Thursday, October 4

Do you own your faith?

Other parts from this series, Finding Faith
I. Where do you come from?
II. Do you own your faith?
III. Where is my faith going?
IV. How will I shape my children and their faith?

The other day I posted about where one's faith comes from. For myself, that's my grandfather, he allowed me to hash things out, without fear of being accused of blasphemy. Finding Faith Series Deut 4 29 with Jess at LifeintheWhiteHouse

Which of course got me thinking: Do I OWN my faith? Not necessarily whether I have faith or not or whether I practice what I preach, but do I draw it toward myself, make it a part of myself. Do I live my life in a way in which others see my belief in Jesus, leading a life that exemplifies and glorifies Him. And for the record, let me just say that I fail, miserably, at this.

I think for many beliefs are handed down to them from their parents or whomever and just accepted because that is what was expected. It was just a passing along of a gift, without ever opening that gift themselves.  I don't know about you, but the gifts I get to rip open myself are usually a lot more fun, but no less meaningful, than the ones I just have handed to me.

While it was my Opa who helped me along the path to Christ, it is something that I've had to come to on my own. For many people there is a defining moment, or series of moments, in which they realize, or don't, that Jesus died for them, that He truly cares for them, that He has a profound and deep impact on their life.
For me, that was dealing with Matt's back and infertility within the first year of our marriage.

While I had my faith before, it was those years of blackness that drew me to the Cross, to my knees before God. We didn't know which end was up, we didn't know if Matt's back would ever be whole. We didn't know if we would ever have kids; if we would be able to afford our bills, let alone infertility treatments or adoption.

In some ways I do think I own my faith, for myself at least. I am able to approach God with my petitions and thoughts and feel that He will take care of them in some way. Even if I don't like how He answers my prayers, that he does use all for His glory. For us, He he has taken care of us through so many more difficult and trying things, than anything we're going through now. I certainly don't always understand the whys or hows, but I do believe He WILL.

So what exactly do I believe then?

I believe that there is a loving, almighty God, that actually cares about me and my life. That this existence is not totally random; that we don’t live our life, die and that's it. I believe that we have a purpose here and the people who truly figure that purpose out AND act upon it, to His glory, are incredibly blessed.
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer". 
~ Matthew 21:22
I believe that not everyone will get into Heaven, that just by being "good people" or even saying we believe in God, but still go about our OWN business, we won't receive an automatic PASS to eternity with Him.

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened."
~ Romans 1:21

I believe that He is a loving and merciful God, but just as we love our children we punish and discipline them, our Father will punish and discipline us, perhaps not here and now, but at judgment. We will have to answer for our faults, our mistakes, our dis-allegiances to Him and what He has asked of us, we will have to suffer the consequences of living a life for ourselves and our own selfish desires. He will not be mocked or made a fool of.

"Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent."
~ Revelations 3:19

The question still stands....Do you OWN your faith? Do you make a daily and conscious effort to not only have, but GROW a relationship with the Lord? Do you live a life to His glory and not your own?

None of it is easy, and I certainly know that I fall short of being worthy of His glory, as all do. But, yes, my faith is my own, my belief is my own. It is not something that I believe because it's been handed down to me, or something that I've just blindly accepted, never questioning and discovering for myself. I have experienced His faithfulness and love, I have felt His comforting hand on my brow, I have known He loves me and cares for me, as no one else on this earth can.

I know that He is my God.

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