Thursday, August 7, 2008

The FaithTest

Last week's Believing God bible study was good. This week's is better. Please go visit Lidna at 2nd Cup of Coffee to get started. Then come back and visit me here. (That was for my reader Brenda. Oh, and Cindy. I didn't forget you.)

But this week, my blog cannot contain the words to describe how God is growing me.
It all started on Day Two with the faith test. Brenda called me(from her hotel balcony overlooking the gorgeous San Diego beach, no less!) to talk to me about it, and I hadn't done it yet. So I got right on it.
At first, I thought it was a test with trick questions because the questions were so easy for me to answer. Unflinchingly yes. I believed these things without question.
Then I reached # 7. "I believe the Jesus Christ of the Gospels is ___________ today. "
a) Just as powerful and active
b)very powerful and active
c)more watchful than active
d)more distant and less likely to intervene with action.

Knowing the "correct" answer was a),I really wanted to check that. But I wondered how honest that was. I have heard and read lots of stories that I believe are God working today. But do I believe d) more than I believe a)? Why?

I worked my way, more carefully now and stopped short when I reached # 18
"I_______________ pray generic prayers because I don't want to be disappointed by God. "
a)rarely
b)occasionally
c)often
d)most commonly

Well.
Hmmm.
I remembered the previous week when I had prayed with an inmate for the judge to look favorably on her case the next day and for her to be released. After I prayed as she still gripped my hands and she stared straight into my eyes and asked me,

"Do you really believe God will answer that prayer?"

I held her gaze for a moment before my eyes slid away and I gave the truthful answer of " I believe that God will do what is best for you because He loves you. It might not always look the way we want it to."

That is the truth and I believe it. But is that a chink in my armor she found? Do I believe that God will listen and answer this time, or is it just sometimes? Or are prayers answered that are mostly far away, or with missionaries or people in the persecuted church? Not here, not now,with me and a single mom inmate, wanting to go home to her son.
Where is my belief? Is there more for me? For us?
What did you learn from this test of faith?
Are you praying with me that God will remove any obstacles of unbelief from us each day?

As I went through my week and the bible study, God has worked on my heart, encouraging me, showing me that there is more, so much more than what I have been expecting. He is not distant, but close by. He is waiting to answer my prayer of
"More, God. I want more, please."

Early this morning, before the sun came up, I began to wake up by hearing the Lord whispering to me, calling me, inviting me to ask Him again to remove the scales from my eyes, to ask Him to show me more, teach me more, let me love Him more. I woke up with tears on my face.

For the Lord is God,
and he created the heavens and earth
and put everything in place.
He made the world to be lived in,
not to be a place of empty chaos.
“I am the Lord,” he says,
“and there is no other.
I publicly proclaim bold promises.
I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner.
I would not have told the people of Israel to seek me
if I could not be found.
I, the Lord, speak only what is true
and declare only what is right. Isa.45:18-19

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