Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just Believe, Part 2.

My brother, in my opinion, is all kinds of awesome. An electrical engineer, a helicopter pilot, a bold evangelist, an amazing father, and a singer-songwriter. Some of my sweetest memories as a little girl are of how Sam would come home at holidays and the house would be filled with music, him and his guitar singing. I treated him like a jukebox sometimes, putting in my requests for songs. Topping the list? Garth Brooks' "Belleau Wood" and Sam's very own "Just 'Cause He said So."
And we have faith that He'll never forsake us, just 'cause He said so
And we have hope that He'll take us home, just 'cause He said so
And we know that our very souls are loved, just 'cause He said so
And we know that someday pain will be no more, just 'cause He said so
And I believe it's true, just 'cause He said so
He said it, and that's enough for me. It's a child's faith that counts on a Father's honesty and on Daddy doing what child can't. I want to believe just because He said so.

You and I, we are weak human beings. We can't do it. We can't do it, folks! We want to change the world, but we have no power. (But boy oh boy, do we think we do. Pride is nastier than strep throat. On a side note, Jesus heal me!) We may be weak, but those weak folks are the ones God uses. All the glory is His!

So see...the way it works is: We have nothing. He wants to use us. We believe Him. He puts His power in us.

What I see in that passage from Mark is a declaration from Peter to Jesus: "I really believe You. I've decided: You are who You say You are, and I really believe You." Then, then, Jesus had an open door to start telling Peter and the rest of the motley crew the reality of what redemption would look like. Notice that word "plainly." I want to hear from God that way! I want the invitation of belief in my heart that says: "Tell me anything, Jesus...I want to know and I believe what You say."

See, Peter still had some struggles [like me]. Jesus had to set him straight and boil it down: "STOP thinking like man. Believe the things of God." Then, then, came the answer to Peter's (and our) question of how to give everything for Jesus. Friends, I want to give everything. I want to believe, I want to trust, I want to live totally and completely for Jesus, I want to hold nothing back. I want to spend everything. "Take up your cross and follow me" is the handbook for that style of living, and I want the heart of belief that welcomes the teaching of the Lord on this. I want the seal of approval from the Lord that says "I see Your heart and that You really want me, and I am going to teach You how to give it all."

Belief, trust, faith is cultivated in your heart, God has a larger and larger blank canvas to work with. Seeing as my desire it be painted by the Great Artist's hand, I want to offer as big a canvas to Him as I can. There needs to be lots of room for His signature in that corner, because it's all about Him.

I want to walk with Him, like all those folks in Hebrews 11. There are moments, though, where I tell the Lord honestly: "I don't know how! I know I need to trust You more, but I don't knowhow!" Well, faith without works is dead, so I am asking the Lord for specifics of actions I can take to walk in faith and belief and trust. I don't have it, and I need more from the Lord. He gives, though. Oh, He gives generously.

I want to receive. He will walk with me and talk with me like He did with the disciples, and many, many great men and women of faith have walked before me. I pray that I will see the fruit of faith in my life, and if you ask, you will see it in yours. Oh that the glory of the Lord would shine from our lives.

Let me leave you with this quote from Oswald Chambers in his writings on the Sermon on the Mount:
Faith is our personal confidence in a Being whose character we know, but whose ways we cannot trace by common sense. By the reasonings of faith is meant the practical outworking in our lives of implicit, determined confidence in God. Common sense is mathematical; faith is not mathematical, faith works on illogical lines. Jesus Christ places the strongest emphasis on faith and especially on the faith that has been tried. To have faith tests us for all we are worth; we have to stand in the commonsense universe in the midst of things that conflict with our faith, and place our confidence in the God whose character is revealed in Jesus Christ...most of us are pagans in a crisis; we think and act like pagans. Only one out of a hundred is daring enough to bank his or her faith in the character of God.

The golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters is not intellect, but obedience.

1 comment:

Sam Peterson said...

Annie, you go too far in your compliments of me. Thank you; I love you.