Faith is often referred to as something we “live by” or “walk out.” What does that even mean?
Phrases like this roll easily off the tongues of believers. Like a cliche’, we hear the words but don’t consider their implications.
As I take time to do so, my mind likens this idea of “living by faith” to a journey. There’s a beginning, an end, and a whole lot of things to see and do along the way. Some are beautiful and some are downright dangerous.
Ever the visual thinker, as well as an uncoordinated individual, I also imagine me on the journey – stumbling along rocky paths.
Stumbling can be messy. Stumbling might cause bruises, scars or more harrowing things that I don’t even want to type out. I might get back up. Yet I often head down the same darn path only to stumble again. And it repeats.
I don’t know about you, but If I keep stumbling in the same places, that should be a clue to try something different. Too often I don’t. I’m stubborn.
I just take the same path, thinking I’ll just do better next time. I’ve gotten used to the hobbling that follows the stumbling.
Meanwhile, God offers what we need to run and run well. He offers me new paths, particularly in our thought life.
Today, I’m taking time to consider a few of the paths I take far too often as well as the new paths God guides me to.
Thinking I Am Something I Am Not
God wants me to think of myself as I am. Not more, not less, and not as someone else, but as who God created me to be.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. ~ Romans 12:3
Consider this; one who is sober has a much better awareness than one who is not.
When it comes to seeing myself as God wants me to, I don’t want a drop to drink. I want to think soberly and there rest and rejoice in being the me God has created me to be. I am His unique creation fashioned after the image of a perfect God. May that always be more than enough!
I doubt God can do what He says He can do. And by golly, He CAN do what He says he can do. He will also do what He wills to do. Is that going to be OK with me? Will I really believe it?
I also doubt God wants to do powerful and good things for me and through me. For you, yes. That’s easier. For me? That can be a little harder.
I need reminders of His power, and of His never-ending love, often.
When doubts creep in I need truths to replace them. Do you have some favorite verses that speak truth to you? Would you share in the comments below?
I have a tendency to focus my thoughts on myself. I mean, they are my thoughts after all. Too often I get trapped in my own thinking and then it gets really treacherous. I’m over-thinking my circumstances, my problems, and how to work it all out for good.
God asks me to focus on Him. Trust the details to Him. He says, it is being worked towards His good.
In a recent post I stated that “I have a tendency to process life through lenses blurred with emotions and etched with self.” How about you? If someone came up to you today and told you that you weren’t seeing things clearly, or that you have been deceived, how would you respond?
I’d likely respond, with emotion. Perhaps, a lot of emotion.
Deep down, I would know that it is possible, I could be deceived. If I’m honest with myself and God, I’ll ask Him to reveal His truths, even if it means hearing the hard things from others in my life who see what I cannot.
And this is just the beginning. There are far more thought paths that cause stumbling.
In what ways does your thought life cause you to stumble? What truths is God teaching you? Please share in the comments below or join us on the Facebook group.with love, Jolene
For more on how to work through stumbling thoughts, check out Unleash: Heart and Soul Care Sheets.
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Oh my, I cannot even begin to list all the ways this post spoke to/convicted me. It has been a bit of a tough weekend, and most of it was because of my own selfishness and pride. Years ago God nearly beat me half to death with Romans 12:1-2. I spent the better part of a year focused on those verses. Seems the Lord and I have a bit more work to do in my heart in order to transform my mind. Some days it is two steps forward….three steps back. So thankful for forgiveness, grace, and mercy.
Oh Leah, I know the feeling! I’m often hard headed and it takes a lot of reminding and much renewing. I’m with you friend, especially in thankfulness.
I can relate to this on so many levels. I’ve felt myself slipping into self-pity during this season of my life, instead of taking God’s hand and asking Him to show me the way. I get stubborn and sometimes I think I like the pit. Thank you for these words of wisdom this morning.
Thank you, Jolene, for these truth-filled words. I struggle with looking through lenses “etched with self” too, especially as a blogger who wishes she would just stop checking her stats already! So true – God asks us to focus our minds on Him, and He is sufficient and able and peace-giving. Thanks for encouraging us to have truth-transformed thoughts today.
I have been away from my blog community for weeks now – planning a wedding, having a wedding, going on a honeymoon, starting everyday with my husband…So nice to be back. Wow how PERFECT this is for me right now(always seems to be ;-}) I struggle with my darkness….with my flesh…with my unbelief…whatever you want to call it, I struggle with it. With the reality that I am living a holy life, in the fallen body in this fallen world, loved by a holy, righteous, and perfect God. There are days(like the last few) I can feel myself internally fighting that last truth – loved by a holy, righteous, and perfect God. Sometimes I want to push it all away, angry that He’d think I – terrible, awful me – would be worth all of this love, grace, favor, and care. It’s a weird place to realize I’m in and have been in for a long time. And I KNOW it’s perception, deception, unrenewed thoughts, false core beliefs…whatever you want to call it. But there is something about going to The Body – in whatever form the “going to” occurs – that helps us to ground ourselves. And my sweet sweet husband – everytime he holds me, I’m reminded of a fraction of God’s love for me. A strong, passionate, committed fraction, but a fraction none the less – and for this, I am grateful.
I cannot tell you how much I relate to where you are/were at the start of this challenge! Finding your blog and reading through your series so far was very encouraging for me today. The ‘fog’ that you spoke of is even heavier today than the beginning. Reading this post, I realized I need to take a step back and refocus. I am praying for continued clarity for both of us!