Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What Can Faith Do?

I'm not sure. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly my faith can accomplish. There's a chance I never will find out (until heaven I guess!). But I've been wondering ... how much do our day-to-day choices affect our lives? What seems like a big decision at the time means nothing. Other times, a seemingly small decision has a huge impact. Furthermore, sometimes our decisions have no impact (like choosing to eat an egg for breakfast). Or does it? What about the more serious things in life? Or giving advice to friends? Choosing a spouse? What I'm going to eat? Where that food ends up? .......... jk that's a whole different conversation. I'm probably over-analyzing; I am a woman after all ;) lol but seriously, what kind of impact do our choices have? How much does our faith in something contribute to our future? I've been thinking a lot about it for probably like a month. If you have thoughts, feel free to share :)

So, what can faith do? According to the Bible, it can work wonders. Matthew gives an account of a man who brings his possessed child to them, hoping they could heal his son. The man informs Jesus of this, to which Jesus responds, "How long shall I put up with you?" (Matthew 17:17) and heals the boy. When the disciples ask why they were incapable of healing the boy, Jesus responds that they had "so little faith" (Matthew 17:20). In fact, he adds, "if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20). Basically, if the disciples just had faith, they could have sent out the demon themselves, right? For the things that are impossible with humans are possible with God (Luke 18:27). But instead Jesus taught them a lesson through their inadequacy. Additionally, the Bible gives examples of what faith can do. In fact, the entire chapter of Hebrews 11 is devoted to how people historically -- in the Old Testament -- leads God to take action on their behalf. It starts off by defining faith: "confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). You can read it for a clearer idea of what I'm saying. But anyways, it concludes with how people, through faith, can conquer kingdoms, administer justice, gain what was promised, shut the mouths of lions, quench the fury of the flames, escape the edge of the sword, turned weakness into strength, raised the dead -- basically do anything (Hebrews 11:33-35). Faith also meant suffering in many ways, because "the world was not worthy of them" (Hebrews 11:38). Yet, they're all commended for their faith, even when they didn't recieve what was promised, since God had a better plan in the works toward perfection (Hebrews 11:39-40). In Romans 4:20-21, we're told Abraham, "did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." Faith means to be fearless and doubtless. Faith means 100% trusting and believing in something. However, this still doesn't answer my question. If I ask, I'll recieve -- but I have to believe it. If so, does my lack of faith keep me from recieving? Or was it not in God's plan? And how do I tell the difference? Where is the line between what God plans for me and what I choose? What are the effects? See, doubting has been the problem since the beginning. (Did Satan not place doubt in Eve's mind in the garden?) Sometimes I wonder if doubt is the problem. Even Jesus says in Mark's writing (11:22-24) to, “Have faith in God [...] if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Essentially, everywhere I look, it says if I ask, I'll recieve, I just have to believe! But it's doesn't seem that simple. Why? Because we doubt ... right? Doubting isn't always bad, but a lot of times it is. But even if we had faith to move the mountains, it wouldn't mean a thing unless -- in fact, "I am nothing" -- if I don't love (1 Cor. 13:2). I guess the key is to fix our eyes on Jesus, "the pioneer and perfecter of faith" (Hebrews 12:2). Because in the end, the world isn't concerned about what storms came our way. Instead, they focus on if the ship made it to shore. I just have to trust Jesus to guide me! Simple ...... kinda ... but not really.

Here's the other thing. Obviously, God doesn't want us to sit around lazily. God continually calls people -- history attests to this -- to step up and take action. But life's like a game. Everyone cheats. God knows it, but let's the game go on [judgement is served when the words "game over" are uttered for every human life]. Our job is to make wise decisions throughout the game. So shouldn't we make Godly choices for Him? This is where I get confused. I don't live a perfect life, but I try my best. Every choice brings us closer or farther from something. What am I saying "yes" or "no" to in life?  Do they glorify God? God's wisdom is immeasurable -- and even unsearchable (Romans 11:33). Yes, God controls everything. But my faith isn't obsolete; it has meaning. But how much can my faith do through Christ? That is the question ...

For now, I guess I'll just try to love like Jesus, for Jesus. Because true love leads to action and I wouldn't take action if I didn't have faith.
P.S. This song has been standing out to me lately, maybe because of all these thoughts! Idk. If you have any opinion on this, feel free to share with me because I am not sure right now! haha anyways, here is this awesome song by Kutless: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1JBSQMkQEo

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