Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Journey—Living by Faith Part 6

If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you know by now the journey can be very long and full of challenges. Traveling the old road is never easy or convenient and is often full of potholes. As a committed follower of Christ, you will have to make a decision at some point in your journey to trust God and live by faith. It sound easy, right? I’m afraid not. I have reached this place in the road once again. In fact, I have been there several times. Having been in ministry for so many years, I know this place very well. It’s the place in our journey where we have to make a choice. Do we do it God’s way or man’s way? Will we join him in his work and readjust our lives or push on with our plans?

It’s a test that we all face. Without faith it is impossible to please God. I should know because I have failed this test many times. Why is faith so hard for us and so important to God? And why do you think the Word of God forbids the making of idols? Because it violates every principle of faith. Idols are something we can touch, feel and see. Faith requires us to believe in something we cannot see and requires us to trust in the unknown. In other words, we are no longer in control, and we have to place our trust in God. It’s much easier to trust in ourselves or what we can accomplish. Faith requires us to believe in the supernatural. And frankly, for most Christians, this makes us very uneasy. In our logical, modern, 21st Century minds, the supernatural is something we cannot touch, taste, feel or see.

So what does this have to do with my journey? As you know, I have written a book, A Media Culture, Crisis or Opportunity, The Rise of the Media Missionary. And once again I have reached that place where I have to trust God and live by faith in order to allow God to do what He is going to do. In the human sense, the odds are against me. With no funding or resources, it would seem impossible to get this book published.

I know God gave me this book. I was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and it was the last thing I planned to do. I had tried my plan by starting a new ministry called Flannelgraph. And after a few months, nothing was working, so I decided to join God in his plan by writing this book. But now what? In the next few weeks, I may not even be able to pay the mortgage or the car payment. That is the reality of the situation. I’m sure you can all relate to what I am going through because you have probably been there too.

This is the part of the journey where we can get off course by wanting to help God out. We can look inside of ourselves for an answer and come up with a plan and even convince ourselves that it is God’s plan. As sure as the sun comes up, there will be somebody who will come into your life and offer you a different plan. And it’s going to look good. But is it God’s plan? Welcome to the test!

We have two choices. Our first choice is to look for a way out of the test and back to the interstate. We can take whatever plan that comes along and apply it. Sure, we might even get some good results. And from a human or man’s perspective, it may appear that our ministry is successful. But it’s NOT God’s way or God’s plan. The success or the notoriety we achieve will only be based on human terms and not on supernatural intervention. We can settle for just another plan, but it is not what God is doing in the world.

Our second option is to live by faith and to trust God. It is where I am living at the moment. This choice requires us to wait. Sometimes it feels as if God is taking us to an abyss—to the very edge. Do we have the faith to believe that we will not fall in and that God will save us. It’s clearly a supernatural thing—waiting for God to move and knowing he does his thing in his time and not ours.

I have to understand that this is not my plan but God’s plan. What he does with the book or for that matter with anything in my life is up to him. I am the one who will always be required to readjust my life to fit into his plan. It’s never the other way around. We fail the test when we take the first choice, even with the best intentions and decide to help God out. Sure, the odds look overwhelming. What I am facing and what you are facing can cause us to doubt our faith and return to the safe comfort of the interstate. But you and I both realize there is no up side to that option. So I will continue my journey and ask God to increase my faith and my ability to trust him. I will stand on the abyss and ask God for his help. I will put my faith in God’s faithfulness. He is never late. He is always right on time.

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