picture taken from here
The best way to describe faith comes from Hebrews 11:1. Faith is this monster of a thing that can seem so simple at times but creates stress other times. I don’t think I have every loss faith but I definitely can say it has fluctuated over the years. I can admit to being at the lower point on the faith scale at this time.
I was watching one of those mega church tv evangelists Joel Osteen and actually got a useful message. His sermon entitled Stay Open for God to Do it His Way talked about our preconceived notions of what God is supposed to do. Without really thinking about it, so many of us put God in a box with very specific and clear expectations. If things do not work that way then our faith and obedience resembles a city going through a 7.0 Richter scale earthquake.
Our faith can be shaken by the things we see, feel and hear. One of those confusion for me is that each church or pastor gives us this conflicting message on what to expect of God. On one hand we are told to be specific with our prayers and ask God for exactly what we want and then believe it will happen. On the other hand, we are told to stop putting God in a box and be open to the different ways he can answer those prayers. It can all be very frustrating at times and how are we suppose to know the difference?
The thing that inspired me about that sermon is the message to be open to what and whom God brings into our lives. As Christians, we are very quick to judge and distance ourself from things, however, God may be giving us a lesson or trying to find a way to say “Hey I am still here.” It can be so hard to discern what is of God at times. My family use to say ‘be careful of whom we judge because you might be entertaining angels.’
One of my biggest contention with modern churches are how formal and traditional they are and the intent of God is being lost in the “proper Christian appearance.” One of the most important message I received tonight was God changes how he/she/it communicates. God will not be sending an ass to talk to me as he did with Balaam, he probably will not be sending a whale to swallow me like he did with Jonah. However, it seems we are told to expect those things in the year 2010 which is ridiculous. The closest I came to a whale is at Sea World earlier this month. I don’t know about you but I doubt I will be running into any ass (unless it is of the human male persuasion) in the city.
I recognize that I need to re-tune how I see, experience and hear God. I keep expecting it in a certain way and time and may have missed the lessons over the years.