There are moments in our life where we are truly aware of our humanity, our frailty and our inability to control anything. These moments give me perspective on how little control I actually have. These moments bring me to my knees before God and help me to put my faith and trust in Him over myself.
Rom 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
The older I get in my faith the more I see my need for God, the need to spend more time in His word, to drop to my knees and cry out to Him more and rely on Him over myself. To seek strength in Him over myself. Ironically, when I was younger I thought it would be the opposite, that over time I would need less, because I’d be better, stronger, and wiser. There were so many instances when I was sure “I knew”, now I just know better.
Lately, all the circumstances in my life have shown me how much I need to mature as a disciple of Christ and as a leader. How much more guarded I need to be with my words and opinions because they can potentially hurt the faith of those around me. I need more faith in accepting and accomplishing the little things in my day-to-day and greater faith to get me through the darkest, hopeless times. This faith is fueled by my increased time in God’s word and my belief in its power not only for myself but for others. It is the ultimate source of wisdom for all circumstances.
Eph 6:10-11 (TLB) “Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan.”
Too often I can arm myself with all the wrong things. When I put on My armor instead of His I am critical, contemptuous and defensive. These things erode trust and kill relationships. In this mindset I not only try to fight my own battle, but I take on others’ as well. This only leads to me taking on what is beyond my responsibility and results in hurt feelings and disappointment for all involved.
Restraint is an expression of true power. It’s power under control. Christ at the cross is the ultimate example of this. When I accept that I am powerless to change people and protect them I am able to accept and rely on His power to love them. It is then that I can see my role and my portion and focus on what he has placed within my boundaries. When I arm myself in God I can own my thoughts and filter them through him instead of airing them to others. Not everything that needs to be said needs to be heard.
Dt31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
God Himself does go before me. When I remember that, I can stop for long enough to realize that trying to outpace him is simply silly. But that is exactly what I try to do when I try to “fix” things on my own or when I let loose my thoughts without restraint. I am recognizing all the more that I cannot help others or myself without relying on Him. I am not a savior, He is.
Eph 6:12-13 “For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies—the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world. 13 So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing up.”
My fight is not against people. As silly as it may sound, sometimes that is exactly how it can feel to me. If I, or someone close to me, is wronged I am quick to pass judgment and want to act. I am called to pause and remember that my perspective may not be the correct one. I can see someone or a given situation through my own lens, but that does not mean I have the accurate view. God always does, if I pause long enough to let Him show me. God’s wisdom asks more questions instead of jumping to judgment. Even though He is all knowing he asks questions to allow others to search their own hearts. When I am clothed in His armor I take the time to address the issue and not the person.
Eph 4:25-26 “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: Wakeup, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
To bring my thoughts into the light, I must bring them to Him first and filter them through His truth. To bring situations into the light I must be willing to search others hearts instead of judging them. At other times I must be willing to give God time to work. Ultimately, He brings all things into the light whether it be for me or those I am trying to help.
So I’m learning to lean into faith in many ways – to rely on God over myself, to trust Him more, to remember that this battle is not my own to fight. God arms me for the fight and goes before me. It is then that I can entrust those dearest to me to Him and serve them better. By faith, I am learning to accept that I am not a perfect granddaughter, girlfriend, employee or leader. God provides the faith and courage for me to be humble, apologize, and for all of us to move forward, in Him.