Wednesday, August 16, 2006

If only by an act of will

If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time then you know that I am a “thinker” in that something will roll around my head for hours, days, even weeks. This often happens with a fairly fleeting thought or idea that gets stuck in my head and begins to sprout into deep thought. The funny thing is that it is often something that I give little notice to at first and then realize that my mind has been contemplating it for an eternity.

A while back a friend asked my opinion on some questions presented to them by a person taking a pretty close and personal look at God. I remember thinking that these were not the questions of a person kicking the tires on a relationship with God, but someone who had moved past the “does He exist” to the “do I want to know Him with what I know of Him”. This girl asked questions that I come face to face with every day in my relationship with God. In her search to know Him, she had moved to the heart of who He was, His actions, His motives, and His people. As I went through my answers I realized that by her questioning I was reaffirming for myself what I really believe. I also realized that so often we give the blanket answer to tough questions . . . . . you have to have faith. And while this statement is often true and the only answer we can in our limited abilities give, we speak of it as if it is some spiritual band-aid to cover all your wrongs.

Faith isn’t a band-aid, it’s the cure. And yet there are times when faith is lived only by an act of will. Faith isn’t always filled with warm-fuzzy feelings. It isn’t the immediate result of a really good sermon, or an emotionally filling worship service. It isn’t the by-product of an answered prayer or a penetrating piece of scripture. That cheapens faith to an experience. It says that faith is dependent on our surroundings, our status quo.

Faith is saying “because I can’t, I believe You will”.

It is often against everything we feel, we think, and we know. It is a willful choice and often it is lived by will alone. If faith was driven by emotions we would find it and lose it at the whim of our changing state of feelings. If faith was dependent on our state of answered prayers (and by answered I mean to our own liking or personal preference) than many believers would have punted faith a long time ago when they found out that God doesn’t seem to work by our game plan. Some think of faith as just an intellectual belief, the conclusion of a well thought out argument where you reach the conclusion that belief must occur from the evidence alone, yet faith exists somewhere outside of “knowledge” and “reason” for it cannot be contained in a human hypothesis.

So when you remove emotion, intellect, and being, you are left with the will. For faith will be strengthened and supported by all those above, but it can’t be based upon those shifting sands.

And so this thought tumbled and turned in my head as I answered these questions of a searching girl. While I gave her the answers she was looking for and I gave her the evidence and rational she wanted, I wish that I had said to her what I often come to realize.

There are moments, far too many to count, where I don’t feel like I can believe, where the evidence just doesn’t match up, and where I doubt because I don’t see the outworking of my faith that I selfishly think should occur. And yet in those moments I find my faith is at its deepest core, because with all those shifting sands piling against me there is a moment when I believe and choose faith if only by an act of will.

I find myself looking to God with all these doubts and questions piled high and saying “because I can’t, I believe You will”.

5 Comments:

Blogger Stephanie said...

AMEN SISTER!!

I couldn't have said it any better myself!!

8/16/2006 10:27 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Ditto! Amen and hallelujah. You hit the nail on the head.

8/16/2006 12:20 PM  
Blogger steve said...

in that moment that i feel like i dont have the answers at all I just realize that I dont need to...

I cant outsmart God or out think Him or find the "secret" taht no one else has.

I just believe

8/16/2006 2:15 PM  
Anonymous jes said...

I think this is in my subconscious thoughts, but I've never verbalized that phrase: "Because I can't, I believe you will."

Good job verbalizing, KT. :)

8/16/2006 2:21 PM  
Blogger Aim Claim said...

wow... that last line gave me goose bumps.

8/18/2006 6:53 PM  

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