Faith in Action

I’ve slowly grown to realize a sermon strikes the target of my soul when it lingers in my thoughts throughout the day (and often many days afterwards!) as it travels from my head to my heart.  This time last year our church pastor preached on the I Am Second series….thankfully, they are taped because I missed too many.  I’m especially thankful God prodded my lazy behind and got me moving that particular Sunday!  The sign out front should’ve read, “Hey Celeta! This message is for YOU!” And boy, howdy….was it ever!

My “one word” last year was surrender and here’s an honest moment for ya…I haven’t exactly made a vast effort to even think if my thoughts & actions reflect such a thing.  Ouch.  You see….this is why I write. Or don’t write.  God is so merciful to help keep me from writing just for the sake of writing.  The thing is, when I do write, it’s raw…it’s vulnerable…it’s authentic.

And just in case you missed it…for me, surrender leads to vulnerability and vulnerability results in faith in action aka writing.  What’s your faith in action? What gets you to your faith in action? I think it’s different for everyone and rarely one thing – isn’t it simply wonderful how uniquely different God made us?IMG_0187

Back to the sermon….it was awesome! The key scripture was Proverbs 3:5-6 and our pastor used the analogy of a trapeze act.  There are two roles: the flyer and the catcher.  As our pastor described, “Faith in Jesus can be compared to a trapeze flyer being caught by the catcher. I am like the flyer. God is like the catcher. MY PART is to trust, surrender, give up my life. GOD’S PART is to catch, to hold, to do in me and for me what I can’t do for myself. That’s what surrender looks like!”  And there we are….back full circle to surrender.

When I get in my head too much, I fall back on wanting to “do a good job” for God…in some form leaning on my abilities versus leaning on Him to provide …for Him to do in and through me what I cannot do for myself.

So here’s to letting go of the trapeze bar…surrendering to my Catcher…God.

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Shattered

So often when I visualize the impact of witnessing, I see shattered glass. I find myself mesmerized by the beauty and intricacy of the design….how one act can have such a far-reaching impact.

 

Picture with me:

  • Zoom in – our perfect model is Christ’s sacrifice for our sins…His crucifixion, burial and resurrection is at the center; you can literally see the impact of those closest to Him!
  • Zoom out – not only can you can see impact from the initial act of sacrifice, look at how every one and every thing is connected…even the furthest shard (person) is connected to another shard (person) and yet still connected to the center (Christ)! I envision the bursts as willing vessels allowing God to work thru them to reach others…can you just imagine Paul?????

Now…picture your life….what kind of glass does it represent? Regular run of the mill glass that shatters with minimal pressure or heavy duty safety glass?  With Christ, we have security.  Although broken, we are held steady at the center…the Holy Spirit in us…with the ability to work thru us to reach others. The thing is, for God to work thru us, we have to act! Does it have to be some grand gesture? Absolutely not.  Every little act of faith exercised has a far reaching impact when used by the Holy Spirit.

What holds you back from exercising faith?  We all have struggles of one sort or another.  Me? I’ve often struggled with validation – acceptance – whatever you want to call it….doubt creeps in….ususally when I’m trying really hard to carry out God’s call on my life to share a journey of faith through writing.  My head knows Truth, but pieces of my heart faulter and stumble.  In retrospect it’s also clear to see that’s when I’m relying on my own strength – see how easily the glass can shatter without Christ as the center?! Thankfully God is so merciful to provide encouragement when confidence wanes by sharing a glimpse of how authentic obedience can impact another life.  The thing is, we rarely get to see how God uses our acts of obedience.  What to do? Choose to rest in His Word for guidance, assurance and affirmation

5 I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor come from God alone.  – Psalm 62:5-7

What about God’s call on your life? The big and small – how do you choose to respond?

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Giving God Your Full Heart

August 7, 2010

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m participating in a bible study with an incredible group of women.  One of our “Growing Strong in God’s Family” course objectives is to establish quiet time with God.  Simple concept, right? Putting it into action? Well…not so easy.  Last year when I began this leg of my journey, one of the first things I was encouraged to do was spend time with God daily reading His Word.  Confession time: I avoided it like the plague!  I made feeble half-hearted attempts and received nothing in return. 

I hope you caught the full impact of that last sentence.  God doesn’t want half-hearted attempts!  He doesn’t want to “share the stool” (read my last post if you don’t get the analogy) with us either – He wants your FULL HEART!  Looking back, I’m not surprised my bible reading felt like…well, for lack of a better word, torture.  I was still going through the checklist of what I thought Christians should do, all the while hanging on to worldly values.  Bottom line?  If your heart isn’t fully committed? It ain’t gonna happen, folks. 

And if you’re still not sure, meditate on this scripture:  James 1:6-8 “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

Yes…she just quoted scripture! Pretty exciting stuff, huh?????  When I first read that passage a year ago, I didn’t quite get it – sure, I got the idea of it, but not the full meaning.  Some things just take time and that’s okay.

Now, on to even more exciting news… I’m developing quiet time with God and it feels phenomenal!  He is revealing so many wonderful things in my life and it’s hard to keep up…quiet time involves more than reading God’s word and prayer.  It includes writing – nothing in depth, just jotting down scripture that stood out to me and my impressions.

But wait! There’s more!  God doesn’t stop there!  Yes, there are bonuses!!! Not only is it enlightening to go back and see where God has led me over the past few days or weeks, I’m finding that as situations arise, it’s a fantastic reference tool God uses to guide me in conversations – how cool is that?????