Faith in God

Strive Not...

Strive Not...

When we strive to “make” something the way we want it to be, or even the way we believe God said it would be without waiting on His timing, we will always be left with sin and relational wreckage.

God is always on-time, His time that is.  We cannot manipulate God into providing our “promise” any earlier than He has already decided.

Sarai allowed her husband to sleep with another woman and conceive a child who’s descendants are still living in strife and wanting to kill her offspring.

We see in scripture Sarai and Abram wait for over 10 years for the child that God promised.

We see in scripture that Rebekah and Isaac wait 20 years for a child.  Once finally pregnant, Rebekah inquires of God and He tells her that she is carrying two children and that the older one will serve the younger one.

Rebekah strives to make God’s promise of the older son serving the younger by concocting a wild scheme to fool her husband, and deceiving him to give the blessing for the “first-born” which would have been Esau, to the younger son Jacob instead.  This ultimately led to her two boys to be separated and Esau wanting to kill Jacob (family divided and in strife)

In both cases, God makes a promise.  In both cases the women strive, (by putting faith in their own way of doing things vs. waiting on God) to make true what God has promised in their own power.

strive

to exert oneself vigorously; try hard: He strove to make himself understood.

to make strenuous efforts toward any goal: to strive for success.

to contend in opposition, battle, or any conflict; compete.

to struggle vigorously, as in opposition or resistance: to strive against fate.

to rival; vie.

I particularly like the definition “to struggle vigorously, as in opposition or resistance” because I believe when we are “striving” we are trying to accomplish something in a way or timeframe that is in opposition to God’s timing.  Striving and sinning are found side by side, it is impossible to please God without faith.  We begin striving when our actions are based on faith in man and our plan vs. faith in God and His.   Is there anything that you are battling for right now?  How much time in prayer have you spent regarding this situation?  Are you confident that the actions you are taking to achieve your goal do not break any of God’s other commands?

Isaiah 45:9

Woe to him who strives with his Maker!—a worthless piece of broken pottery among other pieces equally worthless [and yet presuming to strive with his Maker]! Shall the clay say to him who fashions it, What do you think you are making? or, Your work has no handles?

image

The only thing we should strive for?…..things of the kingdom

Jude 1:23

[Strive to] save others, snatching [them] out of [the] fire; on others take pity [but] with fear, loathing even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality.

Luke 12:31

Only aim at and strive for and seek His kingdom, and all these things shall be supplied to you also.

May we all learn from Sarai and Rebekah to not strive to make things happen in our time, but abide in His presence and wait upon the LORD to fulfill His promises in His time.

a·bide

to remain; continue; stay: Abide with me.

to have one’s abode; dwell; reside: to abide in a small Scottish village.

to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship, etc.; last.

verb (used with object)

to put up with; tolerate; stand: I can’t abide dishonesty!

to endure, sustain, or withstand without yielding or submitting: to abide a vigorous onslaught.

to wait for; await: to abide the coming of the Lord.

to accept without opposition or question: to abide the verdict of the judges.

to pay the price or penalty of; suffer for.

Written by Jamie Shaver

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?

Are you BOLD in the Spirit?

   When you come before the throne of God in prayer, do you come with confident boldness or with caution and timidity?

   Recently I was hospitalized with necrotizing fasciitis (otherwise known as “flesh eating bacteria”) in my left arm.It was an intense experience full of pain, drama, and unknowns.With loss of life or limb brewing in my body through this deadly bacteria, I knew it was not a time for timid prayers!It was a time for audacious trust in the LORD.I determined I would trust in the LORD, regardless of what experts, conventional thought, or all other circumstances had to “say.”

      I went before the throne of God with every promise, every verse, every bible story I knew that talked about trusting in Him and His faithfulness.There was NO other way to get through it, than to trust in Him who is “The Way.”

On several occasions I was overcome with fear, like a wave of insecurity and doubt engulfing me.The fear had a voice of its own and would say things like, “the infection is going to come back” and“God didn’t heal you completely.” In these dark moments I had to press in and pray bold prayers of faith that gave me the holy power to resist the devil.

Do you dare to ask God for what you really want?Do you reference His promises to you as His child in scripture?

I would pray a prayer like this to help me overcome the fear that taunted me:“Father God, you know all things.Your Word says that you will ‘never leave me or forsake me’; that you cause EVERYTHING to work together for the GOOD of those who love you.I love you, God.I don’t know what you’re going to do, but I trust in Who you are.You are for me and not against me.I pray for complete healing.”

I will forever be grateful to my brothers and sisters in Christ who joined with me in holy, audacious prayers before the LORD.I was blessed, encouraged and strengthened by your prayers!

By God’s grace I was completely healed.I had a “flesh eating bacteria” that ate nothing!Miraculous indeed!By God’s grace, doctors were able to save my life and keep my entire arm and hand intact.

If you’re experiencing fear or doubt, I encourage you to go boldly before the throne of God.He is good, and you have been made worthy by the blood of Christ.

“One of the most essential qualities of the faith that is to attempt great things for God, and expect great things from God, is holy audacity.Where we are dealing with a supernatural Being, and taking from Him things that are humanly impossible, it is easier to take much than little, it is easier to stand in a place of audacious trust than in a place of cautious, timid clinging to the shore.” ~From Days of Heaven Upon Earth

     If the circumstances in your life appear to you to be insurmountable, I encourage you to go before the Lord with bold, audacious prayers, trusting in the promises of God Who specializes in the impossible!

Written by Jamie Shaver

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?

Flinch-Proof Your Faith

“If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.”  Elizabeth Rundle Charles

Flinch: verb

1. to draw back or shrink, as fromwhat is dangerous, difficult, or unpleasant.

2. to shrink under pain; wince.

Are there any parts of your Christian faith that make you wince?

Do you ever wish you could take an eraser to certain verses in the Bible?

I can tell you that the times I’ve “flinched” in my faith have been times when I’ve feared man more than I’ve feared God.

I shrunk under the fear of possible rejection.

I found it easier to draw back from an unpleasant conversation than state the truth from God’s Word.

Upon doing the following I began to notice that I flinched less and less in my faith:

  • Participated in an “in-depth” bible study that helped me understand WHO God is, so I no longer winced at those tough verses in the bible.Instead, I began to understand them in the full context of the Scriptures and character of God.
  • Prayed that God would enable me to share His truth with love.
image

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 When you boldly speak His truth, and people reject you; remember they are also rejecting Him who sent you, for you are never alone.God never flinches.

Written by Julie Van Gorp

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?