Faith is the IT factor
Faith is my main motivator. If I'm honest, starting this blog was a huge leap of faith, and maintaining it can get discouraging. Just this morning, I felt like shutting it down completely, which is silly because I've had many people reach out to tell me how a particular post has affected them.
Anytime I step out in faith, my insecurities creep in and start to feed my heart with lies. I start to question this whole endeavor when I start to judge the success of Kara Abernathy (making a name for myself) not the success of what I can do through Him (emphasizing Christ alone).
In Hebrews, there is a faith hall of fame. In chapter 11, the writer of Hebrews starts to list off great men and women of faith who, with the Lord's guidance, paved great paths. Toward the end of the list, there is a beautiful summary of those who are not included:
“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets – who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight” (Heb. 11: 32-34).
You see, the writer of Hebrews doesn’t have room or time to list out all of the epic stories of people in the faith hall of fame. “Time would fail” him to tell of all the wonderful accounts of how faith moved mountains and did the impossible. Faith is the “it” factor.
When I feel like giving up, I think about all of the people in the faith hall of fame. It is much easier to abandon my faith and fall into temptation, pleasure, and comfort. It is much easier to agree with the world that God is one outlet of our lives; He’s someone to pray to in times of trouble, but He’s not daily involved in our decision-making. It’s much easier to live for myself: my goals, my preferences, my relationships.
It might be easier, but it isn’t fulfilling.
When I live to gratify myself, I become discontent. The temptations, pleasures, and comforts bring temporary excitement, but they are always fleeting. I’m left wanting the next thing.
When I mistake God for Someone whom I should only rely on during hard times, I become ungrateful and stubborn. I forget to pause and reflect on all of the many times God has protected me, provided for me, and pointed me to something greater. I fail to celebrate the positives and have a grateful heart.
Lastly, when I live for my own priorities, I start to manipulate, criticize, and judge. My pride becomes more important than others. I seek revenge. My selfishness leads to anxiety and arrogance.
No wonder God calls us to persist in the faith. Though it’s difficult in the moment, it is ultimately best for us. When we abandon our faith, our daily life might appear temporarily easier, but the long-term consequences are painful and grievous.
So how do we persist in faith? We remember the long-term result.
Practically, we have to apply the long-term result to our temporary situation.
How will this affect me in five years? Ten years? Twenty years?
What can I do today to rely on God?
Where am I living for myself? What areas can I give to God?
This morning, when I felt like giving up on the blog, I stopped to pray that I would get out of the way. I prayed that God would use me for His purposes and that my own insecurities wouldn't be an obstacle to His path.
You can help me with this pursuit. I strongly believe in the power of community. God continually brings people in my life to speak truth and encourage. I would love to hear how this blog has impacted you. Send me a comment or share a post with others. I would love to hear topics you want me to write about using this blog. I'm open to suggestions and feedback because like I said, I just want to get out of the way. I want to create space for God to move.
Wherever you're at and whatever you're facing, remember that God is working. There is a whole hall of fame list of examples. Check out the proof in Hebrews. God wants to work in your life, too.
I’ll end with this note of encouragement to apply to your faith journey:
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).
He began a good work. He will help you complete it. Have faith.