Tag Archives: faith

a great reminder!

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One of my favorite people to read about and learn from is the late Elisabeth Elliot. What faith she had in the Lord and if you’ve read any of her books, or know anything about her husband, the late *Jim Elliot, you will certainly know what I mean.

As I was reading my devotional this morning, which happens to be one of her books, I was struck by her words:

Learning to pray is learning to trust the wisdom, the power, and the love of our Heavenly Father, always so far beyond our dreams. He knows our need and knows ways to meet it that have never entered our heads. Things we feel sure we need for happiness may often lead to our ruin. Things we think will ruin us (the chariots of Egypt, or the waters of the sea), if we believe what the Father tells us and surrender ourselves into His strong arms, bring us deliverance and joy.

~Excerpt from Keep A Quiet Heart, Elisabeth Elliot

Interestingly enough, my husband and I just shared a conversation this morning where we confessed our fear of trusting Him for our needs to be met with a particular expense we’re facing in the (hopefully) distant future…wayyyy distant future. It was then that the Lord reminded me of a time not too far back when we were faced with a similar overwhelming financial expense. At that time, a wise friend of our family wisely counseled my husband, “It’s not about the (thing you’re needing); it’s a faith issue.” And, indeed it was. A matter of days later, we were able to financially take care of the need we had. Of course, the Lord somehow, some way provided. Then, as usually happens, we were on to the next seemingly impossible situation.

I truly believe that the Lord places situations in our path where we are faced with choosing faith over fear. Since His Word is clear about not being afraid or fearful, we hopefully, eventually succumb to placing our faith in Him. And, if we’re prudent, we’ll keep a mental file, at least, of all the times throughout our lives where He has brought us through over, and over again. Later, when faced with another seemingly impossible situation, we can recall all He has brought us through, choose faith and banish fear knowing that He is for us and not against us and that He can be trusted.

*In 1956, five young men, including Elliot’s husband, Jim, traveled into the jungles of Ecuador to establish communication with the fierce Huaorani Tribe, a people whose only previous response to the outside world has been to attack all strangers. The men’s mission combined modern technology with innate ingenuity, sparked by a passionate determination to get the gospel to those without Christ. In a nearby village, their wives waited to hear from them. The news they received – all five missionaries had been murdered – changed lives around the world forever. Written while she was still a missionary in South America and at the request of the men’s families, Through Gates of Splendor was Elisabeth Elliot’s personal account of the final mission of these five courageous men.

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STOP…& Pray why don’t you

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Crossroads — I’ve been here more times than I can count.  You know, laboring over a decision yet chatting it up with well-meaning people, some of which are strangers, I find myself just as confused and tormented as I was when I started. I feel that I’ve gone nowhere and fast.

If your heart is beating, I’m quite sure you have lived here too. Why is it that we so badly want to obtain the opinion of everyone else on the planet, except for the One who created us? I mean really, how silly is that? Or, we exhaust all of our very limited resources before surrendering to the Lord? If you are a believer, you’re aware of the goal as Christ followers: surrender. Surrender myself, my plans, my thoughts, hopes and dreams to the One who can make sense of it all and more importantly, give us His best. After all, He is not a God of chaos.

Surrender: to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another; to yield to the power, control, or possession of

For most of my life, I’ve treated these such decisions I’ve described as if I’m walking a tightrope across the Grand Canyon. One wrong step and I’m suddenly doomed because I made the wrong choice, in my mind anyway. Where in the world did I subscribe to this crazy line of thinking? Enveloped in this crazy thought process of mine is a measure of fear. Fear of what God might be asking me to do. Fear that I can’t imagine how in the world little ‘ol me could possibly carry out this assignment. Fear that I might fail and expose my ignorance to the watching world. Fear of the unknown, probably trumps them all.

God is not like this at all. He is a good and loving Father who wants and desires to give His very best to those who are willing to wait on Him rather than rush ahead to their own plans and agenda. Sure, our “plans” may make total sense to us but it’s important to remember that we have a very limited view of our lives; so limited in fact that we can only see what’s in the here and now. Conversely, the Lord sees the whole picture with all the circumstances we’re unaware of. Our “best plans” fall severely short of His plans for us as Christ followers. But the kicker is, we have to be willing to wait….and pray, which is a foreign concept in the instant society we live in today. The world screams, “hurry up and grab it or you’ll miss out,” which places the focus on self, while God’s economy challenges us to be patient, to wait on Him, to trust and obey, to pray and seek His wisdom. Sometimes, the most active thing we can do is pray and, His timing is not ours.

That being said, lately, I have felt quite convicted of just what I’ve written…talking to everyone else but God yet expecting His answer. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t prayed like I should be. I haven’t surrendered my desires, my will, my plan in order to hear from Him. I have allowed fear to place me in bondage. Interestingly enough, when I pray for others in my life facing similar life decisions is “Lord, will You deafen (name of friend I’m praying for) ears to all voices but Yours. Will you enable (him or her) to be able to discern Your voice from others clamoring for (his/her) attention. Will You speak boldly into (his/her) life that there is no doubt as to which path is theirs to take.” 

Sure, God speaks to us through His Word, His Holy Spirit, and even others. The point is to have a trusted few who are faithful followers in Christ, who will pray for you and point you back to Him. We cannot hear from God when we’re super busy and running hither and yon, consulting with everyone we know. Oftentimes, God’s path isn’t the most popular path and doesn’t always make sense to others. As I’ve been reminded time and again by my trusted (few) friends: God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called.

My challenge to you, as well as to me, is to stop the madness. Stop the busyness. Still yourself before Him. Rather, get on your knees in humility, cry out to God surrendering the plans you have and yielding your spirit to His plans. Be still. Wait for Him. Don’t allow yourself to feel rushed to make a decision right this very minute. Sometimes, prayer can be the most active thing you can do. Press into Him through prayer, and the reading of His Word. Trust that He has it all worked out…in His timing, not ours. And don’t forget that His ways are higher and He see the full picture.

I’ll close with a friend’s recent facebook post: “I still remember the days I prayed for the things I have now.” He is faithful! Amen!