This week has been one of the most life-changing weeks of my 31 years. Jesus has reached out to me and has taken me into His loving arms and has called me to a new future. He has been systematically renewing my mind and giving me His eyes of faith as I look beyond my natural circumstances. He walked me through distress to a place of love. And from love to hope. And from hope to faith! He has been watering my soul to receive a miracle.
I have learned to not let the world dictate my future but to look only to Jesus for the truth of my future. I have learned that opening my life and allowing myself to be vulnerable to my family of believers is a blessing and not a curse. I have learned that it is okay to hope. In my adult life, I have allowed myself to believe that to hope is to risk looking a fool. But this week, Christ has taught me that to have hope is to build a foundation for faith. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for.." (Hebrews 11:1) Plus, God delights in using "the foolish things of the world to confound the wise." (1 Corinthians 1:27) and as David proclaimed, "I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes." (2 Samuel 6:22) for the sake of an uncompromising faith in Christ's goodness!
I have learned this week that God is "the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were." (Romans 4:17) and that this is what it means to step out in faith. To the Almighty, there is no "future tense". My future is not "unknown" to Christ and He does not care what the world "knows" or presents as evidence because He see things as they are meant to be and calls them as such and He only requires that we trust Him for the Truth and not the world. For example, in the story of Jairus' daughter, Jesus is on his way with Jairus to visit her when a person meets them and tells them not to bother any more because the girl had died. (assuming it was too late for Jesus to help.) But Jesus is not shaken and when He gets there and sees all the people mourning He says to them, "'Stop wailing,'...'She is not dead but asleep' They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, "Child get up!" Her spirit returned and at once she stood up." (Luke 8:52-56) In this passage Jesus both "gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were." He told the mourners "She is not dead." when, in fact, she was... temporarily. Since Jesus knows the future, from His perspective the girl was as good as alive. The current situation...all the natural evidence...it was all completely irrelevant to Jesus. And I have learned that this is what it means to step out in faith. It means that we can speak a truth that is outside the realm of the present circumstances. Faith is being "certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1) And I have learned this week that if I truly believe that Jesus is all the things the Bible says He is then I must step out the way He asks me to and just trust in Him and in His goodness and in His power, and in His love.
He has reminded me this week that He is capable of the impossible. A God of miracles! "What is impossible with men is possible with God." (Luke 18:27) He has reminded me that He is willing and all we need to do is ask. (Mark 1:41) and (Luke 18:1-8). He has reminded me that "the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) and that he is a thief that "comes only to steal and kill and destroy;" but that Christ has come that I "may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)
I think that although I gave my life to Christ as a child and in spite of the fact that I have attended so many wonderful Bible-based Christian churches my whole adult life, I have not given myself fully to the grace of God. I have believed that I have an obligation to live a certain way in order to be deserving of God's blessings and therefore, it is hard to get past my failures to have faith that Christ will do for me what I know He can. But Romans 4 makes it clear that blessings come only through faith and not by the law. Believing that I had to do something in order to access God's miracles took the power from my faith. This week, through Christ's unfailing faith and my new understanding of grace, I have a renewed spirit! "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7)
This week of spiritual revival has come to me because of a specific circumstance in my life. Tomorrow is the day in which my faith is tested before the world. Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. I am standing in confidence in "him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us," (Ephesians 3:20) and I am believing for a miracle. Pray for me as I walk this walk of faith into my "unknown" known future!