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Archive for February 3rd, 2014

Stand Firm – Part I

“Moses spoke to the people: ‘Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you’re never going to see them again. God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!’” Exodus 14:13-14 (The Message).

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I have a hard time sitting still.  I drive my family crazy sometimes because even when we’re relaxing, I have to be doing something.  Chewing gum while reading, reading while watching TV, or cleaning while talking on the phone.  I didn’t necessarily see that as a bad trait to possess and figured I just had more energy than some.

I wrote a post on October 20, 2013, titled What Faith Looks Like, which talked about how I wanted to be more like the Roman centurion whom Jesus praised for his great faith. I lamented that my faith, while growing, wasn’t as strong as the centurion’s and therefore, I felt like I’d failed because I had to work harder at my faith than he did. I was frustrated with the periods of time I would doubt, even after seeing God’s provisions in our lives.

This morning I had the radio on while I was baking and cleaning the kitchen.  My mind was wandering – reflecting on what I had read during my devotions that morning while at the same time, consciously choosing to praise God for providing for our needs without seeing how.  A particular song on the radio caught my attention, and it was then I realized what I’d really been doing.  Not consciously, but doing nonetheless.

Exodus 14:13-14 written above is a verse God specifically gave to me in the spring of 2013, instructing me to stand firm and let Him deliver my family.  I’d been studying His word, fasting, praying without ceasing, exercising faith, and believing He would answer our prayers before we saw the actual answer, all while practicing works instead of receiving His gifts.  Really receiving His promises.  Not purposefully, but depending on performance subconsciously.

I was so used to doing, I didn’t realize I was turning my faith into a work as well.  Let me explain.  God wants us to come to Him in child-like faith – believing that Jesus will answer our prayers despite anything we do or don’t do.  It’s coming in faith that believes He’s doing the work, not us doing anything to earn that work that pleases God.  He doesn’t want us coming to Him and thinking, even subconsciously, that if we just believe enough, fast enough, pray enough, or turn in circles three times every morning while touching our nose that then and only then our prayers will be answered.  It’s not about our doing anything.  It’s about our doing nothing and believing with everything that Jesus does it all.

Come back next time to discuss this topic a little more in depth.

© 2013 Cheri Swalwell

 

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