*WARNING: The following post is all over the place and a bunch of my ramblings…but that is what the personal journey is supposed to look like right?
I don’t know about you, but starting with the hardest step first in a journey or project can be a little overwhelming. This week I tackled the Proverbs 31 Virtue of Faith. “Go big or go home” I always say. But my faith is the foundation for everything else in my life, so I guess it’s the perfect place to start. Though starting with the virtue of “beauty” sounds a lot more fun….who doesn’t like a lil’ pampering!
But as amazing as a facial sounds, I know that without putting God first, without “loving Him with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind,” (Matt 22:37) nothing good can be accomplished. Like I have said before, I’ve attempted the Proverbs 31 journey in the past, and failed miserably because I didn’t start off with the most important virtue…..Faith! Amy Bayliss says in her book, “unless our ultimate pursuit is of HIM, then we cannot physically accomplish anything and still honor Him.”
But what exactly is “Faith” you ask? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Now I know I have “faith.” I whole heartedly believe in a God I can’t physically see, and I know that through Him all things are possible, but is my faith as strong as it could be? Is the foundations behind my faith solid?
Honest Confession: If I was confronted by someone who didn’t believe in God, who believed that the Bible was a story and not actual fact, and we started the discussion of truth, I couldn’t defend my faith. I’m great at saying “I’m trusting in God” and “I’m loving Jesus,” But when it really comes down to arguing the logistics and the facts that back up my faith in Jesus Christ, I’d loose.
As I was exploring my Bible about Faith, I was challenged by the following verse:
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. Keeping a clear conscience so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” -1 Peter 3:15-16
It reminded me of a certain anthropology class I took in college. We had just started very detailed and very convincing lectures on Evolution. My professor was an expert on the subject and continued to showcase her “stuff” by adding a bash session on The Creation “theory” (she called it a theory), and everything I believed in. Great. While part of me wanted to jump up and scream “false!” the other, less proud part of me started to question my beliefs. I mean, she seemed to have concrete proof, a whole text book of it, and I had my Bible and my faith. Since this was also a time in my life where I had stepped away from my relationship with Christ, and my Biblical Fact knowledge lacking, my faith was weak, and I found myself beginning to see her side. That’s a scary place to be.
Suddenly feeling like everything you have ever believed in could be a lie, and feeling weak enough to be persuaded. I was lost.
“No matter how many times/steps you take away from God, it only takes one step to come back.” -Amy Bayliss
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Since that moment, God has worked on my heart, proving his faithfulness over and over again…since apparently I don’t catch on the first time. The very day I started focusing on Faith, He provided the resources I needed! Our homegroup started a video series by Ken Ham called Foundations that’s all about defending our faith, learning the foundations and facts that my faith is born from. Then the Women’s Bible Study at my church is starting Beth Moore’s study Believing God. Amazing.
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” -Matthew 6:8
Forgive me Father, for my times of unbelief. Those moments where I was second guessing my faith in you. Forgive me for not taking your word as seriously as I should have. Help me Lord to engrave your word upon my heart. Give me wisdom to defend my faith and thank you that in my moments of failure, you are there to pick up the pieces.
So this past week, I focused on my faith; what God says that looks like and how I can better strengthen and mature my relationship with Him.
I started with simply being consistent with reading my Bible. God has showed me that my foundations are weak. It’s hard to have true faith in something you don’t completely understand or maybe even believe. I need to see God’s word, the birth place of my faith, as absolute truth. Not allowing society to muddle it up. No better place to renew and strengthen your faith than in God’s written word! Although I really wanted to try and get up in the mornings before the boys to do this, it never fails that when I set my alarm to be up, I spend most of the night taking care of sick and/or non-sleeping children. Needless to say, a lot of my quiet time happenes during their nap-time! One day I hope to be like the Prov31 woman who gets up before the sun, but today is not that day, and I’m ok with that.
*for those of you who are ready to start that challenge of getting up, but seem to be having a hard time, I HIGHLY recommend joining Inspired to Action’s awesome Hello Mornings Challenge! “The HelloMornings Challenge was birthed to encourage Christian women toward the life-giving habit of waking up early.” They hope that participants will experience quality time with God, intentionally plan their days and exercise regularly. I did that challenge last year, and although I didn’t do that great because of my own laziness, it is a FANTASTIC challenge with wonderful ladies there to help keep you accountable!
This week is done and I’m onto another virtue, but this doesn’t mean that I am finished with this one. I’m simply adding another. Having a strong FOUNDATIONAL faith isn’t something I will ever be finished with; it will always be a work in progress.