being movable with immovable faith

Posted: May 1st, 2010 | Filed under: life | Tags: | 5 Comments »

Something that I think about a lot has to do with God’s control and my effort. I wonder how hard I’m supposed to try and if I’m wasting my time when I’m trying my hardest. Sometimes I’m sure that I’m headed in the right direction and other times I think I walked off the edges of the painting.

[God’s] purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative. -Romans 9:11

God has a purpose and it doesn’t depend on me. Yet, I still feel a sense of direction and I feel the responsibility to respond to it. I don’t shy away from extremes and I love the adventure of faith.

Sometimes I wonder if God tells us to do things just to test our faith, not to actually carry out what He asked us to do. Kind of like God telling Abraham to sacrifice his son.

God tested Abraham. -Genesis 22:1

He said, “Take your dear son Isaac whom you love and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I’ll point out to you.” -Genesis 22:2

The sense of direction Abraham had was crazy. But, it was clear.

I think people tend to hear this supernatural voice of direction and then put on their stubborn blinders. They position themselves to not see or hear anything that contradicts with what they know God told them to do. They mistake stubbornness for faith. They’re immovable and unbending. Even to God.

Abraham’s faith was fierce. He knew what he heard from God and he had every intention of carrying it out.

What if he thought that the only way he could please God was to not listen to anything that might contradict what he believed?

When he was questioned, his response was: ‘God will see to it…’

Abraham had an immovable faith in God, not in the certainty of himself or his understanding. He was movable. If your faith is in your own understanding, then it’s likely you’ll reject God when he tries to redirect you beyond your understanding.

God redirected Abraham when he was three days down a path, after he built an alter and tied his son to it. Who knows the sweat that Abraham bled. I can only imagine the exchanged looks between father and son or if Abraham looked Isaac in the eye at all. Abraham did not put his faith in his work, clearly from God, but in God Himself. Moveable and bendable, but still full of the faith that overthrew common sense.

And God saw to it.

Sometimes I feel like my life is a wild goose chase. I know when I hear from God. I know that I’m supposed to run to this corner, then travel to that corner. But, when nothing happens…I have to wonder. What is the point in all this? Is it just to see if I’ll do it?

Several years ago I read a book called ‘Hind’s Feet on High Places’. The main character was traveling a path that ‘The Shepherd’ led her down. He promised to give her purpose and lead her to her ‘heart’s desire’ which was a visible mountain top off in the distance. After a long and tiresome journey, she was about to enter another dark valley and couldn’t bare the thought of having to go through it again. She looked around to see how close she was to the mountain top and found it behind her. The dark valley in front of her seemed to be leading further away from her destination.

She cried out to ‘The Shepherd’ and asked Him if He was sending her on a wild goose chase. She wondered if He was telling her to go places just to see if she would go. He responded with a question that dug all the way to the intentions of her heart and the reasons for her obedience.

He asked, ‘What if I am?

It’s an interrogation of motivation.

We have no idea what God’s purposes are. We make decisions the best we can, but still question them. I have to come back to the verse I used earlier and take my stubborn blinders off so I can see to follow.

‘[God’s] purpose is not a hit or miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do…’

Is the journey of personal sacrifice for nothing? Would you follow even if you didn’t get anything in return?

I’m too far on this journey to turn back now, but I’m looking for the ‘ram caught by his thorns in the thicket.’

I don’t care if it’s all for nothing and that’s what keeps me resilient. I have no faith in my shape, but a crazy amount of faith in the one who shapes me at whim.



5 Comments on “being movable with immovable faith”

  1. 1 Candace said at 8:22 am on May 1st, 2010:

    Thought-provoking is a real sense:)

  2. 2 Julie R. said at 9:05 am on May 2nd, 2010:

    I had never looked at the story quite that way. I think many times we look at our journey and wonder why God changed His mind… we forget that God knows, sees and orchestrates the bigger picture. HE never changed His mind, because HIS mind was set already.

    I often wonder what the outcome would have been had Abraham taken Isaac and disappeared into the night …Do you think God would have allowed Isaac to die at a later point or even at the same time that Abraham was to have sacrificed him? Do you think that often times our disobedience to what we KNOW God has asked us to do brings about consequences we wouldn't have faced had we been obedient?

  3. 3 Serena Woods said at 6:20 pm on May 2nd, 2010:

    I like your questions. I don't know if you're asking me or just putting thoughts out there, but I have thoughts.

    God promised Abraham 'many sons'. It didn't make sense to kill the man the son's would come from, but, to Abraham, it didn't have to make sense.

    If Abraham were to pack up, take Isaac, and run off: I believe that God would have gone after him. Wouldn't you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? -Luke 15:4

    Maybe He would have made the road so hard to travel that Abraham would have to go back. Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. -Psalm 127:1

    Maybe He would have swallowed him up in a fish.

    Maybe Abraham couldn't continue down the path of disobedience because he, even with free will, was not his own. We know that none of the God-begotten makes a practice of sin—fatal sin. The God-begotten are also the God-protected. The Evil One can't lay a hand on them. We know that we are held firm by God; it's only the people of the world who continue in the grip of the Evil One. 1 John 5:18-19

    I don't think that God would have allowed Isaac to die as a result of Abraham making a poor choice. God's plan supercedes us and our mistakes. We can't make it better and we can't undo it. God always get's His way.

    I do think that we face consequences as a result of disobedience. However, I believe that God planned our lives, included our disobedience and, if we are paying attention, we can see that He had it all worked out in a way that even the consequences are part of the 'good' that God brings about.

    We learn, we gain, we become in the most painful parts of life and some of the most painful parts of life are caused by 'senseless' sin. But, God brings sense to the senseless and that's how we know He's God.

    Evil can be intended, but God uses it to bring about 'good' and sometimes the vehicle of evil is the only way to bring certain things about. The biggest example I have of that is the crucifixion of Jesus. You can read Genesis 50 for another example of intended evil being the vehicle for God's purpose all along.

  4. 4 Julie R. said at 5:12 am on May 3rd, 2010:

    Yes, I was asking for your thoughts, and I appreciate them. You are very insightful. 🙂

  5. 5 Marilou S. said at 11:06 am on May 12th, 2010:

    Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement, as they have hit me squarely in the heart. I'm not easily moved, but tears are falling. I think it's because I'm wrestling with this very thing, and wondering if God has a purpose for me (because I'm afraid of becoming insignificant-even though I know I'm His beloved), and how much of His purpose for me is dependent on my efforts or will His purposes for me be carried out regardless. Or maybe that shouldn't even be a concern. If that's the case can I be satisfied with a life of servitude, without any earthly results to show of my obedience.

    Well, I think I need to read Hinds Feet on High Places, because this is now the 3rd time I've heard about it in the last month, all from different sources.

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