In the last blog, I talked about how a passage in the book made me realize that my growing frustration is not with God... but with myself. Today, I want to share that passage with you... and then ask a very pointed question:
"Back when I was in Bible college, a professor asked our class, 'What are you doing right now that requires faith?' That question affected me deeply because at the time I could think of nothing in my life that required faith. I probably wouldn't be living very differently if I didn't believe in God; my life was neither ordered nor affected by my faith like I assumed it was. Furthermore when I looked around, I realized I was surrounded by people who lived the same way I did." p. 124
So... it begs to question... what are YOU doing right now that requires faith? In my almost 30 years of being a Christian, I have never once asked myself that question. Maybe the reason is because I wouldn't like the answer... but I think it's more about the fact that I never really thought it was imperative to live by faith as a Christian... I just thought I had to believe in God. The other night, when I had my "epiphany" about the focus of my growing frustration, I engaged my husband in a conversation about Scripture and what it says about how we should live our lives... why we don't live our lives that way and, most importantly, if we were willing to make the changes that were needed. We haven't revisited the conversation. In fact, we just left it open-ended, giving us time to think...squirm... and wrestle with the convictions that God is pressing so firmly on both of our hearts.
But, the conclusions we did come up with hold fast to Chan's follow-up statement:
"Life is comfortable when you separate yourself from people who are different from you. That epitomizes what my life was like; characterized by comfort. But God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through." p. 124
And that, my friends, was the "one, two punch" that knock me down for the count! Not only is there nothing currently in my life that is requiring me to live by faith...I refuse to get out of my comfort zone... not for a lack of desire, but because I am consumed by fear... which simply boils down to the fact that I don't trust God. My husband was eager to point out that things would be different if we didn't have kids...but WHY? Why should having children affect our decision to trust God? It doesn't... it just further substantiates the truth that we don't really trust Him. What my husband really meant to say was we would be more apt to taking risks IF we didn't have children...and the reason is because if would be a lot easier to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off if and when God wasn't there! We'd be limiting our risks and liabilities. God is never in the equation...except for when we say, "Please, Lord, bless what we are about to do."
Furthermore, we have surrounded ourselves with people that live just as we do. Some of them are facing the same internal (and eternal) struggle... but quite honestly, the majority of them don't really care, at least not enough to contemplate any true and lasting life change. For them, the resounding response goes something like this,"God's not going to call me to uproot my family and move to Africa." I've even had some people tell me that God blessed them with this life, why would they throw it away to live as a peasant...they could do more for "the kingdom" where they are. Great, I say...then WHAT are you doing for the kingdom? This is the question I have been asking myself for the past few days. But, I think the true key to this dilemma is the following question: What should you be doing for the kingdom? Is there a discrepancy between the two? Do your actions match up with the requirement placed upon your life through the Scriptures? The truth is simple: Our faith is not reflected through church attendance, baked bean suppers or church offerings. Our faith is reflected through our actions of love, mercy, compassion and justice. It goes back to Biblical equality. Is that reflected in your life?
Are you living by faith? Can you site one example in your life that requires you to fully trust God? If so, do you trust Him? If not, what are you going to do about it??????