Monday, April 4, 2011

Faith Offering & Soli Deo Gloria

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"Daughter', he said to her, 'your faith has made you well.  Go in peace.'"
Luke 8: 48

As much as I hate to admit it, I pretty much stink when it comes to faith, specifically having faith that God is going to do what He says He will do.  I continually question whether or not He is really leading me.  I ask, "Are You setting me up for failure?  Can You really equip me?  Can You really provide for me? Are You?  Can You? Are You?  Can You?"

I'm a broken record and it's time to get off the turntable.

I have no excuse.  Not one.  I cannot point to one instance where He has left me uncared for, a complete laughing-stock, or left me without a glimmer of hope.  That's not to say that I haven't been disappointed. It's not to say that I haven't lost.  It's not to say that I haven't felt foolish from time to time.  But the overarching theme of my life has been this:

"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you."  
Matthew 7: 7

And yet, I find that whenever I am knee-deep in a struggle, when I am faced with choices, when I am asking for something that seems beyond my wildest dreams, I doubt.  My faith vacates the premises.  I pace, wringing my hands, forehead creased with worry, and I ask, over and over and over again:

"Are you sure?  Really?  Can I count on You?"

It's a good thing I'm not God or I would have thrown up my hands in exasperation a long time ago.  Annoying, yes?

The last few days, peace has seemed impossible.  With too much unknown, too much in the air, I just stew in my own worry, in my questioning.  And, when I think about it these terms, well, of course there is no peace.

Because there is no faith.  Let me rephrase that:  I choose to not act in my faith.  Jesus has initiated faith in me and He is in the process of perfecting it (Hebrews 12: 2).

Obviously, I'm in need of a lot of perfecting.

The woman who had been bleeding for twelve years (twelve!), acted in her faith -- if she could just touch the hem of His cloak, she would find healing.  Jesus could have said, "I have made you well.  Go in peace." He wouldn't be lying -- it was His healing power that flowed out of Him and into her.  But no, instead He says, "Your faith has made you well.  Go in peace."

Jesus puts an emphasis on faith, and thus, on the relationship we have with the Father.  I think that He wants to highlight the fact that we are called to use the gifts that God has given us.  We are called to act in our faith in order to deepen our relationship with Him and to live into our calling.
"And it is impossible to please God without faith.  Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him."
 Hebrews 11: 6

And so, with that, in front of all of you, I am deliberately walking in faith that He will provide for the She Speaks conference, that He will do what He says He will do.  When worry starts to creep up, I will remember the bleeding woman.  I will act in my faith.

I will reach out and touch His hem.

23 comments :

  1. Oh dear Jen, I am with you! Posted my letter and linked it for today's post. I've often said my theme song should be "she'll be coming round the mountain when she comes" becomes I seem to run the circle repeatedly before I ever begin to learn. It's that stubborn heart of mine, maybe you have one too, but the good thing is that with that stubborness comes the unwavering love for Jesus that stands strong - the love for Jesus I have seen you display over and over again in your posts :)

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  2. Glad you are being deliberate regarding your faith and moving forward on the conference goal. Sound's incredibly cool!

    Thank you for your kindness in helping me make my first post too. Above and beyond, thanks!

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  3. Praying for you, dear sister. Faith is definitely a lesson we all learn.

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  4. Hello, sweet sister! I am believing with you, Jen. Always, it is about the relationship, isn't it? And faith is the center of it. I struggle alongside you and pray with you knowing your heart for Him.

    Love to you.

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  5. It's good to be back dear Sister. I have been wandering around, literally, lately. I've actually been questioning faith or my lack there of. I've been trying to run from God and realized that He has me on a harness. Even when we think we have so little faith (like a tea light), He makes it blaze within us. Praying for you.

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  6. So true, how often we pray that God would fix us when it is our job to step towards Him in faith - there is no magic wand, just obedience , faith and the Holy Spirit.

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  7. Good words, Jen. One of my favorite prayers is from the Bible . . . "I believe, help now my unbelief." I love that, as it matches my reality.

    (My second favorite prayer is from Beth Moore . . . "HELP ME."

    fondly,
    Glenda

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  8. I just read another blog about faith. This was so good. Love the broken record/turntable statement. "oh ME of little faith."

    Joyfully,
    Pamela

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  9. "We are called to act in our faith." So true, Jen. I could relate to so much of this post.

    I simply LOVE your new look -- it's GREAT!!

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  10. Well, you have already read my post...we are sisters, huh? The amazing thing is that He loves and remains faithful--for He CANNOT DENY HIMSELF--and we are humbled knowing how we falter and so all of the Glory is His:-)

    I know He will provide...I trust that with you and am praying...

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your new look...honestly, it's just perfect!! xoxo

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  11. Believing you will go to the conference....I just went to ours 2 weeks ago....nothing like gathering with a company of beautiful sisters.

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  12. Oh I can so relate to this, Jen. I am forever pacing, doubting, wringing my hands, wondering what I am doing on the journey, where I am going, if I am hearing God correctly...if I am even hearing Him at all. It does all come down to faith...and I am very much a work-in-progress.

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  13. Wow, Jen! I now know how I'm going to spend every Tuesday morning. Reviewing all the posts and learning a lot!

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  14. I was just reading Psalm 21 this morning and it struck me that the Lord rewarded David, not for his accomplishments, but for placing his trust in Him. So, you ARE on the right track! ((Hugs))
    PS: Thanks for your encouraging comment.

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  15. "Keep on asking..."
    "He is in the process of perfecting it..."
    Amen.

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  16. First of all, I am so glad you mistakingly hit the wrong button and had to redesign your blog, it's so you, now! With your art and the colors. I just love it!

    Now, the faith part. I get it. I do. I am a controller, and I want everything neat and tidy and perfectly timed. I don't want to worry or wonder or constantly pray, and then I think wait. . .if that happens what reason do I need to even rely on God?

    I know your faith will pay off, Jen.

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  17. mine too...help my unbelief. I have been praying this for days. I laughed when I read your first words...I stink at faith! I laugh with you..not that YOUR laughing it is that I identify. Jen - you are so settling in to Jesus...You are right where your supposed to be. I keep coming back to this but ALL of this is going to matter someday. It is in the grit and raw real living..by faith that not only brings you closer to His likeness and Him but also gives your REAL tools to teach to others. Cause after all we are all but FLESH...love you lots. I am finally able to go visit...ugh:)
    xo

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  18. I need to reach out and touch the hem.
    Regarding one specific issue, I feel as if I'm cowering in the crowd just HOPING and PRAYING that he will walk over and say, "touch me and be well, Debbie."

    This is a wonderful post, Jen.
    I hope to join again soon. To bring a big black thunk to a sisterhood party is just not so cool...

    Grin.

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  19. Well, surprise, surprise coming to your blog!! I LOVE the new look!! And this post was JUST what was on my mind today!! I'm praying for you tonight, sister!

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  20. "Jesus puts an emphasis on faith, and thus, on the relationship we have with the Father."...oh yes...I'm so thankful my faith doesn't rest on my emotional whims...

    faith...trust...love...obey...abide...without Him, we can do nothing...

    Please add me to your link up emails. I have your button on my blog, but forgot to ask to join :))

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  21. oops, forgot to tell you how I LOVE this new look!!

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