August 24, 2007

A good week to be me.

Friday morning. Last night was meet the teacher night at school. We are looking forward to a great year. Three days left of summer vacation.

This week I have spent alot of time in God's word and in books. It has been a sweet time. It is a good time to be me. God is really calling me to have a stronger faith, I can feel the tugs on my heart. One of the things that has really hit me this week is that God never forces anything on us. I have always thought of that in regards to accepting Him as our Lord and Savior. But I am realizing it also has to do with our own spiritual growth. We have the choice to grow or not. We can put our faith in Him or in something else, but our faith always resides somewhere. It could be in our own self, thinking we need no help; it could be in our job or in financial success; or it could be in someone else, like a spouse or mentor. Once we become a follower of Christ, we can remain a baby in scripture and continually being fed milk, or we can mature and move on to heartier meals. I know I have grown in Christ in many ways including my faith, but God never leaves us the same does he? He loves us right where we are but calls us closer to Him every day.

Where has my faith resided? In whom do I believe? The Lord. Even the demons believe in and fear God scripture says.

I was reminded this week as I was listening to the audio CD of Believing God by Beth Moore of a fictional character named Angela. Angela is a stuffed lifesize doll that represents various teachings that we might be familiar with. Growing up Angela's family loved God. But they kept God in churchy places - in the pew at church or church socials. They never talked about God at home. Angela was taught that God is irrelevant outside of church. As a very young girl Angela felt like she was being called by God, she believed that He was speaking to her heart through the beauty that was placed around her. She told her grandma and her grandma told her that God doesn't really speak to us. He does speak to few mind you, a few very important workers of each generation, but not very many, so Angela was taught God was impersonal. Then Angela at 13 years old asked her bible class teacher to pray for her grandpa who was very ill, and her teacher was happy to pray for him, but told Angela to not get her hopes up because God really doesn't heal people any more. Angela was taught that God was unwilling, too weak, or just plain mean. When Angela grew up and started looking at college's her parents wanted her to go to a Christian college. Any one would do, just so she would learn a little about God. And that was the God that Angela grew up to know a "little god" a god that was impersonal, irrelevant in daily life, unwilling, weak and maybe even a bit mean. When she went to college she was taught from her old, wise philosophy teacher that our God was also the the same god of other world religions. She learned that God was common, even though when the angels sing out Holy, Holy, Holy and they sing of His Otherness. Angela found out that on her college campus that pain killers were sold like candy. She was caught in the fiercest addiction of her life, and where could she go? In her mind there was no way out, the god she had been taught was no God at all. He was a god made in man's image. A god that the people around her could explain. The God of the bible is not that god. The God of the bible is mighty to save. The God of the bible is only lessened when we try and explain who He is. The bible says He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, He is the I AM.
I could definately see that Angela and I had a few things in common. For 16 years now I have studied God's word, read the bible, and sought Him. God delivered me 16 years ago from a pit I that I had dug my heels into. There was no way out. I took a chance and asked God to save me, and He was mighty to save. He turned my world upside down and delivered me from my sin, moved me to another state and there I started my journey to falling in love with Him. I will never forget moving to Abilene and working at the church. The people around me talked about God alot, they lived for Him. I could remember thinking how odd it was that they spoke of Him so adoringly like they really loved Him. Once I spent time with those people I saw many things I did not possess - the first thing I noticed was peace, then a forgiving spirit, then a kindness that was not based on their circumstances, they were not out for themselves. Peace when the waters in their lives were rough. Peace when they spoke of someone they loved dying. Peace when they spoke of their own final resting place. I wanted that.

God has certainly been faithful to me, He says seek and ye will find, knock and the door will be opened, He doesn't say I will cram my faith into you like it or not. So I must be seeking Him, knocking on His door, and ready to receive His increase. In scripture it says your faith is refined by fire. It melts off the gold, jewels and wood, but your faith is refined. I finally feel that scripture. Our faithwalk never ends until we see God and all of His glory in heaven. But I can feel some of what I had in my heart being stripped away. A couple of the scales on my eyes have been lifted. God is much bigger than I ever imagined or can ever imagine, that is what I have studied this week. The greatness of God. It is a good week to be me, thank you God for calling me.

One of the quotes from Beth Moore says, "Ordinarily faith that goes unchallenged goes unchanged." What that means to me is that unless I ask some questions of God, and seek Him to get those answers, I could just never grow. There are rough waters associated with growing in God. Waters that have an undertow, but as long as I keep my eyes on Him, He will walk me through those rough waters and keep me from falling.

One of my most favorite scriptures:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. Isaiah 43:2

5 comments:

Denise W said...

Good stuff for today. I needed it...

Melene said...

This post and yesterdays post at Beth Moore's Blog have greatly insprired me. Thank you so much.

I hope things went well for you and your family last night. It was SO HOT in one of our daughter's classrooms, but in her reading teachers' room, across, the hall, it was nice and cool-almost cold! Hopefully things will be worked out by Monday.

Jenni said...

Amen, Tammy.
Thank you for speaking about these things. Love to you....

Terral said...

I have never read your blog before Tammy. I feel blessed that I hopped over here. How encouraging! I pray that God will bless you and your family!

Terral said...

I am going to pray for your son Jack! I am going to put his name on my fridge so he will be in my families constant prayers.