Building your Faith

My latest revelation, breakthrough, what have you, is all about Faith. I have been struggling, like many of us, in these hard economic times. People are losing homes, jobs, and their sense of hope. I have been for 3 years now trying to live by Faith in Jesus Christ. For me, this season is not so new. It has been something that I feel I have been experiencing for these 3 years. Recently I have felt betrayed, brokenhearted, tired, frustrated, unhappy, exhausted and confused. Anyone else?

I know all of the things the Bible says. I have read so many books, listened to all the cd's, watched all the speakers, and done all the Bible studies. I know what I am supposed to do, but I didn't want to do it. I have been mad at God because I am still going through the hard times. I am still having to pay bills by what gets shut off first. I still have to dodge the phone calls and listen to the voicemail messages of people who want money from me. I know what it's like to run a business and not see the fruit of your labor. So I know and understand the struggle. I have been in it, and not always happy about it. I still love the Lord with all my heart and soul. I pray and read the Word every day. I seek His guidance even though I am feeling all of these things.

The point you may ask? Well, I discovered, because even in the middle of my frustration, because I sought the Lord on all these matters, He revealed Himself to me. This morning He led me to a passage in the Bible that I had written on a post-it and put in the front of my Bible. I started reading Hebrews 4:12. It says "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." At first glance, this was not the verse I wanted to read. It was not what I felt I needed in my hurting time. So I decided to read the whole chapter, starting at the beginning of Chapter 4. When doing so, I realized why God brought me there. And don't mistake it, it was God. What he wanted to show me was how the Israelites complained and lost Faith in God while leaving Egypt and heading toward the Promised Land. God did so many wonderful things for them. He split the Red Sea in half so they could pass without being consumed by the waters, and then closed the sea when the Egyptians came after them. Closing the gap between the Israelites, (God's chosen people), and their enemies.

After that, He provided food for them. He dropped it out of the sky and fell on the earth for them when they woke up EVERY MORNING! Wow - talk about breakfast in bed! Then..."By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night."
Exodus 13:20-22. Another wow! Can you imagine, sit in it for a sec...I am fed fresh food every morning, I have God in a cloud to direct my path, and then a pillar of fire for night. I don't know about you but our God is amazing!!

Ok - so I am sure by now you are thinking, ok, so what else could He possibly do for them? I will tell you. God finally got them to the Promised Land. This was it. After 40 years, the Israelites are finally at their destination. They were finally home. The Bible says the Promised Land was "flowing with milk and honey." Exodus 3:8. The Lord told them they would have to fight for the land, but obviously it was worth it. There were many bad people living there and God knew they needed to be wiped out so the Israelites could have peace.

So the Israelites decide to send a certain number of people to go to the the Land and look to see what they were facing in regard to the fight. What they saw scared them so bad, they went back to the Israelites and told them they could never overpower the people in the land. They claimed there were giants and there was no way they could do this. Sadly, they missed the point that God was in control of everything, including the fight against the people in the land. Ring any bells?

So here we are, God gave them everything they asked for, or literally complained about, even though that was not what He desired for them. Wow. So God is ticked off at this point, and this is what the Bible says: "The LORD's anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath: 11 'Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old or more who came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" Whoa! After all that, the years and decades in the desert, relying on God to serve their every need, they decide not to fight, and God decides not ONE of them will enter. Tragic. I can't even tell you how horrible that would be! To finally get to the place where you are going, after half of your life is over, HALF, and not be able to settle in? Not be able to be spoiled once again by the Lord our God?
It's not just tragic, it's insanity!

This whole back story is so important because it illuminates the Word I read this morning. In Psalm 95:11 and Hebrew 4:3 the Bible says: "So I declared on oath in my anger, "They shall never enter my rest ." What does His rest represent? The Promised Land, His PEACE, His comfort, His blessings! Do you see it yet? Because the Israelites complained, and feared, and worried, and tried to do things their own way, their ultimate prize...the Promised Land, the rest of God, was kept from them. Wow, thank you Lord! It hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized that because of my complaining, my frustration, my bitterness, and my bad attitude, I was withholding God's rest. I was exhausted, confused, tired, and brokenhearted all because I wasn't resting in the Lord. All I needed to do was stay present. I needed to stay in today and realize all the goodness, all the miracles, all the favor I had already received!! God has already given me a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He has already saved me from my enemies. He already closed the gap, Jesus Christ. He has already shown and proven Himself by sustaining my life the way it is. I have everything I need today. I am being held in God's hand so tight that there is an impression of me in His palm. He knows all and sees all and is always working on my behalf.

MY job, my only job, is to trust. I have to keep the all costs! I have to thank God for what He has already done, in hopes of what He is going to do!! That's it. It's so simple, yet my flesh cries out when I try to do these things. That's why you have to do it until you feel it. I wanted to look ahead and complain about the bills that aren't paid, or the lack of business. But I am still here! I am still working, and eating, and driving, and sleeping, and warm and content! God hasn't changed, and yes, my circumstances haven't changed, but I realize now, it's ok. All I need is peace, love and joy. And in order to receive those things, I have to enter into His rest. And how do we do that? Trust, precious, trust.

Praise you Lord for your mercy and goodness!! Without you I would be a pitiful mess...but today...I am a precious mess :)

The Bible says:
"But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.If you keep to my path,I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23

Let's all give thanks!!

Thank you Lord, my Saviour, my Conqueror, my Healer, my Strength, my Shelter, my Proud Adornment! Praise be to you, forever and ever...

Have a blessed DAY!
Cortnee :)


Stephen Kingsley said...

Hi Cortnee, Thank you for sharing your heart. I'm sorry you've been going through a rough time, but it's all for good. Trust is crucial. Grace teaches us to hold tight to God and loosely to everything in this world. Think about it, most everything we see around us, the house we live in, the car we drive, even our own bodies will not be around 100 years from now. At some point we're going to lose all this stuff we're working so hard now to maintain. While we have these things, we should be faithful stewards, but when the time comes to let go, we can do so with peace if we're truly trusting God's promises. Let's learn to let go because we trust God, not because we have no other choice. The world, and everything in it is temporary. God and his kingdom are eternal. There is good in this world, many blessings, surprising miracles, and God's gracious intervention--but the great reward is yet unseen; promised, certain, and guaranteed by the word of his power. We can trust him today because we know how he moved in history past. He did what he said he would, and will do what he has promised. After all, God raised Christ from the dead. The end has been seen. Numerous witnesses saw him and gave their lives to testify that sin and death have been conquered once, for all, and forever.

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