Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Waking Up

"Father - how easy it is to assume that
our faith is strong and healthy,
when in fact our faith lies dormant and our lives
remain unchallenged to believe you for great things.
Challenge my faith with a new sense of
what You want me to trust you for. Amen."

I found this prayer while reading over a month ago. I'm sorry to say I don't remember which book it was. I think it was by Amy Carmichael. No matter; it's in my Bible just the same, written on a yellow post-it note that is stuck to another post-it note, on which is written, "Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, SO WALK IN HIM!" Any guesses as to what the Lord's been teaching me since I've been at Bible school?

I really don't know how to articulate my state these days. The ups and downs are maddening, and I at a loss as to how I can step toward any sort of remedy. I'm really becoming aware that any and all change is God's doing, and most definitely nothing of my own. Still, emotionally I don't think I can handle the way I'm living much longer.

The struggle seems to be my difficulty opening up in vulnerability, with the Lord and those He's placed in my life. So much of the time I'm running running running to the next thing and the next thing and the thing after that. I'm exhausted, emotionally even more than physically, and that makes me avoid too much deep thinking for fear of experiencing mental fatigue. I feel very much like the cattle being prodded by the "goads" (as the old King James calls it), kicking and bleeding and getting angry and then frustrated, and most of all depressed.

In Hebrews class we've been learning about the church that the writer was addressing, how they desperately needed to move past the "elementary and foundational" teaching (the foundation of the Gospel which should prepare the believer for growth) and "go on to maturity!" I've been so convicted because I know that I am not reckoning the truth of all I am in Christ to be truly true. I still fall into this state of baby-faith, needing to hear again that Christ's death was sufficient, not only for my deliverance from the penalty of sin but for my deliverence from the power of sin in the here and now, TODAY.

"But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:1). This is the mystery I am reveling in: that even though my God's grace has already flowed over my life (however long that will be), it is no license to live in sin. And so I am caught between the Rock of Truth and the Arms of Grace; a difficult place to comprehend, but far from what we call a "hard place." It is simple, really. All I must do is trust and my experience will slowly begin to align with the truth of facts. For the basis of faith is indeed facts, though so often we believe with all we are that the basis of our faith is our feelings. I align my thinking with God's thinking; that is the "renewing of the mind" that God's Word speaks of. Only through the Bible can I come to know and trust Him more, by learning and clinging to the Truth of all He is and all I am in Him.

God is so gracious to teach me about Himself, day by day, challenging me to wake up my faith from the hibernation (hiding away from Him) that is unbelief. As we become intimate, the Father and me, His child, I love Him more and more. His love remains the same as it ever was and will be. Praise the Lamb!