Simple Faith

 “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

 

I don’t know about you, but I often make faith too complicated!

In a recent post we talked about feeling far away from God and how going back to the basics can often bring us closer to Him. Seeing the little things all around us that we often take for granted can refresh our relationship with Him. You can read the complete post here:  https://pauladavispeace.com/2014/07/20/feeling-far-away/

Returning to the simplicity of childhood can also have us rethinking how we approach our faith.

I heard a story of two little girls whose great-grandfather died unexpectedly. They were very sad that they didn’t get a chance to say, “good-bye” to him and tell him they loved him. Since they had faith their great-grandfather was in Heaven with Jesus they asked their grandmother if they could send him a message. The grandmother got a couple of balloons, wrote notes on them and the girls released them to float up to Heaven. These little ones had faith that their messages would be delivered and they were at peace. The reality that scientifically there is no way the balloons could have reached their intended destination did not diminish their faith and thankfully someone loved them enough to not squelch that simple faith by reality that didn’t really matter at that moment.

hand balloon

“Faith is different from proof; the latter is human, the former is a gift from God.”
Blaise Pascal

These girls didn’t need proof to believe. Their faith was enough.

How often do we allow our faith to be complicated by our environment and past experiences?

Maybe it’s different for you, but somewhere along the way through life I stopped believing that God can do ANYTHING. I like to think I believe it but when looking at seemingly impossible situations I find myself doubting more than believing. I look at the environment and circumstances around me instead of relying on simple faith.

Now, I’m not suggesting simple faith is easy but rather straightforward and uncomplicated.

 “Faith expects from God what is beyond all expectation.”
Andrew Murray

Some say those with simple faith see life through the proverbial rose-colored glasses. Often ridiculed, even from other Christians because they aren’t trying to figure everything out for themselves when in reality we see them living a more uncomplicated and less stressful life. Simple faith Expects from God the answers to questions we can’t answer ourselves and leaves them in His hand until the answer is received. Simple faith reaches out to Jesus as the woman subject to bleeding for 12 years knew that just a touch  from Him would heal her (Matthew 9:20-21) and believing it for our own circumstances.

Simple faith is getting out of God’s way.  It doesn’t put restrictions on God and His abilities or allow environment and circumstances to negate His power. It doesn’t think, only believes. Then stands back and watches God do amazing things.

I’m working on making my faith less complicated and returning to the simple faith I had as a child. I’m trying more and more to be aware of the voices in my head that negate the power God could have if I would only believe.

And I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him;
    He hears their cry and saves them.  Psalm 145:19

Do you know the freedom and blessings of a simple faith? Will you share them with us?

If your faith like mine tends to be too complicated, will you join me in returning to the simple faith God desires to have?

I look forward to hearing the wonderful results you see as well!

 

Blessings & peace to you as you continue on your journey of faith…
Paula

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Truth or…

There was a game show on TV when I was young named “Truth or Consequences”. The premise of the show was that contestants had to answer a question (usually trivia that no one would really know) or face the consequence, which was some embarrassing and entertaining stunt. Many episodes had people reunited with friends or family they had not seen in years.

 

I got to thinking about this show when I saw a quote the other day.

Between Ears

How much of what goes on in our brains is ramblings about ourselves and others that are not grounded in truth?

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.        
                                                                   2 Corinthians 10:5

 

Scripture tells us to take EVERY thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. This verse can certainly be applied to our sinfulness and thoughts that are not pleasing to God. We can also take it a step further and realize that our thoughts should always be based in truth.

 

For example, while getting dressed in the morning I often take a look in the full-length mirror and immediately see things about my body that I don’t like. There is nothing wrong with the observation, it’s what I do with it that makes a difference in the rest of my day, and what I do about what I don’t like.

 

If I force myself to concentrate on the truth about my body I will remember that Psalm 139 tells me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that God’s works are wonderful. (v. 14) Therefore the truth is that while my body isn’t all that God (or I) desire it to be it is healthy and created by a wonderful God. I have the use of all 5 senses and the ability to fully use my arms and legs. There is also truth for me that I have not been obedient in keeping my body healthy and I have a responsibility to change that. BUT that does not make me any less valuable to God or in society.

 

Another area where I struggle with keeping the truth in my brain is when I don’t think I meet up to expectations. I begin to talk down to myself because I didn’t complete a task well enough or I perceive I have let someone down. This is an area that can bring on a downward spiral so quickly and the enemy looks forward to it.

 

It is important to recognize the truth in a situation like this and consider how my emotions are perhaps a part of the situation. Some questions I am learning to ask myself are:

1. Did I set my expectations of myself too high?
Most of the time I expect perfection of myself, or set my goals at a level that is realistic for someone else but not necessarily for me. If the truth is that the expectations were realistic I need to examine what I should have done differently, face up to any consequences and forgive myself, moving forward instead of staying stuck in beating myself up.

2. Did I truly let someone down or were there perceptions of my performance different from my own?
It can be so easy to think you know what someone expects from you without knowing the truth. I find that many times someone else is pleased with the job I did when I can only see how I could have done it better. Knowing the truth of expectations and perceptions can keep relationships healthy and our thoughts in check.

3. What does scripture say about this situation?
Whatever we do and think should always come back to the truth of scripture. If we aren’t sure of God’s expectations we should search scripture to find the truth. Sometimes a trusted friend or adviser can give us insight we can’t find for ourselves.

 

If I had to choose one scripture as the key to keeping the space between our ears healthy it would be this one:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

My heart’s desire is to not only hide this scripture in my heart but to learn it well enough that it is on the tip of my tongue and forefront in my mind as the enemy tries to lie to me and get inside my head.

I’m praying for you today that the truth would be in your mind and heart and that God’s truth would set you free today!

 

Blessings & Peace to you!
Paula