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Posts Tagged ‘Believing in God’

When it comes to believing in Jesus, I have been asking myself several questions.

Through which eyes do I see him?

How far does my belief extend?

Do I look and believe in the ability of the one I follow or do I look at the growing crowd?

Philip and Andrew were two of Jesus’ disciples. They spent days, weeks, and months with Jesus. They had seen countless miraculous signs and wonders. These fellas had personally experienced the hands of their friend healing wounded hearts and broken bodies.

There was one particular day where Jesus performed on miracle that affected  five thousand people.

The day was hot and the sun was beginning to set. Jesus surveyed the growing crowd around him and asked Philip, “where can we buy bread for these people to eat?

Jesus had a way of always asking rhetorical questions. He already knew what he was going to do.

How many times has God asked us questions – invited us into being a part of something great – and we answer logically or without faith.

I have responded to God’s questions so many times with my eyes on my own limits. I even have a tendency to water down what God wants to do through me because I think I’m too small to do it.

God asks us questions already knowing what he is going to do. He just wants us to believe.

Philip and Andrew illustrated both responses in this story. Philip relied on his logic and limits. He looked at the overwhelming number of people and
responded accordingly. Philip thought that it was up to him to do something miraculous and big. Even though he had just spent days being a part of miracles, signs, and wonders. That day he chose his limits.

Andrew responded differently to Jesus’ question. He answered with two key words, “here is.” That is what God wants to hear from his people, “God here is…” Andrew believed beyond his limits and in the one he followed. He was focused on Gods ability.

Andrew lacked the how but he had the who and what.

Andrew placed in Jesus’ hands all that he had to give. He believed beyond himself. When Jesus asked the question, “what can we do to feed these people?” Andrew responded with “I can’t, but you can.

Philip and Andrew had human responses. They were both limited and logical. One responded out of his limits, and the other presented his limits to the only one who could use them.

Which disciple are you most like?

What stops you from presenting all you have to Jesus?

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My head is still spinning from this past week at Catalyst. Such an amazing two days of fast, but rich wisdom. I was in need of a time to soak up the inspiration of others, who are way further down the line.

My faith is small. Sometimes my dreams feel even smaller.

Do you put God in a box?

I do. I look at my life, my future, my dreams, and I limit God. I stick Him in a box with the boundaries that speak of understanding and calculated risks. Feeling uncomfortable and out of control is not my forte, but it is the recipe needed for faith.

I spent two days listening to men and women speak of great steps in faith. All of them spent a season choosing to be out of control and uncomfortable. That is what faith is. Faith takes the willingness to fight through being afraid, jealous, and anxious.

How do you handle discomfort with where you are in life? Do you take control? Do you take the reins?

The words, “I believe” should be so powerful. I am sad for the ways I water down them down. Those words mean everything – believing changes everything.

I want to be a person who believes big. Not only believe, but wait on the weight of those words.

Faith is illogical. Faith is that place in a great movie where you say, “Oh my dang! Didn’t see that coming!”

I watched these great men and women and thought they don’t even see how much God has blessed them. That is a part of just believing – walking in obedience. Feeling the grace and peace of living out the gifts and race HE has designed.

Let’s do this friends! Let’s risk to believe – to spend some time in out of control discomfort!

Truth? Our plans never work out. Our visions go nowhere without the extra step of His planning.

Reality?A part from Him, we can do nothing.”

There is weight in believing. There is a responsibility that comes with waiting on what is bigger than we are.

Risk to believe. 

What holds you back? 

What makes you take back the reins?

 

 

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I am a sucker for good wisdom and spoken truth. I love listening to podcasts of great speakers. I usually listen while I run. Let’s be honest, I need something to take my mind off of the running part.

There are times when a talk can just stick with me. I listened to one other day by Andy Stanley that was so challenging, and so good for my heart.

The essence of his message highlighted faith that does not waver when God seems to be “absent, inattentive or late.” This was such a powerful talk.

Andy stated something that I have been marinating on. He said, “When you go through something, I pray. When I go through something, I doubt.”

This statement is such a great faith challenge. We all experience times where God seems to feel inattentive and late to our situations. What do we do in the “in-between” times? We are great at praying for others, and believing God for their situations. However, in reality most other people’s circumstances do not challenge our faith. It is only when we experience something hard personally that our faith really gets challenged.

My faith is challenged by this statement; even now I sit waiting and wondering if why God feels delayed. If I am being most honest, my heart is also confronted by just how selfish I really am.

When my faith wavers because I think God is being inattentive, or late, my expectation is that God should be doing something for me. When I go through hard times, I expect God to show up and save me from it. Rarely is my first thought, “This circumstance has more to teach me than God just saving me from it.

What do we do when God seems absent, inattentive, and late?

We doubt

Usually when doubt starts to take root, we talk over. Self-sufficiency kicks in and we say, “Thanks, but no thanks God, I’ve got this.

I am becoming more and more aware of my doubt and selfishness. In my selfishness, I take over too often. I am realizing that I have not been waiting well. I have called my season “waiting”, but in some ways, I can see that I have just been hiding behind the term while selfishly trying to make life work.

I wish my first thought was to believe. I wish I more readily remembered what God has already done for me instead of demand more. I wish I waited well.

The truth, my faith needs some work. Faith is not what kicks in first. Faith is not the lenses through which I see my circumstances. I am working on my responses.

In what ways do you feel like God might be absent, inattentive, or late?

 

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We all have things that get right to core of our hearts. We have these specific things that challenge our hearts and draw us to and from God.

Everything about God requires faith and belief. Everything about knowing  God requires dependence and surrender. These are hard for our hearts to wrestle with.

God is about the all not about the some.

Everyone has their own individual weak spots. We each have our own unique challenges of faith and belief.

What does your heart wrestle with the most when it comes to believing in God?

How does this things manifest itself in your life now?

 

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I used to play the game Memory all of the time as a kid. Oh my dang! I loved that game. I loved trying to find all of the matches for each picture. I am wired very strongly in the visual department, so Memory was my game. I will admit that I even tried to hustle some games of Memory during play dates as a kid. You didn’t know you could hustle with Memory did ya!?

In some ways I still play the game of Memory with my life. God is one of the cards I have turned over, and I have spent many seasons tring to find his match.

I even feel like I can take a proverbial polaroid picture of God and hold it up against people and things wondering what compares.

There is no match found for God. There will never be anything that compares to everything there is about God.

God is unmatchable.

Yet I seek, fill, compare, and even force a match to who he is. I have wasted time flipping over life cards hoping to find another, but I can’t. I have only found a sense of loss from trying.

I am learning that my only choice is to surrender and respond to God for who he really is: matchless. I know I might sound like I am on this “life would look different” kick, but it would if I really believed he was.

If I really believed that God was matchless my life would radiate more peace. If I really believed that God was matchless my life would breath and exhale I feel like I am holding. If I really believed that God is matchless I would wait in joy and not anxiety, and respond out of trust and not fear.

There is no other card that resembles anything close to who God is. It is time for me to stop hustlin life to try and find one.

Who or what do you match God to?

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