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Unchallenged = Unchanged

25 Jul

Rather you are personally acquainted with the residents of Biddinger Boulevard or you have only peeked in through the window of this blog, you have to agree that they have faced some things on this planet.  Some challenges have come about of their own making and others, well, not so much.  But this is what I know as I prepare to write this post today:  Faith unchallenged is faith unchanged.

If I’m consistently praying for growth and asking God to increase my faith, and on my good days I am, then I have to expect opportunities to stretch my new faith muscles.  Times when I get to see if it’s just talk or if I’m willing to lace up my walking shoes and really step the thing out.  Today is just such a day.

Over the last few weeks I have been inundated with the truth of who God is and so desiring to have faith that can move mountains.  I’ve shaken off some chains that have shackled my feet forever and began believing Him in an area I was totally holding back.  I don’t want to overstate because I’m having to claim Scripture over it daily, but the point is, that I am believing Him for the victory.  I’m desiring to be obedient right now not when it is more comfortable for me or better timing.  I read somewhere recently that to truly experience the Comforter we have to be willing to leave our comfort zones.  There’s some truth to that for me because I have a tendency to become complacent after a while.

You’d think that with all we have gone through, just in the last year let alone the last 20 years,  that I would have been challenged enough for a lifetime.  How in the world could I have an unchallenged, complacent bone left in my body?  I’ve seen Him be BIG, HUGE, and FAITHFUL so often.  And yet, there are still places in the back of my brain that wonder, “But will You be faithful to me in this?  Will You be my refuge if I go there?  Will You protect me from that?”  I don’t want those back-of-the-brain places directing the feet of my faith.  But, unless I hit a challenge that makes me act, I will never know if I am truly living, moving, and finding my being in Him.  See what I mean?

I have to be grateful for the chances He gives me to know where my faith is at and to see the fruit of the growth He has prompted in me.  Did you catch that – “the chances He gives me to know . . . and to see”–?  Let it sink in a minute.  He already knows the depth and the breadth of my faith.  He knows what I will trust Him for and what I will believe of Him.  So who needs to be strengthened by it?  Who needs to see progress and have tangible proof that my faith walk is moving forward?  Oh my goodness Girlfriend – I do!  And so do you!

I need to know that there is fruit in my life of His Presence.  You need to look at me and see Him making a difference in my life.  It’s the same for you and the people who peek into your life.  You are the way that God has chosen to make Himself known in this generation among these people.  Every faith challenge you come up against is a new opportunity to shine like a star in the universe.  And don’t you know that Glory always shines brightest against a stormy background?

God does NOT need my growth or yours.  Does He desire it? You know He does. God does NOT need my faith to increase. He does NOT need your faith to increase.  But does He long for it?  Beloved, you can be certain He does.

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.  Acts 17:24-25

He doesn’t NEED a thing from us.  But oh, how He longs to see us consumed by our NEED FOR HIM. He knows that only when we are consumed with Him will we be complete. Now, we’ll not get there this side of glory, but we can continue, by His grace, moving closer.  And so He lets us see the tangible proof we need to keep fighting the good fight.  He spurs us toward more.  That’s who He is.  That’s His goodness.  That’s His compassion.  That’s His LOVE on display to you and through you.

See, your God is ALL about you.  And that means you don’t need to be.  You don’t have to worry about what’s coming down the pipe because He’s got it. So, if something comes into your life that challenges you, and I don’t mean to sound trite, but Sister, rejoice in it.  I’m not minimizing whatever you’re going through at this time, LIFE ON PLANET EARTH IS HARD!  But our God has set His Face like flint and He will not withdraw from the challenge or let His children settle for a less-than, untested, unchallenged faith.  Oh Praise His Name, He loves us enough to call us to more.  To cause us to draw nearer.  To lean in closer.  To listen harder and to look more intently.

So Sister you let your talk become your walk and you move ahead with confidence.  Whatever obstacle, whatever dark cloud, whatever difficulty you have staring at you, look right back at it with eyes of belief, and know, to the bottom of your soul, that your God is about to break out of that storm and shine like the noonday sun.  And then Girlfriend, you better grab your sunglasses cause life is bright that close to Glory!

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