A Faith Check-Up

When I am not traveling, it has become my habit to prepare the morning coffee for Jan so that we can start the day sipping our favourite beverage and sharing deep conversations!  This morning was no different - another beautiful fall day in the Okanagan and our conversation led us a topic we were both mediating on - (as so often happens).  Maintaining faith during the heaviest of seasons. 

Our thoughts and prayers so often turn to two families that are very dear to us.  One family is facing cancer that continues to grow in the body of their 15 year old son, the other is a husband of many years who is facing the same life threatening situation in his wife.  Both of these families are blogging this most difficult journey of their lives with gut wrenching honesty as well testimonies of God's goodness in their lives, EVEN in this season of battle.  We have been deeply moved by the way each one is holding on to the promises of Jesus, and bringing Him Glory in every word they write.  Scripture says the Word is living and these words are definitely living in their lives at this very minute:   
Hebrews 11: 1 - 2 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  
Hebrews 11: 39 - 40 And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

And so this morning, we began to think about what it costs to be certain of the things we can’t see now or perhaps ever in this life and being sure of what we are hoping for in this life and beyond requires an intimate and trusting relationship with the author and finisher of our faith marked by:

  1. Absolute trust and confidence in our Creator - who He is and what He does!
  2. Laying down our independence, control and pride
  3. Admitting our need for the body of Christ
  4. Yielding to the will of God
  5. Laying down our pitiful rights and picking up our authority in Christ

Our friends are living testimonies to the strength that is available to those who have and are pursuing an intimate relationship with Jesus.

To put it simply, very simply,  every time we are driving a car and come to a stop sign, red light or dangerous situation,  we step on the brake pedal without even thinking about it.  It becomes a learned instinctive response.  We expect the car to stop.   Would we not be somewhat shocked if we were approaching a busy intersection, see the red light, hit the brakes and nothing happens? 

How do we think the car will stop when we brake? Because we have faith that the brakes will function.  Why?  Because we know we have maintained the safety braking features of the car. Regularly maintained, we know the brake system is fail safe - short of someone cutting the brake lines.  We have faith to believe the car will stop every time we push down the brake pedal.

On the other hand….if we are driving a car that is a ‘cluncker’, not at all maintained or serviced,  there is a good chance that when we put on the brakes we will not stop the car. If this is the case we should not be surprised that we do not stop when braking. 

One vehicle is mechanically maintained on a regular basis and reliable. The other vehicle that has not been maintained will guarantee a day to day risk of serious problems.  Which vehicle would you like to ride in?

We can ask the same questions of our spiritual walk.  Do we prioritize maintaining the health of our spiritual life? 

  1. Are we spending more and more time with Jesus?
  2. Are we allowing Holy Spirit the freedom to work in our lives? 
  3. Are we pursuing knowledge of the ‘Father Heart’ of God?

If we are are attending to these three things, we are on an ever deepening journey of intimacy with God which is foundational to our unshakeable faith.  Intimacy breeds faith, faith partners with trust, trust woos us to obedience and obedience spurs us on to action. Intimacy with God (or relationship fuelled by love) empowers faith to move mountains!   And love flourishes only in the soil of intimacy!  Like a marriage relationship marriage between a man and a woman, an intimate relationship with Jesus requires: 

  1. Learning all about Him (reading the word) 
  2. Honest and open communication (being vulnerable in prayer)  
  3. Respect and honour (listening for His voice)  
  4. Selfless-ness  (putting higher value on His purposes than ours)
  5. Being vulnerable (sharing with Him our deepest secrets) 
  6. Sharing our love of Him with others
James 2:22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 
Faith founded on our relationship with Father God will make a way for us to meet all challenges head on and continue the journey in partnership with Jesus.  Intimacy with God - the foundation of our faith which covers all circumstances.

Our dear friends are in a mountain moving stance, based on their intimate relationship with Jesus, and many, many believers are standing with them.  Believing for a miracle!

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