Thursday, April 28, 2011

Abraham and Tim believed God

I got to re-learn an important lesson this week.

Faith is often less a feeling than a decision. And sometimes it’s simply an act of the will and nothing more.

I’m aware that saying it like this makes faith sound so sterile and empty. And at times it may be, but it’s never ever meaningless.

Sometimes you don’t feel like exercising, but because you know that’s what’s best for you, you do it any way. Sterile and empty - but it still builds muscle.

And sometimes I don’t feel like being kind to a mean person. But because that’s what God commands me to do, I smile with my lips while I growl in my heart.

But is it a worthless act just because my emotions don’t back it? Absolutely not!

On the contrary, I say my forced act of kindness is much more meaningful for exactly that reason.

I do it because it’s right - not because I want to.
And that means something in the Kingdom of God.

(Obviously, I hope that one day I’ll bel mature enough that my emotions match up with God’s will, but I won’t wait until they do to obey Him.)

But back to my lesson.

I've made this faith-by-volition live again in my moment-to-moment life this week by consciously contradicting what I would otherwise see as reality. When I start to think or feel what I know to be contrary to God’s will, I come against it with a simple phrase:

I choose to believe that God can/will ______ (whatever I need at that point in time).

A couple examples:
  • Lord, I choose to believe that You will give me strength to stand against this temptation.
  • Father, I choose to believe that You can heal that knee.
  • Holy Spirit, I choose to believe You will make it very clear to me what You want me to do about this.
Really, it's amazing how much difference this little exercise has made - how uplifting, refreshing, and empowering it is - and how many wonderful truths I've re-introduced Into my life through it.