Do I really believe God is who He says He is? Do I really believe God can do anything, and be everywhere, and save me? Do I believe that God is and does what He says He is and will do?
I know in my head that God is good, gracious, just, and merciful. I know in my head the attributes that make God, well, God. But what I’m not sure about is do I really believe it. Do I live like I believe it?
Somewhere along the way, I seem to have gained a fairly good head knowledge of God but I’m lacking in the heart and hand knowledge. Please don’t mistake this, I know that God saved me many moons ago and that He is continuously drawing me closer to him. He is continuously refining me, chiseling off my rough edges bit by bit. Even when I’m in the middle of a mess, I am fully confident that God is molding me and preparing me for something (even if I don’t necessarily appreciate that). I know that. What I’ve come to realize though is that as much as I believe God can do anything in my head and say as much with my mouth, in the very darkest corners of my heart I’m not sure I believe He will.
I’ve lived through God’s not healing. I understand that sometimes that in and of itself is a greater testimony and answer to prayer than healing would be. But somewhere in the mix of my past experiences, I’ve stopped believing that God is in the business of miracles. I’ve pushed God down into a predictable little box that I can understand. Even when miracles do happen in my life and I say with my mouth that it’s God, in my heart of hearts I tend to lean toward luck or coincidence. Even though I know with my head that God’s fingerprints are all over so many miracles in our lives, (prime example: Tom’s Visa) there’s a block in my heart that keeps from believing it wholeheartedly.
Even though God answered my prayers and gave me the desires of my heart in meeting and marrying Tyler, I tend to wait for the rug to be pulled out beneath me.
I’ve been listening to some old If:Gathering messages (and they’re AWESOME btw), and maybe that’s what brought this all on, but I can’t help but see these amazing Christian Women who are so open, so real, and so raw on stage and I envy them. How cool would it be to get to encourage and teach women about God for a living? And then I think “I could totally do that- I’m open about my issues, and my heartaches, and my life; I’m an open book!” And then I start thinking about how many times I’ve offered up this hand just so you wouldn’t look at that one. I am so open with some stories just so you never think to ask about others. I confess the flashy neon sins just so I never have to talk about the others. Sure I’ll go to the altar to pray during church, but I’m always aware that I can’t loose it because then I’ll have to walk back to my seat and I don’t want to have to answer question. I live in a constant illusion of taking off one mask and throwing it as far as I can just so you don’t look too closely at me.
In listening to these If:Gathering talks, Jennie Allen shared some insights from here book Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked my God and my Soul. Here’s a quick excerpt from it:
“If I was the devil, I’d tell you what I’d do. I would try to deceive you and get you into error. I would get you off base. And if you still stayed true, I would try to disqualify you. I would get you immoral, I would get you where no one would believe what came out of your mouth. I would make you a tabloid, where nobody would believe you. I would remove your confidence until you were afraid to speak because your life was a shamble. I would get you into sin. I would prowl like a roaring lion to devour you morally.
And if I couldn’t do that, I would try to make you successful. And I would distract you if I couldn’t disqualify you. I would get you busy. I would get you so distracted to the gospel that no longer would your prayers be about holiness and souls. They would only be about the bottom line in your business. I would get you materialistic, and no longer concerned about the spiritual nature of life. If I couldn’t do that, I would divide you. If I couldn’t divide you, I’ve almost lost you. You know what I’d do then? I’d discourage you. And then if I couldn’t discourage you, I’d try death. I would try my best to kill you. That’s what I would do to take you out.”
Not only is Jennie a fantastic speaker and author, she hit the nail on the head with this one. And now let me add one to it: “If I were the devil, I would make you think you believed God by giving you a god you can understand. A god that does things the way you would do them.” After all, that’s what most of expect. This is NOT God.
God is greater than anything we can imagine. He performs miracles all the time if only we would have eyes to see them. He gives us glimpses of his divine love and amazing nature through creation. Every single day He gives us little blips of joy and happiness straight from Him. But we don’t see it. I don’t see it, because I don’t look for it. I don’t ask for it. I don’t prepare for rain when I know God is more than capable of sending a downpour.
I don’t know what the answer is to this. Even as I write this I think of Elijah on Mt. Caramel with the prophets of Baal (1 King 18) and I can’t imagine being in his shoes. Not because of how amazing it would’ve been to see God take those fake prophets out, but because I doubt. Elijah went up against 450 prophets of Baal (PoB) to prove that God is God. To summarize, Elijah challenged the PoB to set up an alter with a bull on it and whichever God accepted the offering (by burning it) was the true God. For ~4 hours Elijah waited and watched as the PoB’s danced and prayed and begged their god to burn up the offering. In Elijah’s sassyness he tells them ,”Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” (Seriously E? He definitely had on his sassy pants!) So the PoB yell louder and end up cutting themselves to try to attract their god’s attention. Finally, it was Elijah’s turn. He built his altar and then commanded 4 big jars of water to be dumped on it. He then commanded the same to be done again and again a third time. There was so much water on the altar that it was soaked! It even filled the ditch around it with water.Remember, the sign of the true God was going to be if the offering burned up on the altar. So after Elijah douses his altar he prays. He prays that God would answer him so that the people would know God and have their hearts turned back to him. And BOOM! The fire of God consumed the offering, the altar, and all of the water that Elijah had dumped on it. So in a matter of seconds, a bull, an altar (made of stones, rocks, and wood), and 12 big jars of water that had drenched the aforementioned all burned up.
I can’t imagine being in Elijah’s shoes because I can’t imagine being that confident that God would come through. Oh and since I forgot to mention it, Elijah had a price on his head during this time so not only was his reputation on the line, his life was too considering he did this in front of King Ahab. If God chose to limit his power when Elijah asked, not only would the Israelite’s have turned even more from God, Elijah would’ve been killed. Talk about true faith!
So do I really have the kind of faith it takes to believe God. No. Do I have even an ounce of the kind of faith Elijah had? It sure doesn’t feel like it. Y’all I want to pray that God will continue molding me so that one day I’ll have that kind of faith, but if I’m being totally honest- I’m almost scared to say those words. Do I really want the kind of faith that demands action? Do I really want to be like Elijah and stand against the odds and face my own demise? Do I really want to change the world and win souls for Christ even if it wrecks my idea for my life? Or would I rather stay sitting on my couch in Fayetteville enjoying my favorite show on Netflix? Do I truly want to be moved to action or am I comfortable in complacency? Do I really want to surrender my entire will and my entire life or do I just want to give God pieces?
These are the questions that I have to answer with my heart. These are the questions that require a life change. I’m not sure I’m ready to try to answer them, but here they come whether I want them to or not. What’s your answer?
- To see other posts by Christian Women, check out