#TransparencyFiles: God’s Word Isn’t Enough… For Me.
There are so many great songs that talk about the power of receiving a word from God. I’ve listened to them, sung along, agreed and even memorized a few. But on my faith walk, I find myself more like Thomas or maybe even the children who came out of Egypt… God’s word isn’t enough to sustain me. I mean, sure, I intellectually know that he’s done great things for me. I can feel the power of his presence moving in an atmosphere. I know when an encouraging sermon has uplifted my spirit. But if I’m going to be completely honest, sometimes God, who has never changed, is not enough.
I swing like a pendulum between my-way and his word, between what I see and what he said; between what’s happening in the present and what’s to come… And I throw up my hands with disgust. I’m not supposed to be THAT Christian. Sure, my actions may be the same — I haven’t made a move that contradicts what God said, but what about my mind? After all, it’s rarely about what we "do," but about how we think. If the enemy can get my thinking off course, it’s only a matter of time until my actions follow suit. I don’t care WHICH story you pull from the 66 great books, every failure of humanity first started in the thinker.
"So stop thinking." — Problem solved. Right? Nope. Wrong. Asking a human to stop thinking is to turn off the very thing that makes them go. I can’t stop thinking more than you can change the color of your skin. If you’re going to do it, it’s going to require intervention of something OUTSIDE of yourself. Which means, I have to get outside of me. In this battle for brain-real estate (which by the way controls my emotions, decisions, and environments), I have to go deep within me. God says that "deep calls to deep," and in getting deeper than my skin (aka flesh), I have to willingly submit, my mind. . . . with it’s flaws.
I don’t know how this process works for you, but for me it’s like this:
1) Get some place quiet & likely away from the internet 😉
2) Think about the current thing that has me stumbling to apply what God has said
3) Admit that I’m having trouble simply standing on what God said. And this is the part I love and hate the most. In this part, I see how deviously off my ways can be. For example, God word says "the righteous have good days on the earth" but my relative isn’t having good days and, in fact, the reports aren’t getting better. So in admitting to God how I’m having trouble, I see all the ways I’ve tried to help the situation or, spoken less than God’s word "well she’s just getting older and these things sometimes happen…." Even my casual conversation betrays (or portrays *cringe*) what I believe as true… If God said it, then my corresponding action should be to apply what he said and only what he said right? But that’s not what happens. So G and I walk through all of the ways I can stumble at his word in my regularly scheduled life… how clumsy I am in guarding my thoughts and how hands-off I am with managing my mouth that gives life to situations.
4) I get real about me. Because of #3, I usually end up having an attitude adjustment about how I see myself with respect to the word of God. It’s clear that the trouble isn’t with God….So that means…. yeah. adjustments necessary. And this is the fun part. I always find that life drags me down. But when I think about and discover God’s word (which comes to me through the bible, dreams, and through other believers) for me, I get juiced up on hope. And this hope isn’t based on what I can see. No, it’s based on something that’s working beyond this realm, and for me, that’s just the type of foundation I need.
5) I ask God to seal the moment of time with him in my heart. I don’t want to lose the precious faith that I gained in the presence of God. So I ask him to mark it on my heart so that I am forever changed by the encounter with him. I live in this revelation and ask him for continued courage to do what I need to do, when I need to do it. That’s super important.
God’s word then becomes enough to correct my current course of action & change the future less-than-great decision I would’ve made in an instant….and we all know how critical some instances are (queues up the scene in the garden of Adam & Eve).
Okay — I’m off to do some more apply of words that are now enough!