challenges to change your life. One of these challenges was to read the bible in a year. You see, I am ashamed to say I am 18 years old and have never read through the entire bible. Also, Recently While I was reading a book, a friend challenged me, he said " You take time to read other, very large books, in a week or two, but you haven't read through the whole bible through your whole time being yet?" So, I decided to do something, I set a challenge in front of myself. You see, I like challenges and I LOVE pushing myself, So, I decided I was going to read the bible in a month. I did all these calculations, That leaves 40 chapters a day. Now, People can look down on this and say I will get nothing out of it, But, I will be going through and will outline and journal everything I read. It is going to be a hardcore month of study, not a month of reading. However, some can try and praise one for this saying "Wow, how great a thing to strive after the Lord like that. Great Job." NO! No one say that, because this will only happen by Gods grace, It sure won't be easy. All credit is due to the Lord.
Now, all of that to say, today was day 1 of the challenge. I went over to my local 'Barnes and Nobles', bought a coffee (which was silly because I don't like coffee), opened my bible and a notebook and began reading. This was hard at first because I had just finished reading through Genesis and Exodus the month before, BUT, I definitely was challenged with putting what I read into perspective and I learned so much. So, down below I wanted to share with you what I learned and was challenged with.
I am beginning to realize that this will be a long post. :0
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen." Now, that isn't the exact wording of that verse, It is from memory, But as it says, faith is believing in the things unseen. Merely, as we all know, Anyone who is a Christian has faith. What kind of faith do we have? Do we have enough faith to "move a mountain?" While reading through Genesis and coming upon chapter 22, I was extremely challenged.
In this chapter it talks about How God told Abraham to sacrifice his son. Now, many thoughts had to be going through Abraham's head. Thoughts like "Your crazy", "He is my only son, what about the promised nations", "How do I tell Isaac?" I know I can not imagine God asking me to do that to anyone, Yet alone my own son. I don't know if I could do that yet SHOW FAITH in doing that? This challenged me in 2 areas. 1. I lacked Faith in my savior, and 2. I definitely don't think I could submit to Gods authority if he asked me to do something like that. Two big areas I needed to change there.
Also in this passage, I was challenged by Isaac. He willingly submitted to his father, had faith in his dad, and wanted to please the Lord. I know If I were him I would have questioned my dad over and over, I wouldn't be willing to climb on that alter and I definitely wouldn't have kept my cool.
Such faith demonstrated in those two men.
Later in Genesis, Chapter 24, Rebekah comes into the story. Rebekah was to be Issac's wife, But she didn't know this. Basically, this chapter makes me laugh when I try to picture myself as Rebekah. Picture this with me, "I am out by a well, I see a man praying, I approach him, He starts praising God and tells me I am related to him. I take him back to my home with me and he tells me and my family that We are all related and He prayed to God these exact things to happen from the girl he was to find and I acted those all out and Now I am to go back with him and marry a man of whom I do not know." THAT IS CRAZY! How much faith she must have had in her Lord to believe all that and to act upon it. :0 Insane.
Then, For an epic ending of the book of Genesis, Joseph. Josephs life was a mess, He was sold at a young age, and every time things started to look up for him they went down hill. Through his whole life tho, God blessed everything he did (because of his faith) and in the End, God used everything that happened to him for his Glory. So many times Joseph could have gotten discouraged and not seen his purpose in Life, But he stayed faithful, Sought the Lord and was used in a mighty way.
All of this challenges me in so many ways. First, We need to see if we ONLY have faith in the Son of God and what he did, Or if we have a faith that will really change the way we live our lives. Second, God is in control of my life and will use me to bring him the most glory. A friend was once challenging me and He said "God looks at your life as a red carpet, He looks at the beginning and the end and the middle will work out to fulfill the end in whatever way he sees fit." Just like Joesph, He could have felt like he wasn't being used, but God was using him.
If you haven't realized by now from this post, and my others, I am struggling with finding my purpose, Living a radical life, Knowing what to do next, BUT (the big word that changes everything) I have been realizing more and more that in his time, his perfect, holy time,
HE WILL USE ME.