BY FAITH

by on September 14, 2014

Last week I was filled with encouragement from God while reading Hebrews 11.  The words “BY FAITH,” encouraged me. Used 22 times in this chapter, those two words detail the faith of believers in the Old Testament, believers who didn’t have the same knowledge we have today. The knowledge of Christ and the redemption offered, of the Holy Spirit living within us, and a printed Bible to call their own. Through their challenges, they clung to their faith. I am finding those two words are encouraging me to stand strong in the places God is calling me to today.
Have you ever had that feeling, deep in your soul, that God is calling you, preparing you for that next season of life? A call that might not yet be clear, but you know is coming based on the circumstances in your life? A call for a change, maybe not big but a change that requires you to view life in a different way or view yourself in a different way?
I feel I am in the midst of such a change.  One that is making me a little uncomfortable in my own skin. A change which is causing me to look deeper into myself and my relationship with God.
I have always defined myself as athletic, a lover of all things physical. I love walking, biking, hiking and most of all tennis.  My view of myself defined by these activities and the body image they create.  Strong, physically fit, active, and vibrant, but an injury to my foot has sidelined me for a while. I need to keep off my feet, except for normal activity, to allow the injury to heal.  I have come to see this time off with a new perspective.  A removal of the “things” I clung too tightly.  It is during this time, that God has me looking deeper within to the ways I define myself.
I began with this injury early in the summer and I spent a vast majority of it longing to return to the way life was before, active, athletic, fit.  I chose to, shall we say, mope.  Discontent was my spirit, God tugging at my heart and me pushing back.
Then, as I began to meditate upon this chapter in Hebrews, I locked in on two sets of verses which opened up my eyes a little wider and caused me to stop resisting God. Hebrews 11:15-16, and Hebrews 11:40
Hebrews 11:15-16 shows how God gives us the choice, we can choose to remain in the ways of our past, living a life that may be fine, predictable in many ways, and seem easier than changing.  Or we can live a courageous life by faith that may be more challenging, but will be more of an adventure, more joy filled and more fulfilling than the life we led before.  We can choose what was good or allow God to transform us and receive what is better (Hebrews 11:40).
I am finding that for me, in this season of life, my faith is giving me the courage to stop resisting God. Through the Holy Spirit, I am finding a new found willingness towards change and to rest in His transforming power.  And as I rest in His power to transform my life, I am experiencing a life that is more content and joy filled, with new possibilities for adventures. I see this time as an opportunity to receive what is better from my Heavenly Father, and to grow my faith to new and deeper levels. I am learning to see myself through the eyes of my loving Father, defined not by the things I do, but defined by the ways He is transforming my life.
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God gives us all a choice, we can mope for the life of old, or we can stop our internal resistance toGod and allow Him to transform our heart and vision of ourselves. Stop the striving, the doing, the performing and rest in Him.  For what matters most is how God sees me, forgiven, redeemed and new.  Let the old be gone and embrace the new.
Which will you choose today? Won’t you let God show you a better way to live, a life that will bring new adventures and a stronger more courageous faith.

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LOL! I’ve named this ‘calling’ from God – I call it ‘stretching’. I think it’s appropriate for those times when God is placing us upon another path that we are uncomfortable with. We are elastic and never seem to break when He does this. I feel like a rubber band sometimes!

Julie,

I love this statement you made: “We can choose what was good or allow God to transform us and receive what is better.” It brings to mind the thoughts that both Fred and I have from time to time – those thoughts are about how we have been content over the bast 3 years living on our own, single, yet God is calling us to make amends, reconcile, and possibly remarry. HARD WORK, but so far, so many blessings. Bless you Julie, for your obedience to be vulnerable and walk by faith when you write this blog!

You always leave me with so much to think about, Julie. And, somehow, you always seem to tap into what is currently happening in my life. Thank you for your words and your insight.

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