Saturday, March 26, 2011

Help Me With My Unbelief

It’s been a tough week: Crazy days at work, feeling overwhelmed as I see family members struggling, and taking on stress. This atmosphere around me dampens my ability to believe that God is at work.

I believe. Such a simple statement yet it is so deeply misunderstood. If I say I believe then I can’t doubt God’s ability to accomplish things. So, do I truly believe that God is able or am I trusting in my own ability to do things?

Do I believe in the all-powerful God – Omnipotent? He is able to do ALL things.

Do I believe in the God who is everywhere – Omnipresent? He can care for my family even though we are far from each other.

Do I believe in the One who is all knowing – Omniscient? He knows every struggle, ever tear, every heart cry.

If He is indeed all of these things, I definitely have Him in a box—a box that I haven’t thought through, yet it is there just the same. So, how can I adjust my thinking to reflect the Omni-characteristics of God?

When I read about the things God did, I need to remember He hasn’t changed. He has the same power, the same purpose because He is same (yesterday, today and forever). The God that delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians by parting the Red Sea is the same God who is at work in my life. This same Jesus who healed the blind, raised the dead, and lifted the lame to walk again, is the same Jesus who has chosen me to walk with Him. And, the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells within me and helps me to live, breathe and believe all that God wants for me.

So when faced with a diagnosis from the doctor, with family issues, or with situations that are too big for me to handle, I need to see God for how big He is. He knows what’s going on. He knows what I need. He knows what needs to happen for hearts to change. He is at work in and around me, orchestrating circumstances so I will believe how big He is.

When I read about the father who faced impossible odds in Mark 9:22-24, He simply says, “Help me with my unbelief.”

What a humble and simple request. It’s like saying, God, I know I am supposed to believe you are able, but my mind is in the way. I have you in a box and I am seeing the obstacles just like the eight spies when they were sent to spy out the land. I want to believe You for the amazing, just like Joshua and Caleb did; I want to believe that despite the obstacles, you are going to provide and fight on my behalf to bring about your plan.

Like the father in Mark chapter nine, I can be honest with God and ask for help to believe. Faith and trust are built as we live our lives with Him in the forefront. We step out in faith and our ability to believe grows exponentially as we ask for His help.

I believe that my extended family situations are seen by my Heavenly Father. I believe He will provide needs, change hearts, and turn things around to the right way. I believe He will guard us with His right hand.

I believe God will help us to remember that we are not one another’s enemies; Satan is the real enemy and God has equipped us with power in Christ to cause him to get lost! I believe He will tell Satan to take the high road and not allow him victory over us as we stay connected to Him.

What do you face today? Are you struggling to believe He is able to help? Will you ask, “Lord, help my unbelief” when struggling with what your mind says, rather than what God’s word says?

Wanting to live like I believe,


Friday, March 11, 2011

Fasten Your Seat Belt - Adventure Ahead!

I just returned from a retreat this past weekend—two nights away from home, surrounded by worship and accompanied by women. It is always good to get away, contemplate life and “get an alignment” by hearing from God’s word. The weekend was just that—I came back totally exhausted yet more sure of who I am in God’s eyes.

The weekend focused on the topic of GPS—God’s Path Spoken. We looked at Peter’s journey with Christ and asked what we can learn through their interactions. As we answer Jesus’ questions like, “What do you seek?” and “Who do you say that I AM?” And then, like Peter, respond to His commands to, “Cast out into the deep” and “Do not be afraid”, we saw how Peter’s path took him to the place God planned for him…Jesus said, “Simon, you will be called Peter”—Jesus saw who Peter would become when the Holy Spirit began to work within him.

His promise to be with Peter on his journey is also our promise.

Interestingly, Monday morning, I re-entered reality and headed off to work. Not far from home I met with a blocked road and a detour sign. The utility trucks were in the distance; the traffic lights weren’t working, and the traffic turned to follow the orange detour signs. I blindly followed, but when all I could see was brake lights, I knew I had made a mistake. I quickly calculated that if I reversed direction I could get to work (hopefully on time) by another way and decided to make a U-turn.

I was soon on my way and though it was the long way around, I felt like I had made the right decision. The route wasn’t totally unfamiliar yet I was enjoying the change of scenery along the way. I am a creature of habit and take the same route to work, day in and day out. I realized that sometimes detours are necessary to get us to our destination. And, if we can settle in to enjoy the scenery, the disruption can become an adventure.

After the weekend of hearing about following God by listening to His word, putting myself into the story and asking how I need to answer when God asks me a question, my little detour lesson is another message letting me know that even though God may take me through a detour, He has a plan. If I listen and follow, I will get where I need to go.

I don’t know about you but I have had many detours in my life—sickness, family issues, disappointment. Honestly, these have led to discouragement more often than expectation. I want to view them differently from now on. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid…cast out into the deep. The road may twist and turn but ultimately I will arrive at my destination.

I also learned that following God is meant to be an adventure--so fasten your seat belt—it’s gonna be awesome!

Looking in your rear view mirror, how has God transformed your detours into an adventure? What have you learned about God and yourself as you travel through them?

Will you travel with me,