Friday, September 21, 2012

Why my faith choked out.

This post is long overdue, but every time I picked a date for it, I was unable to post on that day. So here it is.

As I mentioned before, I had been struggling to keep my faith alive for months until recently and it took a revival in my spiritual life for me to figure out why.

And the reason is frighteningly simple.

James 2:26 (King James Version): "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

So... yes... works is necessary. Not to get into heaven, but simply to keep your faith alive and thriving.

Does that mean that I could have saved my faith months ago by giving money to beggars in the street? ... Not necessarily. Because I haven't been called to give money to beggars in the streets.

I've been called to help the kids in my church's youth. To help the "newly" converted find their feet. To use my voice to praise Him.

In the past year, I for all intents and purposes was blocked in every way I tried to do the two former works I'd been called to do. And the latter... well, made me feel hollow. Because it's a bit hard to focus on praising when there's always someone trying to pull me down whenever I refuse to conform to their standards.

So yeah... I spent a year basically unable to do what I was meant to do and that knocked my faith down. Badly.

That changed a few weeks ago when a new youth pastor arrived. Although I'm sensing resistance yet again, I now see it coming, so I'm going to fight it with everything I have. And if that fails, I'll go around. But what I won't do is lay back down, because it's so not worth the aggravation caused by choking faith.

The fact is, my faith coming alive changed my life again, because I got the opportunity to serve under one of the three choir women most intent on bringing me down, and because I did it in a nice way, a peace seems to have been declared. So now I'm actually enjoying the choir again.

And I joined the Youth Band.

And I'm more actively involved in helping the youth.

My faith is thriving.

Does your faith have purpose? When you're young in the faith, your purpose is to learn as much as you can. After that, you'll probably discovered what you've been called to do.     Is something keeping you from doing it? Are you/your doubts holding you back? Is there something you can do about it? Pray? Change your outlook? Move through your doubt?

I hope this gives you some help and answers, and if you want/need some prayers, please feel free to let me know.

Have a blessed weekend!


Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm so glad you're finding joy again and enjoying so many church activites.
I'm invlved with my Women's Ministry at church and altough it's a lot of work, I always seem to learn and grow just being around other women of faith.

Connie Keller said...

I'm really glad to hear that you're doing better and finding joy in service!

It reminds me of a quote, which isn't exactly the same as what you're sharing, but it reminded me of it. "When I looked at Christ, the dove of peace flew into my heart. When I looked at the dove, she flew away."

(I think it's Augustine, though I Googled it and several sites said it was Spurgeon. But maybe Spurgeon was quoting Augustine.)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

So glad you are feeling more alive....I know when I help someone it does something to me. :) Sometimes I really miss being a teacher. I know I was called to do it, but the administration I worked for took the joy in it away. Thankfully, I still am able to keep up with lots of my former students...I'm still mothering them and it makes my heart feel good. :)

Mike Keyton said...

When I pray it's always God quietly telling me what I should be doing.

Angie said...

Great post! I know how important that is. I will soon get a new calling at my church. That's hard because I love what I am doing now so much. I don't know what the new calling will be, but I cab already commit to do it with whole heart.

Peaches Ledwidge said...

I'll request prayers as I still search for a church to ground myself.

Misha Gericke said...

It's the same with me. I'm growing because of the fact I'm teaching. :-)

Misha Gericke said...

That's a beautiful quote. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :-)

Misha Gericke said...

Yeah I know what you mean. Sometimes other people have this toxic effect on things we love. To the point where it's better to walk away than to stick around.

That's how I feel about singing in the church choir. I love singing, but the other sopranos took the pleasure out of it, so I gave up trying to make myself sing there.

Misha Gericke said...

Same here. :-)

Misha Gericke said...

Yeah, sometimes God makes us move on from a place where we're happy because there's more growing to be done somewhere else.

Good luck with your new calling! Praying for you.

Misha Gericke said...

Done. :-P

I actually spent my university years migrating between churches. Learnt a ton that way.

Then God put me in a church where I'm supposed to help.