Wednesday, June 6, 2012
You know, I've been hesitant about blogging much about my faith in this space. I've blogged about my church and prayer requests, but those aren't the same thing as my faith, in a spiritual sense. My faith has been such an integral part of my life for so many years that it usually just overflows outta my mouth. Back home, I am constantly surrounded by Christian believers or at least people who respect others' personal faith, so it was easier to write about my faith on my old blog, especially knowing that 1) not many people would read it anyway, and 2) it was unlikely that I'd really bother anyone with it. Over here, though, there are more people that are offended by strong Christian faith. I haven't faith-blogged much just in case any of them read these ramblings that I post. I don't want to offend anyone, and maybe I'm afraid of being judged.
Lately, that's been bugging me. Why should I tame this faith? For God's own sake, I shouldn't. I respect other faiths, of course, but Jesus Christ is the one that I believe in, and with that, I believe that He's the only way, truth, and life. Mine is a faith to shout from the rooftops, but instead, I've toned it down. How foolish of me. I haven't helped anyone that way, and it might even affect how I feel/act/am on a day-to-day basis. I'm a Christian. It doesn't do anyone good if I'm a lukewarm one.
On that note, I will stop it. If you're anti-Christian, please put on your kindness hat and don't be mean, because this whole Christianity thing is important to me. My faith is every bit as important to my year in South Korea as my adventures, my kiddos, or anything else. I promise not to disrespect whatever you believe in (unless it's the Texas Longhorns), and I ask that you do the same.
Beth Moore wrote on her blog yesterday about her struggles lately in terms of faith, and how that's directed her to pray more earnestly for God to give her a heart that's open to the Word. She mentioned her pastor (who's also her son-in-law, Curtis) asking a question during worship, and I want to share that part of her post here:
"He asked us the question, “Do you want to live in the midst of supernatural provision?” and I do! So I wrote down on a stick note, “I WANT TO LIVE IN THE MIDST OF SUPERNATURAL PROVISION.” Yes, Lord, I surely do. Curtis said so much of the time we live the Christian version of ordinary because we either have so much or are satisfied with so little that we can simply take care of ourselves. By all means let’s put to use what God has given us. That’s good stewardship. But let’s not get ourselves in such a self-sufficient rut that we end up missing the supernatural. Wonders can happen when we’re in a place desperate enough to look for them and have the patience enough to wait for them and the prayer life enough to ask for them."
I am hit hard by that thought. Are you? I never want to settle for any version of ordinary. I'm just not the ordinary type. I have been blessed to know some extraordinary believers who have really challenged my faith over the years. This reminds me a lot of the kind of Spirit-led life that I've witnessed, that I've experienced on occasion. The times when I've seen God light up my life in the biggest ways have been times when I've had no control over what happened next. Times like when I worked at camp, where every day is new and fresh and unpredictable (for real, working with children 24/7... unpredictable is a given), times like when Skyler and I were getting ready to go to Haiti and I had no flight and no funds to get there. Those times forced me to get on my face in prayer and dig into the Scriptures and beg God for something amazing. I didn't use the same words, but that was living in hope of supernatural provision.
Not only do I love how my life goes when that's happening, but the thought that life like that is "good stewardship" is incredible! That God wants for us to ask for Big God Things. He wants to be glorified in our lives. He doesn't want us to be self-sufficient. He is sufficient for us! Mmm.
More from Beth:
"Curtis also said that “If we look around our lives and we have everything we need, then we may need to live a bigger life and set better goals.” The God-nodding kind. The Word-believing kind. The Gospel-living kind. Nothing about Curtis’s quote is in opposition to Biblical contentment. We’re to be content in whatever circumstances we’re in. We’re talking here about fighting the urge in our excess to be content in our self-sufficiency. To see little of God because we need little from God."
God, change us. I don't know what kind of bigger goals I want to be setting, but I'm glad to be thinking about it now. I'm not about living a ho-hum, comfortable life of self-sufficiency. I'd rather live a wild life of God-sufficiency, being content to be either rich or poor (that's where the famous verse, Philippians 4:13 comes from, in context!). I haven't been doing well with contentment lately. Maybe that will be my prayer goal?
More from Beth:
"I want to live in such a way that I know – I absolutely know – after a long, hungry spell that, when the sun comes up warm and gold and the ground shimmers with manna, only God could have done that.
Total, unabashed, unspared, unshared credit."
I want to see provision. I want to see manna on the ground. I want my life to be a testimony to the crazy, amazing things that God did without my help. And I want the courage to shout it out loud.
I need God, and I need to talk about it. Thanks for listening.