If I haven’t done the work, I won’t be ready.
Don’t worry, I don’t think my salvation depends on the things I do. It absolutely does not. But, since I am in a relationship with God, communication is important. Stepping out in faith is a part of the package and sometimes it is a s-t-r-e-t-c-h!
Stretching helps me be ready for what is next.
Recently, I tried to do something I have done many times before. This time, however, it took a lot more effort than I care to admit. What happened in the time between when I last did this activity and now? Plenty of nothing.
And just like that, I wasn’t ready for what I wanted to do.
It was discouraging and maddening. And a not-so-gentle reminder of how abilities can disintegrate when not used on a regular basis. It feels like I am starting over.
Of course, life is about starting over — a lot!
And it seems like faith works the same way. I have my core faith. My baptism promise. My confidence in God’s ongoing work in my heart and life. And when I abide in Him, my roots stretch and grow. When I don’t, I can’t expect to have a rich relationship. God always meets me where I am and patiently waits for me. But life will always put demands on me. I would much rather be stretched and molded into God’s perspective so I can choose to respond in a Godly way to the circumstances around me. I want to be sensitive to His guidance and leading and ready to do the next thing. If I always have to stop and start from square one, I won’t be in spiritual shape for what is next.
Naturally, God is there, ready for me. It doesn’t matter if I am two steps forward or ten steps behind. My story is His-story so He uses all of it and redeems it all.
His love brings about my response. Allowing Him to grow my faith and trust is a part of the process!
Even though Paul wrote this to the Thessalonians, it reminds us that growing in faith increases or capacity for other things.
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 2 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV
God’s blessings on your week!