Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Faith Like A Child

I'm jealous of people who have effortless faith.  You know the ones I mean - they never seem to be shaken, never seem to worry, never seem to question.  It's that "faith like a child". 

I'm not one of those people.  It's not that I doubt God's existence or any kind of spiritual crisis like that.  It's just that I have this deep-seated need to understand things.  I have to try to make sense of things that happen.  Sometimes to the point that my constant figuring and reasoning gets in the way of other things I should be doing because it turns into worry.

I've become convicted of two things regarding worry over the last couple of months:
1)  Worrying is arrogant.  It's me trying to be God.  It means I think I can figure it out better than He can.
2)  Worrying is disbelief.  If I claim to follow God I have to trust Him to do what He says He will do.  If I'm worrying I'm not trusting.

I'm a pretty tough person usually, but the one area I feel really spiritually vulnerable is my thoughts.  It's so easy to allow thoughts of doubt, worry, and stress to creep in.  I've especially been wrestling with this over the last two weeks, and I've found two things that help me.  (Notice I said "help me" rather than "stop me from worrying".  The stopping part hasn't happened yet.)

The first thing I've learned is to use praise.  God inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3).  It's practically impossible to worry when I'm singing praise about God being the embodiment of holiness, power, worthiness, and honor.  Not to mention the fact that most of the time I'm singing at the top of my lungs while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on I-35 in downtown Dallas.  I get some strange looks, my friends.  Straaaaaaange looks.

The second thing I've learned is to literally tell Satan to back off.  Those dark thoughts are not from God.  It's Satan using my own nature against me and planting nasty little seeds.  I'm reminded of my friend, KW, who told me a story once about a friend of hers.  The friend was struggling with a discouraging thought.  She fought it on her own for awhile and then finally spoke out loud and said "Hey Thought, why don't you tell my Daddy what you just told me?!".  And wouldn't you know that the thought was gone.  Satan will mess with us, but he knows he can't beat God. 

Just like light and dark can't coexist in a space neither can Satan and God.  If we fill ourselves with Godly things we leave no room for Satan to play games.  I'm still working on grasping this.  I always seem to run myself down with worry and anxiety before I finally tell Satan to "tell my Daddy what he's been telling me".  But every time I ask Him to, God delivers me.  He is faithful and His promises never fail!  And slowly but surely he's teaching me to have faith like a child.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."  ~Philippians 4:4-9

1 comment:

  1. Sarah, I struggle with the same thing. Have you read the book "Battlefield of the Mind"? It really helped me.

    About these people...
    "You know the ones I mean - they never seem to be shaken, never seem to worry, never seem to question".

    Many of the people who seem to have that "faith like a child" struggle with worry and doubt, just like you (and I) do. They just keep it inside.

    Worry is arrogant and worry is disbelief...so true. When you fill your thoughts with Godly things there will not be enough room for worry and doubt! Hang in there!

    I love you!