I recall God nudging me to start living by faith! I was like WHATTTTT!!!! After having moved to Sri Lanka to serve meant stepping down in salary by about 14 times at the least, if not more. It was hard enough to adjust stepping out of my comfort zone, without the cash flow and the ‘nice’ stuff and having to let go of so many things I enjoyed doing especially for recreation.. and now to living by faith?!! I wanted to RUNNNNNNN. However, I approached a godly woman whom God has used much to mould me spiritually. Her response was her story of when she set out to living by faith with her pastor husband and two little children. She warned me it wasn’t going to be easy and we prayed that God will give a confirmation to what He has said to me. Sure enough the confirmation came along very clearly to my dismay I do accept.
My struggle to adjust, the fear of the unknown, lack of faith manifested itself in a wide range of negative emotions – that drove people to label me and reject me. I couldn’t even hang out with people as I couldn’t afford it and life got very lonely. that added to the viscious cycle of negative emotions and rejection. It was hard as no one would understand this walk and would tell me to become responsible instead of ‘being lazy’. I have always been a driven person, getting holiday jobs the day after the University term finishes right up to the day the next term begins… and i had never had an issue securing jobs either. From that essential part of me, I was here being moulded by God and being taught several lessons – especially that being rewarded isn’t because of our works but SIMPLY BECAUSE HE LOVES US. That was a hard lesson as I was pretty self sufficient.
Time to time, I would run to this godly woman and pour out my heart as she was the only one who understood me. So often she would look at me and tell me, “I wish I could tell you to step out of this rough journey and be at ease, but I can’t and won’t as I know God has a purpose taking you through this”. I thank God for her consistent honesty and for not trying to ‘protect’ me from harm or hurt. Today, 9 odd years later, I can see how much God has taught me, moulded me and changed my perspectives. I can see how much faith I still lack but I also see how far I have come as a godly woman, my mind being renewed daily and not conforming to the ways of the world or the ways of the religious Christians.
I saw a few quotes in my FB newsfeed today (in bold and italics!) which prompted me to write on this as there was a strong message, not an accident:
“There are some passions that won’t give you permission to stop. However, There will be plenty of voices that will seek you after your convictions just because the vision tied to it speaks to the reason of your life’s purpose. Honour that which refuses to be neglected even when knocked down.”
If I had listened to all the well meaning voices of love to safeguard me from the pain, the hurt, the hardships of living by faith, I would have missed out on where God has brought me to today! I am ever so grateful for this journey!
“God’s plan is always the best. Sometimes the process is painful and hard. But don’t forget that when God is silent, He’s doing something for you”
In a world of looking out for me and myself, of being comfortable, we need to remind ourselves that the walk of a believer doesn’t conform to the ways of the world, it is NOT a bed of roses! Even roses come with thorns!
“Obeying God sometimes seems like the hardest road to take. But in the long run, it is the only lifestyle that brings peace and genuine joy“.
Jesus Himself set an example. Him being the Son of God, could have just stayed put in HIs comfort zone of Heaven, seated at the right hand of God and God in His sovereignty could have obviously found another way to bridge the gap between us and Him sparing His Son the agony. He didn’t have to walk around in the deserts and wilderness, and even have no place to lay His head? Imagine ourselves living in His time on earth without electricity, no technology, no motorised transportation, no INTERNET … the list goes on.,,
Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane at the fore-knowledge of the suffering that lie ahead of Him sends chills down my spine:
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will – Matthew 26:39
and for the second time,
“My Father, if it is NOT possible for this cup to be taken away UNLESS I drink it, may YOUR will be done” – Matthew 26:42.
Often we try to be extra careful and make decisions based on avoiding pain and hurt at all costs. Yes there are times we need to indeed do that.
Reflect on Paul’s life whose heart was set on God!
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want – Philippians 4:12
Jesus warns us AND assures us:
In this world you WILL have TROUBLE. But take heart! I have overcome the world – John 6:33
At the end of the day, our EVERY decision as a SURRENDERED believer shouldn’t be based on our analysis and avoidance of pain and hurt, but rather should simply lie on what HE Is asking us to do so that His Name will be glorified and His Kingdom come and also that through the process we will be restored to His image and come in deeper intimacy with Him depending on HIM! And
if we truly believe that Jesus has indeed OVERCOME THE WORLD,
then we will be able to TAKE HEART
not in the absence or avoidance of trouble
but in the MIDST OF IT.
Remember Peter walked on water in the midst of the storm – not in the absence of it – as long as his gaze was on Jesus!
- What is God speaking to you today? What are the visions, convictions, passions, burdens that He has placed on your heart? What are the storms of your life? Where is your gaze fixed on? Where are your ears tuning into
Remind yourself of Joseph, of David, of Moses etc where God placed a vision or calling on their lives and they were taken to the OPPOSITE extremes in the natural before bringing them to the place of fulfilment many years later. Don’t get disheartened by the pain or the hardship where God is preparing you further to equip you. In fact REJOICE in that as that in itself is a blessing for intimacy with our Heavenly Father.
A Rhema word for today…
Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets.. for the revelation awaits an APPOINTED time.. and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay! – Habakkuk.