3.25.2012

Faith that Tries Not

Do or do not. There is no "try".

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. 
Titus 3:4-5
I sent a quick heads up to some of my prayer partners through e-mail; I wanted a confirmation that each of them would be available and ready to pray together on our designated day. One response came back and looked like it had been quickly sent off.
   " I will try to make it..."
I thought to myself, try? 
Try? 
What does this mean?
 It really got me thinking about commitment, faith and calling.

First of all, I want to say that this is in no way a judgement on anyone as in reality, the person who sent that particular note made it and we had a blessed and needed time of prayer. Also there are times and circumstances that we are committed to a ministry or cause but in reality cannot be where we are called to be and that is all in God's hands. But the fact is the response prompted a few thoughts and caused me to examine myself and I wanted to share those thoughts here with you, whatever the worth. 



I love the way Yoda tells Luke in this wonderful scene in Star Wars how he must unlearn what he has learned. 

I have found so much of my own life of faith has been, after all, a great UN learning.

So much of what had been helpful to survive childhood trauma had to be released.
Former strengths became strongholds as my spiritual formation began to take hold in this life.
Wrestling with God over who would determine the course of blessing, ultimately sitting on the throne in the chamber of my heart, brought injury to myself and others. Learning to trust and submit came at a cost that was deemed necessary pain in the unlearning process. Learning to rely on Him alone by grace alone, through faith alone, seems easy enough to say, but is harder to live by, as Satan pursues those who are marked for Kingdom service. But He who is in each of those called is stronger than he who is in the world.

How often do I step forward in places He calls me and shrink back after 
I look at what I am doing or where I am? 

It has caused me to stumble in ministry and my walk more than once. 
Even after stepping out and feeling sea spray on my face, water beneath my feet, 
and sensing a glimmer of the great Glory before me. 
How I step out in Faith, fully confident of Him who calls, 
but let one tine dart come my way and instead of standing firm I cower, 
run, shrink back, get sidetracked with temporal things. 
Ultimately, I make the mistake that many make at one time or another this side of eternity.
I take my eyes off the Master. I forget His promises. 
I forget what He has spoken in our sweet times of fellowship and intimacy.

I 'm dropping my jaw at Peter for his impulsiveness, his cowardly denial, 
his bold proclamations and fears. 
And ashamed that I am Peter on His worst days.
I'm wagging my finger at the Pharisees, picking up stones to hurl at my brethren,
because of the perceived shortcomings I see and lack of Christian love, 
and tripping on my own long tassels. 
I'm an Israelite hot on the trail of The Promised Land, forgetting slavery as 
I recall the delicacies from days past.

So how do we turn our eyes back on to the one who is faithful?
Here are 4 ways I considered.

1. Recognize
it is you who have strayed from God; God has not changed. 
A wise friend said to me once when I was in a backslidden state: "Dawn, God has not gone anywhere. But you have." I was not very happy when he said these words, but he was right. I would have done well to heed those words immediately; instead I wrote a few choice descriptions of him in my journal. 
Later, I recognized God had used this friend to speak truth. 

Once you were like sheep who wandered away. 
But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls. 
1 Peter 2:25

2. Readjust Your Trust
Once you recognize you are the one who is offtrack, get back on track.
As one very fine friend said to me, "Do what you did before". 
That was actually a biblical principal. In that the returning was to the simple acts of obedience and trust I had done as a "baby" Christian. It's amazing how many "good" things can get Christians out of the will of God. 

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.  
2 Thessalonians 3:3


3. Return
to the Everlasting Arms of the one who will never fail, leave or forsake you. There is nothing more beautiful than learning firsthand the graciousness of God. Except that once you receive it you know how to give it. Therein is the key and last important component of our turning back.


The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. 
Deuteronomy 33:27

4. Remember 
His amazing love, grace and mercy towards you. In doing this, you are empowered to lavish it on others. Do likewise and be wise!

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 
  But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 
Ephesians 4:1-3, 7


So the next time you are tempted to say, "I'll try"...
Try not!


Dear Lord, Jesus, I am incapable of anything worthwhile apart from your saving grace, mercy and everlasting Love. Thank you for being faithful, even unto death on a cross, that I might live the life you have called me to. By your power, for your glory, learning as one who is blind, naked, wretched and poor, I ask for the riches of your wisdom and rejoice in your truth. Lavish us with your love that we might know what it means to love...by your example; though it cost us everything. We know it is the way to freedom now and forever. Amen.

I am linking up this particular inspired post with Create With Joy's
Inspire Me Monday!
Have a wonderfully inspiring week!



7 comments:

  1. I love love love the Yoda saying! I tell that to my grandson all the time. And myself. sandie

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  2. As a fellow Star Wars nerd, I LOVE this post! And that wise friend who said "God has not gone anywhere. But you have." was right (although it's hard to hear that and accept that we're the ones who have moved away from Him, not the other way around). I loved this post! Thanks for sharing :)

    Blessings to you,
    Megan

    http://heretofindhim.blogspot.com

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  3. Thanks for the wonderful reminder.

    I'm a new follower =)

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  4. Amen sister! Love Yoda and you are right, it is so hard when people say, "try" when you need them to just be there or do it. Great post...bless you.

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  5. I enjoyed your post. I'm a new follower from Inspire Me Monday.

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  6. Dear Dawn

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring post with us at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy!

    and

    Congratulations - you are one of my Featured Guests this week! :-)

    I look forward to reading more of your insightful posts at Inspire Me Monday!

    Ramona

    Create With Joy
    http://create-with-joy.com

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  7. You have a beautiful writing style and a deep love for our Jesus! Thank you for your wonderful reminders. I am a new follower. I love being challenged in my faith. You might enjoy my blog!

    ReplyDelete

walk along the shore with me and leave your footprints in the sand-
I'm listening, friend...in November I will not be replying so often, but instead slip quietly over to your place for a visit. ;)