Friday, January 23, 2015

I am ready for my life to begin

I talk a lot about my faith on this blog, but lately (the last few months) I keep coming back to two questions in my life: 1)What does living in faith mean? 2) What is the purpose of my life? I don't have answers to either of these questions. But I have making some process on these questions and that is what I want to share with you today.

I live my life by pretty much by routine...if you know personally you will not be surprised by this. I like my schedule and knowing whats coming (I do not handle spontaneity well). I get up turn on my coffee pot, have my quiet time while enjoying my first cup of coffee, get ready for work (I put on my moisturizer, then start my makeup, eat breakfast (while moisturizer settles in), take my vitamins, brush teeth, then get dressed (I am paranoid that I will drop toothpaste on my clothes) put on finishing touches, such as perfume, and blush), then I head out for work. Read my book on the T, take the Green Line inbound then switch to the Red line (never really looking up from my book). Usually grab another cup of coffee before sitting down at my desk, talk to my boss about what he would like me to do for the day, then plug my head phones in and listen to NPR. Okay this could go on for a bit, but I think you get my point.., I am a creature of habit and I rather like it (most of the time). Sometimes I wonder if there is something more?

I think this where my original questions come from. Last year I was going through my Bible focusing on verses that I the word "faith" in them (there are a lot).

A couple of years ago with the word "hope" and discovered that hope in God is like a day in Winter knowing that Spring will come and holding on to that. Hope in God is holding onto something we know is coming and keep going forward with that knowledge. (Read more)

There is the classic verse "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." -Hebrews 11:1(NIV) and I am not disliking that verse but I am still left wondering what that means for me? How can I live out my faith? What does "living out my faith" even mean? Is it random acts through out my day? Is it a life style change? And if the answer is yes to that then what does that look like like?

I don't think of myself as a visual person but I would like a model for what it means to live out my faith in the 21st century. Does it mean I have to become a missionary? Does it mean I only listen to "Christian" music, and stop watching TV?  I am not sure. This is the part I grapple with. And I feel in my struggle to answer these questions I get stuck.
I am afraid to make a move because what if I make the wrong move. I also afraid if I move without knowing what to do, where will I go next? Not necessarily physically but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. So I let these fears stop me.

On Wednesday night I went to Community Group (Bible study) and we went through the passage Mark 5 about how Jesus heals a man from demon possession. It is one of those stories in Bible, that are great at showing how mighty God and Jesus are, but hard to understand how they apply to our day to day. However, there was one really great question that stuck out... Do we (I) live as if God is in control?

If I am to answer this question honestly, most of the time, No. I mean day by day I know he is in control because he has the power to take my life away, take away everything I think I own, or every person I love. But He doesn't. But most of the time I feel I take advantage of His love, His grace, and all the blessings He has given me. So I in that way I don't feel I live like God is in control because I let myself take over. However, on the flip side of this I know what it is like to not have God in my life. I have had some low moments in my life where I feel I am drowning in an ocean and no one is coming to save me. I have tried to tread what for so long (just to keep my head above the water) but I am tired of that so I stop treading water and sink. Those feeling are very real to me and I know at those moment I need God more than anything.

I have liked "Oceans (where feet may fail)" because of these feelings. 

I still don't have an answer to my original question... but life is not about having an answer. What I do know is that for me faith is living like God is in control. I am still not sure what that looks like but it is a good first step, I think another step I need to take is just to move. I can't keep letting myself be held back, I can't keep making excuses, and I can't keep praying for change without moving. Now where do I go from here? I am not sure but I know God is in control and that is pretty awesome. Because He is the only one who can provide truth, hope, rest, joy, wisdom, strength, and salvation.

About my second question, from the beginning of this blog, I think I will learn as I discover more and more about how to live out my faith. In reading verses on faith I found a great verse "the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love"- Galatians 5:6b (NIV). I think I want this to be more and more true of my life... that I am doing things out love. 

Last night on Parenthood Adam was having a conversation on finding a passion and following that. I know I have passions and I think using those passions to work for God's kingdom is my purpose. I am reading the book A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and in chapter 7 he states "the ultimate goal of the universe is to show the glory of God." Then he writes "Each of us was uniquely designed by God with talents, gifts, skills, and abilities. The way you are "wired" is not an accident." I think what I need to do is think about my passions and my gifts and begin thinking how I can use those to do work for God. One thing I will have to be careful about is making sure these are not just activities added to my day and that become motions. I recognize I need God's guidance to have these thoughts, ideas, actions, pursuits, and motives to really change my life. Rick Warren writes, "real life begins by committing yourself completely to Jesus." And I am ready for my life to begin...

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