In the last blog, we discussed the dichotomy between what we see, think and feel versus what God has told us. In this divine middle ground is where faith lies. When Jesus was put to death, believers were forced into this dichotomy of what to believe. Will they remain muddling through their own thoughts trying to make sense of what just happened, or will they focus on the words of Jesus as He prepared them for what is to come?
In Mark 16, you see how faithful God is to those who choose to follow His Son rather than live for themselves. Everything that Jesus told them would come to fruition, thus solidifying their faith in Him. This would propel His disciples to go into the world and preach the Good News; see verse 20. They could be God-confident since they knew that “the Lord was working through them and confirming what they said.” This is because Jesus met up with them so they could see firsthand that He truly is alive and well, that He indeed rose from the dead, see verse 8b. He was sending out the first missionaries to tell of His “unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life.” In verses 15-16, Jesus continues, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.”
Today, the mission has not changed. Every believer is called to share the Good News that Jesus Christ is the living God who came to save those who are dying from sin. How did the disciples remain faithful to the call? What kept them going even when circumstances challenged what they see, think and feel? They had to have gotten tired, frustrated, bewildered, and fearful. They must have grown weary in wondering if this call from God is worth it. To keep denying your own wants and desires to follow where God is leading can challenge any divided heart.
Jesus meets with you in a deep, personal way when you receive Him into your life. You become spiritually alive when His salvation comes upon you. He remains with you from now on and He gives you the secret sauce that helps you to keep going, to keep the faith, to stay the course like the disciples did. God abides within you by means of the Holy Spirit.
What you gain with the Spirit is a continual, 24/7 lifeline to God. You have direct access to God which means you can chitchat with Him throughout your day and even in the night. In Ephesians 6, Paul says to put on the whole armor of God, see verses 10-17. Every believer must recognize and be alert to the enemy. What do you learn about the enemy in verse 12?
You are called to resist him for the time is evil. Yes, the days have been evil since the enemy deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden, and they will continue to be until Jesus returns to end evil. Checkout the book of Revelations to learn what lies ahead for mankind on earth. It can be daunting to understand so if you would like a simpler synopsis, check out my book, God Hears My Heart. At the end you will find it.
Here’s how to apply the secret sauce to your faith, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:18)
Every believer is to be chitchatting with God throughout their day remaining in constant contact with God. God wants to hear everything that concerns you whether good, bad, or miniscule. For example, my husband, daughter-in-law, and her brother LOVE my dill pickles I make them every summer. I have a cucumber dealer that I have gone to for quite a few years. This year, she’s not growing baby cucumbers for pickling. Now what do I do? I asked them to pray that I either can find someone else, or I will find them at farmer’s markets. While it is not a big thing in the world, it is a big deal to God. I can pray and we shall see how He answers. This might be the year where I do not make them. In any case, I can go to God and ask for help knowing that He is hearing me.
I love buying Christmas presents for others. I have been told that I buy nice gifts that suit the recipient. Want to know my secret in finding the perfect gift? I pray and ask God to show me what a particular person needs or would like. He is faithful to oblige, and I get things cheaper than what I had planned! God is good in helping me out.
I know a woman who is very stylish with clothing. You would never know that she shops at garage sales and consignment shops for each thing and when she goes home, God has put together complete outfits, including shoes and accessories to match. She always looks like a million bucks. Her secret? She prays. God answers her. She will tell you that she can’t put outfits together on her own. She gives God all the glory when she receives a compliment.
I hope you are encouraged with this. You can chitchat with God for He cares about EVERYTHING that has to do with you! You can trust Him with EVERYTHING. What are you afraid of? Pray. What do you need to give up or start up that is causing you to turn your back on God and not listen? Pray. God understands the dichotomy between your flesh and His will. He wants to help you move from “it’s about me” to “it’s about Him.” Memorize John 3:30 as you chitchat about your fears, failures, inadequacies, hopes, dreams, wants and desires. God can handle it all, and He LOVES it when you go to Him.
Today, go to God. He will bend down with a very attentive ear and listen to you. Pray for discernment as you study His Word daily. No believer can thrive without it. This is where your faith will take flight and your soul becomes peaceful and content. A surrendered soul that follows Jesus becomes a beacon of light to the world.