It’s in the Practice

Thinking back on all she had learned, she felt frustrated. And a little bit sad.

She knew God loved her.

She knew He was with her every moment.

She knew He was looking out for her and had a purpose for her life.

She knew He was faithful and trustworthy and powerful.

 

So why, with all this knowledge, was she unable to apply it to her day to day life? Why was she so ready to doubt? Why was just trusting Him so hard?

 

“Lord,” she prayed. “Tell me how to transform my head knowledge into heart knowledge. How do I trust You?”

“By doing what I say. By trying and falling and trying again.”IMG_20180423_204508177_TOP

“That doesn’t sound fun.”

“It’s like learning to walk. You will learn slowly. And sometimes it’s painful. But you have to do it. It won’t happen automatically.”

“Why can’t it?”

“Because I didn’t design you that way. If growth came automatically, it wouldn’t mean much.”

“I guess that’s true. Some of the things I value the most are the things I worked hardest at. At it would be easy to take faith for granted if we never had to think about it.”

“Exactly. And every step you take towards deeper faith pleases your Father greatly.”

“Well, I do want to please Him in everything I do. I guess growing faith fits right in. OK. So how do I take these steps?”

“Put into practice what you read and…”

“All of it? Really? I’ve read so many conflicting ideas and suggestions and beliefs.”

“Listen for Me when you read. You’ll know then what to put into practice.”

“I think I do recognize You sometimes as I read. It’s like my heart does a flip or sometimes grows warm. Or sometimes the words jump off the page at me.”

“Yes, different ways, to keep you on your toes.”

“Is that it?”

“No, You must also put into practice all that I say to you. And yes, all!”

“Even the hard things? And the scary things?”

“You don’t need to fear. I won’t tell you to do anything that you’re not ready to do.”

“What if I make a mistake in hearing from You? What if I think You said to do something, but I heard wrong?”

“That will happen at times. Stay humble, come to me, and I’ll take care of you. I’ll either cover for you or I’ll show you how to fix it.”

“But if I’m going to be wrong sometimes, how can I trust enough to act on it?”

“Don’t doubt but believe. As you act, as you practice taking these steps, you will get better and your faith will grow stronger. ”

“And You will be with me?”

“Every step of the way. I will not let you down.”

She thought about what He said. Although she wasn’t thrilled about the falls she would make over time, she was always thrilled when He spoke to her. And this time was no exception. “Thank You, Lord, for speaking to me and for Your amazing promises!  I will practice as You say. And I look forward to the day when my trust in You is no longer just in my head, but has truly taken up residence in my heart!”

Too Much of a Good Thing

IMG_20180418_195632421It had only been a few days since her encounter with Jesus and she wanted to know everything there was to know about God and about being a Christian. She wanted Jesus to be pleased with her so she worked hard at learning what that entailed. For six months she read every book she could find on God, Jesus,  the Holy Spirit, and the Christian walk. They were all good books –  sermons and teachings and testimonies and autobiographies. She took notes and made lists.

And totally confused herself. Everybody seemed to have their own ideas and methods that worked for them. How in the world was she supposed to figure out how to please God and be a good Christian? She became stressed trying to figure it out, adding more and more to her daily and weekly to-do lists. And finding that they didn’t work for her like they did the people in the books.

Then she began to be convicted.

“Daughter, why don’t you just ask Me?”

She was looking everywhere, except towards God. He wanted her to ask HIM what she should do.

So she asked Him. “What do You want me to do? How can I please You?”

“You don’t have to do anything to please Me. You already do just by being My child.”

“But what about all those things I read about, the things people say I need to do?”

“Do you know why I let you read all those books these past months?”

“To confuse me?”

“No,” He laughed. “Not to confuse you, but to make you understand that I deal with everyone differently. What and how I work with other people is not the way I’ll work with you.”

“So You’ll tell me what to do and when? I can get rid of my to-do lists?”

“Yes.”

And she sighed with relief. Her Father was in charge of her spiritual life. All she had to do was listen. This new spiritual life was going to be amazing!