Faith

Faith.  Faith is a word that is quite common to a Christian, but do we really understand it?  We sometimes pray for faith, or yearn to have more of it.  Then, we get on our knees and beg God to show us the outcome of the decision He’s asked us to make.  We get frustrated with God because He holds back knowledge from us.  How can He expect us to follow Him if He doesn’t tell us where He’s going???

I was watching Doctor Who yesterday (stay with me, it does indeed relate) and the Doctor and Amy had this conversation:

Doctor: Amy. You need to start trusting me. It’s never been more important.
Amy: But you don’t always tell me the truth.
Doctor: If I always told you the truth I wouldn’t need you to trust me.

Amy knew the Doctor was constantly keeping things from her, and that’s what she meant by ‘not telling the truth.’  If he never kept things from her, then why would she need to trust him?  This is the same with God.  If God told you that the money for Bible college would come from landing a fantastic job during school, you wouldn’t go to Bible college because you were trusting God;  you’d be going because of faith in your own knowledge.  If God told you that you needed to quite your job because another was going to come that would be much more spiritually rewarding, then you wouldn’t quite your job because of your faith in God;  You’d quite your job because you know there’s going to be another waiting for you.

This all came up because I was reading Romans 9.  Here are the relevant verses:

What shall we say then?  That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.  But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.  Wherefore?  Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. 

Israel was seeking to earn righteousness with their understanding.  They understood the law.  They didn’t understand grace.  They did not have faith that God could have an attribute they didn’t understand: mercy. 

So I guess my conclusion is this: we (I especially) need to stop depending on our understanding.  We need to stop being frustrated when God doesn’t give us all the details.  After all, if He always gave us the details, He wouldn’t need us to trust Him.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Advertisements

Repentance

Everyday disaster strikes.  We do something wrong!  We find ourselves back at the feet of Jesus with something to repent.  With most (if not all) of us it’s the same thing… Over and over again.  We think to ourselves, “Why can’t I stop doing the wrong thing?  Am I truly repentant if I continue doing the same thing wrong?”

This is something worth thinking about: When you repent, what is your attitude?

If it’s “I’d better say I’m sorry so God will keep blessing me,” you probably won’t heed any advice given, so we’ll move on.

What about the attitude of hopelessness? “God I’m so sorry!  I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  I can’t do anything right!” At this point, we find ourselves wondering why we even try to do better.  This isn’t a bad thing, actually… As long as it doesn’t end there.

The most fruitful repentance (in my opinion) is the one that goes a little farther.  It’s beyond the frustration.  Suddenly, there’s a realization: “I’m failing because I’m trying so hard.”  Say what?  How does trying make you fail?  Trying makes you fail when you’re supposed to be relying.  If we could resist our sins, why did Jesus die?  We can’t do it.  It’s impossible.  The most fruitful repentance says, “I can’t do this, please help me!  Doing this myself isn’t working!”

I’ll be honest: I’m posting this because I just went through the frustration.  “Why can’t I stop doing this?”  For the most part, my sins today are the same as yesterday.  God started all this with a verse in my devotions today.  You’ve probably heard John 3:14: “For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”  Jesus didn’t die so that I could beat myself up every time I stumble.  One of the most influential sermons I’ve ever heard was about getting back up.  Get up!  Keep going!  God came to save you, not to rain down judgement every time you mess up!

So make the decision to not go it alone.  Stop trying, and start relying.

About Me

So I guess I ought to tell you a little about myself.

I’m seventeen year old girl, born on Bastille Day.  I’ve always lived in Ohio, though I may live in Europe in several years (but we’ll get to that later).

I accepted Christ and was baptized when I four, but I committed my life to serving God when I was 12 years old.

My father and mother are divorced, but I have the greatest mom and step-dad EVER!  I have two older sisters, one who will be getting married in a couple months. 

When I was younger I didn’t really have friends.  I moved around a lot because sometimes I was with my mom and sometimes I was with my dad, so there wasn’t much time for strong friendships.  Now, however, I have the best, most supportive friends in the universe!  God has sent me people who really have a passion for serving Him, so that we can go through this journey we’re on together.  I’m very thankful for them.

I’m a senior in high school right now, but I’ll be starting up college in the fall.  I’ve been homeschooled since eighth grade.

I’ll be going to college to be a missionary, though I’ll be majoring in secondary education, my concentrations being home-ec and music (I LOVE MUSIC!)  God has placed on my heart a burden for the gypsies in Romania.  I’m in the process of learning Romanian (which is insanely hard because it has no official curriculum!), so you’ll probably see some weirdo words around here.  If you ever don’t know what I’m saying, go to translate.google.com

I play the violin and I’m just beginning to learn piano.  I’ve been singing forever!

I told you I’m quirky, but if you don’t believe me, here are my likes:
Cooking, violin, Good Eats, missions, Doctor Who, Keith Green, Francesca Battistelli, church, reading, volleyball, and dancing… among other things.

So there’s a little bit about me!

What’s This About?

This morning I was thinking about the United States.  Wait, don’t go!  This isn’t about politics.  It’s not about guns, presidents, or education… Not the public kind, anyway.  This is about  that wonderful, celebrated freedom we have.

Isn’t it great to have the freedom of religion?  We can worship wherever, however, and whenever we want!  We can read the Bible in public and we don’t have to be afraid of the police breaking down our door to find it.  We can sing about the love of God in public, and the worst we get are stares.  We can pray out loud without fear, and we can go to church once a week or more.  We don’t have to be afraid of death or stoning.  Isn’t our freedom incredible!  What a wonderful country God has put us in!  We can tell people about Christ without the fear of persecution!

So here’s my question: why don’t we?  Why don’t we pray out loud, and why don’t we sing about the love of God?  Why don’t we read our Bibles during our lunch breaks (or even at all)?  Why don’t we share with people the mercy of Christ, and their relation to it?

Here’s my answer: we have forgotten this freedom.  You glare at the screen now.  You’re frustrated at my saying this.  “You’re wrong!” you think.  “We talk about it all the time!”  This is true.  We do talk about it all the time.  We KNOW we have it, but we don’t think about it.  It’s commonplace, life as usual, just one of those things we know.

Why are people in India teaching people about Christ, even though it’s insanely dangerous in their country, but we, who have no fear of the police murdering or torturing us, put our heads down when we see someone who needs Christ?  We don’t know what we have, because we’re not using it!

So this blog will be about my quest to remember this freedom.  You can join me if you’d like, or you can just read about it (though just reading about things is far overrated).

That’s not all, but that’s the basis.  Don’t expect some great religious man who is righteous of his own doing (besides, I’m a girl).  I make mistakes ALL THE TIME.  We’re all the same, and we’re all on the same journey.  Those who have trusted Christ as their Savior are all headed the same place.  For us, what matters is what we accomplish on the way, and who we’re traveling with (ie. God).

So I hope you can get something out of this.  You’ll see some of my quirky humor along the way (I didn’t have too much time with this post) and some funny life blunders so that you can laugh with me!  Most of all, you’ll see someone who’s just trying to live the way God wants her to.

So come join me on my journey!

Your friend,

Sarah