I have been thinking about faith in practical terms lately. Among other things I have discovered that there must be a very real “crisis of faith” that arises between a Kingdom assignment and the intended encounter of God’s Kingdom come. This crisis of faith can be uncomfortable and even scary at times. When in the middle of a real crisis of faith several things become clear:
- God has to show up!
- I will sink without God’s support!
- The potential breakthrough will provide a testimony that God is real!
A huge and dangerous issue for me is that what I used to experience as a risky step of faith often does not feel that way any more. For example, this certainly is true with some of my experiences with the ministry of deliverance. My first occasion of deliverance was filled with desperation and fear and trembling. I literally remember engaging faith. Years later and many deliverance sessions under my belt, leading someone through deliverance no longer feels so risky.
That in and of itself is probably not a good heart condition, but what makes it far worse is that this spiritual attitude can and has at times flowed over into other arenas of my life with God. In other words, there was a time when my relationship with Jesus was such an amazing adventure, always full of risky challenges that stretched and grew my faith. Yet the life with God that once felt challenging and risky no longer does so much. I think this situation would not be an issue if it were applied only to a specific area where one had a lot of experience, as in the case of deliverance with me. Unfortunately the condition is contagious. The problem is that the attitude that I can approach a Kingdom assignment without FAITH feeling like RISK makes one’s faith muscles increasingly lethargic and weak over all. I can easily allow myself to live in the relative shallowness of my own God given capacity. But I was made for the deep end!
And so I repent.
May faith feel dangerous and like taking a risk once again. And may my life be unexplainable apart from the reality of a supernatural God consistently at work in and through me.
And what about you? How are your faith muscles these days?
Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
You’re right about faith needing to be vital and alive, not to “get used to things”. My 16 y/o daughter was telling me the other day that sometimes she feels like she is more aware of God during the hard times in her life, while during the nore normal (easy) times, she feels less aware of Him. I wonder if that is a developmental stage of the life of faith. I certainly feel like the times when my life was in crisis were the times when I was most aware of Him, and surprised by Him, and (felt) loved by Him. But even though we might get used to some things, I find that there is an irreducible experience, a “knowing” of God, that comes whenever I am open and not defensive. Worship is one place where that happens for me all the time. It also used to happen for me back when I was doing psychotherapy, when I was in that most sacred place with clients, hearing their deepest pain, joining them, and seeing God. It was absolutely irreducible. I find that I can experience that now simple listening to people talk about they’re hurt.
By the way, we really miss you. But it will make the reunion all the better!