Friday, September 7, 2012

Faith in the Right Thing


It's common knowledge that faith is a gift, something essential to serve our awesome God. But what if I told you that your faith can be abused? Or what if I said that your faith could be your own downfall?
Confused?
Let me explain a bit.

Okay, so let me start off by saying faith is an amazing thing. It's a gift that God gives each and everyone one of us, so that we might use it to seek and please Him. Hebrews 11:6 plainly tells us that without faith, it's impossible to please God.
So it's easy to see why our faith is essential. But, just like anything of this world; faith can be misused. To help illustrate this, I'll share one of my experiences. 

Well at the time, we had just moved to a new city, and were looking at new churches and such. We eventually found a decent seeming one, and attended the service. It was pretty good, and their youth group met on Sunday nights, so a week or two later; I went.  
I got there during worship, (fashionable late xP) and it was way louder than I was expecting. I mean, you could hear the rumble of the bass and the beat of the drums from outside the building. It really added to the awesomeness factor. 
The service soon started, and their youth pastor was amazing. He was practically on fire from the second he started preaching. He was bouncing around, getting excited, just preaching the message God gave him and having a great time doing so. They also had live worship(probably figured that out by now) their own building, and food.(and candy)  I also met this awesome dude named Alex who showed me around. 
The one thing it lacked though, is that it never really felt like a church home. (at least to me.) I'm used to the smaller groups, the ones with like less than twenty people, where you goof off, get to connect with new people, learn about God, play weird games, etc. The service here had at least 70+ teens, was fast moving, exhilarating, and I could really feel the Spirit's presence in that place. But it still didn't really feel like a potential church home.
Despite that, I came the next week, and the week after, thinking that the whole homeyness factor might fix itself as I went more. But nothing changed. I stopped going for a week or two, but during this time I got it into my skull that God wanted me at that church, and if I just went; He'd work everything out. ("everything" meaning me meeting new Christ-loving friends, finding my place in ministry, finally finding a church home, etc)
Sounds like a solid, bible-based plan, right?
Not exactly.
Sunday rolled around, and sometime before 6, I found myself standing at the entrance to the youth building. I didn't know what to expect, I just new I expected something.  
I left disappointed. Nothing really happened. The message was great, and I did talk with a couple people, but didn't connect with anyone; and the place still didn't feel like a home. I felt as if I wasted my time. 

See, the problem was, that God never told me to go. I had thought up everything, about me going and God working everything out, and just assumed it was right. I acted as if the words themselves had come right out Jesus' mouth, only to realize the hard way that they didn't.
I think many of us make the same mistake. Something pops into our minds, we think it sounds good and Christ-like, and decide that's what God wants for us. We pour all our faith into the idea that God will accomplish what we want, think, or even see as most efficient; just because it sounds biblical, or spiritual.

But God doesn't work that way.

God chooses what He sees is best, then reveals the plan to us. As Amos 3:7 (NIV) says,
"Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets." (commas added by me, the Grammar Nazi in training. xP)  
update: took out the commas. Turns out they aren't needed. (Grammar fail. xD) Also, I was informed that the term "Nazi" could greatly offend some readers. I apologize if the way I used it upset anyone, or made anyone uncomfortable. I'll try to be more careful with my goofing-off in the future. 

Notice how the verse says 
"the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan, to His servants, the prophets," 
Not, 
"Surely, the Sovereign Lord does nothing without waiting for His precious Children to decide what they would like to do, and then automaticaly makes it happen."

I'm not saying God doesn't love us, or that He's a control freak that doesn't trust us with our own lives. None of those statements are true. What I'm saying, is God is God; and He has a specific plan for each and everyone one of us. 
We, the Believers, have to make sure that we put our faith in that plan, and not in our own intuition or our understanding of what God wants. Because in all honesty, we fail. If you'd like proof, just scroll up and read over my story again. But God knows exactly what He's doing, and has crafted a beautiful and perfect plan, including each and every moment of our God-given lives. It's up to us to trust that, and put our faith in Him and His plan alone.

I know a lot of us don't intentionally try to pour our faith into our own ideas like that; it's usually an honest mistake. We're imperfect people, and mess up sometimes. However, that doesn't give us the right to make all the mistakes we want. We have to be careful and alert. It's extremely easy to mix up God's will with your own, and can be nearly as hard to separate them. That's why we have the bible and prayer. Our understanding of God and His will for us should come from two sources.
These would be:

  1. God Himself, from spending time with Him.
  2. His Word, Aka the bible.

No religious magazine, preacher, blog, church, doctrine, theology, angel or person has any authority over God's will; no matter how much they may help us or how good they sound. (that includes ourselves) 
The only one who has the final word on that, is God Himself. And while God may keep the specific details away from us, (like He did with Abraham in Genesis 12:1) He will always, always, always, tell us what we need to know.

Okay, back to the main topic. 

Anyway, as I was saying earlier, we need to make sure that our faith is truly in God and His plan. It's so easy to make up some biblically-sound fantasy, and expect God to follow through with it. Like, for example; I could wake up one morning and decide God wants me to be a missionary. I tell all my friends, and supporting it with Matthew 28:19. ("Go make disciples of the nations..") 
But did God actually tell me He wanted me to become a missionary? No, I decided I wanted to work in the mission field, and concluded that it must be what God has for me. Do you see the error? I didn't even stop to see what God Himself had to say about it! Yet, I go through my whole life training to become a missionary, only to become utterly disappointed when I realize it isn't what God has for me.

Don't make that mistake, guys. Pray and ask God what He has planned first, and build upon that. Sometimes He'll show us before we can even ask, and other times we'll spend days praying before He answers. But He is there. He does love you. He has plans and a future for you, (Jeremiah 29:11) and He wants you to experience them. But, that'll only happen if we put our faith in Him alone, follow His lead, act according to His plan, and wait for His voice.

Have a great day and God bless! And happy Friday!!

5 comments:

  1. WOW!!!!!!! Such an awesome post! It's so true. We do sometimes put our faith in things that God never ordained in the first place. Very well put. So glad you're back!

    And btw, I literally LOL'd at the "Grammar Nazi" comment. Haha, so funny! I am too :/

    God bless, as always :)

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    1. Thanks! :] That means a lot. And hahahahaha, yes, it's like disease for writers. xD Grammar Nazi syndrome. xP God bless you too! :)

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  2. This is something I've been wrestling with a lot lately. Because it's Senior year, I've been trying to pick the perfect college, major, etc, but I've felt so unsettled about everything. Your post helped me realize that I've been attempting to mold my future around my dreams rather than God's. I haven't even taken time to ask Him about it! Yikes!

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a honest, deep post!

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    1. Firstly, thanks for sharing that! I know what you mean about feeling unsettled about the decisions we have to make. But that's one reason we have God. :)

      Secondly, that is awesome. It's all God. :] I'll be praying for you!

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  3. Langston, I just love your posts!
    They are so raw and truthful. Thanks for posting, because I needed this!
    God bless my brother :)

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