My friends, I was just talking to a dear young 13 year old about his faith, and I was remarkably impressed. I know he has not had a lot of formal training, so it surprised me somewhat. Actually it delighted me as he is dear to my heart.
It got me to thinking about faith in general and my own faith. I’ve recognized that some days my faith is strong as steel, and other days I’m tempted to slip a little from standing strong. Circumstances can do that; so can distractions. I wondered why until I saw a statement made by Mark Hankins a long time ago: “The most important thing we should be doing on a daily basis is introducing ourselves to our new selves” because we as humans are very forgetful. We have a very short shelf life for things.
That remark reminded me of a Scripture that I never fully understood until now. It says:
James 1:23-24 (NIV)
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says
is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror
24 and, after looking at himself,
goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
We forget Our faith of yesterday or our strength of faith of several days ago. Like Mark Hankins says ‘we have a short shelf life for things.’ That seems like an excellent grip on the Scripture and understanding as to why sometimes I am feeling staunch faith and other times I am flailing a little.
Now this year I have set my goal to fill that lack. With God all things are possible and with His help any time I am lacking strength in my faith stand about something, I go back to Scripture and find the words that enforce my faith. This keeps me from trying to ‘fake it’, which is the worst thing I can do.
Thus I am seeing improvement in my spiritual growth, and I’m getting more assertive in my prayer times, trusting God more determinedly and ‘knowing’ that He is answering my prayer. As a pray-er we are partnering with God to carryout His will. God is the One who leads in prayer, it is my role is to listen and hear His heart in the situation. He will urge me to pray in His timing. In following this guide, I've discovered that my prayers are more powerful, because I am praying His will in His time.
Faith is an attitude. It’s more than a catch phrase. It’s more than an acknowledgement. It is an attitude that is born out of the heart of God by the Word of God
You know guys, we have so much to learn, but God takes us step by step where He wants us to be. So I just want to encourage you to daily read and listen to the voice of His Word. Know that He is speaking. Be hungry, be desperate, be aggressive, let there be a fire on the altar of your soul for the Word of God.
GPAN gave a great illustration in a little story:
I was just reminded of this little word picture of a bulldog that finds a new juicy, savory, aromatic, marrow-ladened bone. A little bulldog named Lucy, let’s say. And when she finds that bone in this word picture, she clamps her jowls around that bone and carries it off somewhere safe and quiet where all of her devotion and affection and desire is focused on that bone and nobody’s going to get that bone away from her even if their life depended on it. Because every ounce of her being is wrapped around that bone. I thought that is really a great picture of how we need to be about not only our relationship with God but particular our faith.
This deep devotion to God’s Word, and the love for God that comes with it, will build a staunch bond in our relationship with Christ, so nothing can separate us or cause us to go astray. Our faith will be tenacious and formidable!