It’s been a tough couple of weeks. I’ve cried lots of tears for lots of different reasons. I didn’t struggle with faith during it all. But I found myself saying, “I’m not going to ask God why. It’s His reason and His business.” The other night I watched Chris Stapleton sing this song, and found myself crying again. “Don’t go asking Jesus why. The answer belongs to the By And By.” You don’t have to say the words. God knows the feelings already. Every one of my tears are numbered.
As with everything God leads me to, it all comes back in circles. I started a new Bible study with Beth Moore. I’ve done other studies, but lately she is really grabbing me by the collar and shaking me. I didn’t realize how much of a slap upside the head I needed. For those who don’t know, Beth Moore studies are in-depth word studies with a lot of dissected emotions. Believing God is the study I chose. Naturally, God smacked me with the word “faith” today. Beth informs us that the Greek word pistis is used in the New Testament to define assurance, belief, faith and fidelity. She says, “Where I use the phrase believing God, you can think of it interchangeably with having faith in God. I prefer believing… because it has a far stronger implication of action.”
If I lost you, let me bring this back again. Faith and Belief are identical. Synonyms. But Belief has more weight. Having faith in God is not as strong as BELIEVING that God is, was, and always will be. I had faith over the last two weeks that God was in control, that He knows what he’s doing. But if I had truly BELIEVED, then I wouldn’t need to voice that question of why. That hurts. Let’s just go ahead and rip off that bandage (and I’m talking figuratively because yanking my bandage off HURTS!) I have faith that God exists. Completely. What I need Hebrews 11:1 for is to rationalize Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Saying 3 parts of 1, and BELIEVING in 3 parts in 1 is…. well… it’s just beyond my comprehension
And THAT led me to my devotional reading of the REST of Hebrews 11. I got gobsmacked!
Yup. I’m in that “as some are in the habit of doing” category. I have to Believe Him when he says “GO BACK TO CHURCH!” And that encouraging one another? Yeah need to work on that too.
So, I guess what I’m saying is this: faith is understanding where I am right now, God is in control. Belief is knowing that I have to take a step, and God still is in control. Faith is sitting on my butt. Believing means I have to move forward and do some stuff, and THAT is what being a Christian is supposed to be all about…. isn’t it?
My favorite phrase from Adam Savage of Myth Busters. I sometimes get completely stuck in my own head. I KNOW you have an opinion. Your point of view is acceptable for you, but not for me sometimes. The problem revolves around what I will do with that discord between your reality, and my perception of it. And let’s add a little twist… if I don’t talk to you about it, and continue on my own little journey, then I create this world where I am the hero, and you have no choice but to be the villain in my world.
I have created a world where Baron von Munchausen is extolling the “truth”, and because it’s entertaining, it must be TRUTH. *Let’s back up a little here. Some insight into Baron von Munchausen: I just watched the movie, and it was creepily entertaining. This veteran with royal blood spins his wildly elaborate yarns about how he led his compatriots to not only win a war with a Turkish sultan, but he defeated a king on the moon (played hilariously by Robin Williams!) After some research, I found out it’s based upon a book written in 1785 by Rudolph Eric Raspe, which was of itself based upon wild stories told by Karl Friederich Hieronymus, Baron of Munchausen. In order to make himself seem more important, the Baron would create bizarre and lengthy stories of his bravery and importance. Although no one believed the Baron, he continued to consider himself as the hero to all sorts of trials and tribulations, all of which only he could resolve.
Just like the Baron, when I don’t talk to you, I’m important. I’m brave. I’m RIGHT. But that isn’t the way God makes us. We’re supposed to have dialog. Having a conversation with another person allows me to see your point of view in the light of day. I may say something that will change your mind, or you may say something that will open my eyes enough to see things differently. OR we may both walk away with our ideas set, but at least we know the other point of view. When we let a third person or a media outlet or FaceBook post into the conversation, we have removed the dialog that could have resulted in an understanding. Suddenly, we have given Baron von Munchausen’s stories credibility. We have put his stories out as gospel truth. When opinions are the only facts, we often find that truth is pushed aside for the sake of agendas.
But when it comes down to me, I know I need to talk to people. To open a line of communication grounded in facts, but not overwhelmed by my own selfish nature. This is probably going to be the most difficult part of my quest- which isn’t all that surprising. I hate conflict so much that I am often the cause of it. So, here goes the first goal of my journey: I will change the way I communicate so that I ensure that I leave with a peaceful heart. Easy to say, now let’s see how easy it is to do…