Simple Faith

 

faith messageI have grown in my faith over the years. I remember trusting the Lord when I was a kid. I was baptized when I was in third grade. I grew up in a family full of faith. My parents and grandparents followed the Lord. Going to church was not optional for our family. We were very involved. I remember “pushing the envelope” and trying some things that were against our family rules. I learned later that my parents knew more about this than they acknowledged. When I went away to college and had freedom from my parent’s rules and regulations, I had some decisions to make. I can still remember where I was sitting on the evening when my faith became my own. I was watching a passion play at Johnson Bible College and I saw Jesus being punished for the sins of the world. I remember renewing my faith in God at that moment. I believed in God on my own. I had lived off my parent’s & grandparent’s faith up to that point.

Hebrews 11 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible as the writer pulls the old testament characters into the context of the new covenant. These men and women brought much inspiration to millions over the years and their faith was simple and thorough. The writer speaks about this simple faith and its significance to my journey with the Lord. Check this out…

1 Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.For by it our ancestors won God’s approval.

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:1-3,6 CSB)

I believe faith is simple, but not necessarily easy. Faith is easy to talk about and even write about, but harder to live out. I believe that my faith is much like a muscle, the more I use it, the stronger it gets. Over the years of my life, I’ve leaned into my faith because I didn’t see any other options. I’m not in charge of the weather, the economy or even others. I do know the One Who is charge of EVERYTHING and I trust Him. He has walked with me through some dark valleys. He has protected me in some major storms of life. My faith grew profoundly during some of the darkest days of my life.

My simple faith reminded me of “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

I want my simple faith to impress the Lord. I want to grow in my faith today as I live out what I say I believe. James reminded me that my faith without works is dead. (James 2:26) I want to work and live because I’m saved, not so that I can be saved by my works. I trust that the Lord created the earth and is preparing a place for those who trust in Him. I want to spend the rest of my days discovering more of Who God is and walking in simple faith before Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Youthful Commitment

ChildrenI remember as a young kid how I trusted the Lord. I grew up in a home where there was respect and love for God. My parents lived out their faith in front of me. I remember simply loving God with my whole heart. As I grew older and had more things coming at me, I remember making choices that were not what the Lord would want from me. I remember somehow justifying my behavior. I would wander off from Him and then return to Him. This happened way more often than I care to admit. Jeremiah records the Lord speaking to Israel who was doing the same thing – they had wandered off and the Lord calls them out on it. Check this out….

‘This is what the Lord says:
‘“I remember the devotion of your youth,
    how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the wilderness,
    through a land not sown.
3 Israel was holy to the Lord,
    the first fruits of his harvest;
all who devoured her were held guilty,
    and disaster overtook them,”’
declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 2:2b-3 NIV)

 

I believe the Lord loves simple faith. It’s not complicated and hard to describe. I think the bottom line is: “Do you love God with your whole heart?” If my heart is divided between the Lord and things of this life, then my faith is weak. The Lord will not share space in my heart with sin. He wants to be Lord of all or nothing at all. That is really pretty clear throughout scripture. As I surrender more of my life to Him, He gives me freedom to live life.

I believe until I breathe my last breath I will fight the flesh and the desires of my flesh. I grow closer to the Lord when I surrender those struggles to Him on a daily (hourly or minute by minute) basis.

I think it’s healthy to remember back to when I first met the Lord. That was a simple trust and a pure love. I was naïve enough to simply believe in Him. As I’ve grown older, my love for Him is much deeper and way bigger. In some ways I’ve made my faith way too complex. It still comes down to some daily choices to trust Him or not.

Press On!
Dwayne