I have been thinking about our current culture to “pretend” and “fake” our faith. To quietly sweep under the rug our concerns and questions because we don’t want to appear unsure. But I’m not sure that this is the correct way to BUILD faith. We have to begin to understand that some of our questions come from a place of YEARNING and therefore a need to love and know. Not necessarily from a place of distrust and unrest. And yet, it can be from that place of heaviness if we don’t shed light and ask the questions that we feel make us seem ungrateful or weak. We cannot grow from that place if we do not identify and uproot the dead matter. The reality of faith is that our authenticity is required. We have to be as transparent as possible not only with ourselves but with our friends, our family, and our God.
In the vein of transparency, I would love for you to join me and my really good girlfriend, Rose, as we have a discussion that I believe will benefit all of my AFGT girls. Check it out below… Wait! Be forewarned that this conversation was over Google Chat, so it reads like text. Okay, NOW you can read it!
*grab your coffee and dive in for girl chat*
So you know how we have often heard the devil being blamed for situations and circumstances? Well, if God allows him to do what he does how can we blame him? Aren’t all situations meant to teach us something from God?
I think that there a plethora of different ways to answer that. First of all, it’s not always the devil. Sometimes it is our flesh, sometimes it is people being used by the devil and sometimes it is a series of factors coming together in such a way allowed by GOD that is intended to grow our faith and strength.
Just because God allows something does not keep us from rightfully pinpointing it’s origin. It helps us to better address, attack and subdue the problem/issue. We have to learn to fight properly. To do that, we have to know what we are fighting. Just because God allows something, that does not mean we are called to let it run crazy and amuck. It means that we are to call on the supernatural power given to us through the Holy Spirit to call it under subjection. To remind it/them who we are and WHOSE we are.
We learn but we also grow.
So in essence you’re saying that even if God allows it, the origin (if we can pin point it), remains the devil and thus we must fight Him with the weapons that we are given.
In my opinion, yes. Or ourselves. Because it isn’t ALWAYS the devil. Our flesh is just as unruly.
Right, so we are also the cause of some of the circumstances. I agree.
Yes ma’am, we are. We can’t always blame others, including Satan, when we have created a toxic situation.
So hearing Him clearly is imperative? That has been another big focus of mine.
Yes! Absolutely. Mine too. I don’t want to get so caught up in myself or others and then miss Him.
…but I am not always able to distinguish His voice. Sometimes I’m not sure that it was definitely Him that I heard and not myself.
At times like that, I think that it requires praying for peace or confirmation…from Him, His Word or a vessel.
It’s hard, but I’m trying to stay in His face more consistently.
I know that He says, “my sheep know my voice”.
Very hard. But totally worth it. He deserves to be pursued.
Exactly!! And as you immerse yourself more in your quiet time with Him, He will begin to show you HOW He will respond to you.
…but the response can be in many different forms.
Yep. Through His Word, audibly, through a person, situation or dream etc
So, we each had to head out to get our littles and weren’t able to finish the conversation at this point. However, we caught up about a week later and I think that you should definitely check out how we concluded our thoughts!
Okay. So, do you remember the discussion that we had the other week regarding how God allows things to happen, but, ultimately it can be from the hand of the devil?
I have had to really work on changing my perspective, because I find myself getting a little frustrated. To be honest, I struggle because it comes off as a form of manipulation. Do you know what I mean? Rather than giving us complete free will to choose to love Him. Am I doing too much, LOL?
Yep, I remember.
Definitely not doing too much! Asking questions is a part of forming our free will, so in my opinion, it’s expected.
As for your question, I can see how it could come across as manipulation. But remember, we CHOOSE how we respond to situations. We CHOOSE if we trust Him or if we allow Satan/flesh/circumstances to dictate our lives. He doesn’t decide for us. He knows what we are capable of deciding, what is best for us and ultimately, what we WILL decide. But He doesn’t force us. He loves us even when we screw up or turn our backs on Him.
I think it’s also important to note that a part of faith is the unknown, the uncomfortable and the unrealistic. If we are going to serve Him, we have to be malleable.
Right, but I’m looking at it from the perspective of “I will place you into a situation that will require you to turn to me, because you can’t handle it on your own”. How is that love? Is it because ultimately He knows what’s best?
I agree that is an accurate requirement of faith.
Let’s think about it how we raise our children…if we constantly shield them, they will never be able to function without us. They will never know how to properly respond to different people or situations. They won’t understand the importance of caution because they have never faced anything dangerous. They will never know growth because they have never had to toil. We don’t deliberately PLACE them in situations but there are times we see something coming and we don’t INTERVENE. Same concept. Basically He allows things to happen that will strengthen our faith; and He may also “cause” some things to come to fruition as a repercussion of our choices.
This is good! Totally makes sense! I know that the Word says that we will suffer and I am not pushing against that…I guess the HARD trials just make it VERY hard.
I digress and will stop my whining.
Thanks for slapping me back into place lol
Yay! I’m glad that I could bring a little clarity. To be perfectly honest, it took me a long time to come to and understand this myself. I’m not sure that we will ever stop asking Him questions and trying to figure out His thoughts. And I think that He is aware of that.
Hahaha we have ALL been there!
You actually ask(ed) valid questions and you helped me to really think about my personal perspective and learning!! This is what genuine friends do.
Insert “kiddo run” here and we were back to our regular Mama duties as girl time came to a close.
There are a couple of things that I wanted each of you to hold onto from our conversation:
- Faith does not mean the absence of questions. It is the determination to keep going.
- Always have people in your corner who will listen and respond as the Holy Spirit leads them.
- Never feel like you are required to give the “anticipated” answer.
- Your faith will not grow if you don’t nurture it.
- Free will means we have a choice. It does not mean that God has no knowledge of the outcome.
- It’s not always the devil. It’s not always other people. Sometimes it’s US. Time to look in the mirror.
We have the free will to choose Him. To follow Him. That also means we have the free will to talk to Him. To ask Him questions. Gain His perspective in certain areas, if you will. That’s not to say that He will always answer or will always give insight. It does mean that He is made aware of our hearts and appreciates our transparency in the quest to build relationship with Him. He’s just as invested in building a relationship with you. Keep pushing.
Thanks for spending a little time with me today.