Tuesday early evening, I had an unexpected visitor. Our household was in a flurry – my sister and her family arrived from the states and we were preparing for a welcome dinner at home. Our other siblings and their families were also arriving and I was still in the bedroom waiting for strength to come to be able to fix my face and hair (to look presentable at least!). Then, this sister in Christ, an elder if I will consider her age and length of time in serving the Lord, arrived unannounced with her own set of problems. I welcomed her into our bedroom.
I hadn’t seen her for a long time since I haven’t been attending services since 2009 being unable to travel (I only watch the live webcast of our church’s worship services at home). So, she laid out her problem: a financial need but not an emergency. I didn’t see any impossibility in it. I didn’t see a dead-end situation. I discerned that she was just impatient to wait on the Lord. She was focusing on the problem and the obstacles to the solution. It appeared that she had forgotten to give it all to the Lord and trust Him to work on it.
As I listened to her, I wondered whatever happened to the strong declarations of faith that I continuously hear in the pulpit from “on-fire” Christians? That is how we’ve been diligently taught: to have strong faith in God in whatever situation, even (and more so) in impossible situations. Every week, I hear of beloved brethren, victorious Christians, shouting their praise and thanksgiving to God as they testify of His mighty and wondrous works in their lives. Even for those who seem to have no hope, they run to the fasting houses and give themselves to prayer and fasting. And more often than not, they receive what they earnestly ask for.
Our faith weakens when we slacken our grip on the Lord Jesus Christ, when we walk more like the world. The more time we spend in the world – performing our jobs, doing chores, planning and prospering our businesses, meandering in leisures – and the lesser time we spend in the presence of the Lord, the more our faith weakens until we can’t get to trust God anymore. This happens because of our own negligence.
This got me to thinking that I, too, sometimes get complacent with my faith. Sometimes we forget to bravely stand up and proclaim our strong faith in God that He can do great things for us and we need not stay in that place of lack or mediocrity. Sometimes we just accept things as they are, thinking that they will never change. But we forget that God can. We only need to affirm our faith and unceasingly pray in faith.
These definitely hinder God’s work in our lives: negligence in prayer, complacency, and growing faint and giving in to weariness.
Walking in faith means we believe and trust God that He works in our lives every step we take. There is no forgetting, neglecting, doubting, and growing weary.
For in it [the gospel of Christ] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Rom. 1:17, annotation mine)
“Now the just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.” (Heb. 10:38)
The righteousness [goodness] of God is revealed from faith to faith. We see and receive God’s favor by living and walking from faith to faith. Not from faith to weakness and doubt and back again like a pendulum, getting nowhere.
I promised the sister that I would help her pray. And that’s what I’ve been doing by the grace of God.
(Photo courtesy of my friend Perla Frisberg).
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