Wednesday, October 5, 2011

When You Don't Feel Like It

I think we often over think our faith. Lately, I'm hearing more and more people say things like, "God has given up on me", "I can't feel Him" or "I don't think He's listening to me". I think we've all had times where we encountered feelings similar to that. I think it's simply human nature to want to feel something, or sense something. But I wonder how many of us truly understand the very concept of faith.

Wikipedia says this about faith.
Faith is trust, hope and belief in the goodness, trustworthiness or reliability of a person, concept or entity. It can also refer to beliefs that are not based on proof. Religious faith appeals to transcendent reality, or that reality which is beyond the range of normal physical experience.

Some critics of faith have argued that faith is opposed to reason. In contrast, some advocates of faith argue that the proper domain of faith concerns questions which cannot be settled by evidence. defines faith like this.
"Confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability. Belief that is not based on proof"
Faith and human reasoning don't always mesh. Human nature  comes with the tendency that desires explanations, understanding and/or feelings. Faith is NOT a feeling. If you have faith, He allows us to dwell in His presence by dwelling in us. Sometimes you just have to believe even when you don't feel like it. And sometimes you have to focus intently on Him, tuning everything else out that doesn't align with His word in order to simply move forward.

There have been many times in my life (and there still are) times when I just don't feel like praying. There are also times when I don't feel like following His Word, or obeying what He's saying in my heart. There are many, many times when my emotions want to rule, or my mind wants to over think certain things to make me doubt my faith. But the times thatHhe's blessed me most are times when I do it anyway, putting my fleshly desires aside. The mere act of putting the flesh aside proves just how serious we really are about our faith.

The Christian life isn't one that just happens. Walking with God takes intent and focus, or at least it does for me. It's like I'm walking and talking with Christ in a wooded area. We're on this winding path, of which I would never be able to find my way through on my own. So if I start to look too hard at the beautiful scenery, I start tuning Him out. And it doesn't take long before I can't hear Him anymore, nor can I see Him because I got distracted.  I'm not saying that we have to tune others out. I'm saying that our primary focus in life should be to please Him. And in order to do that, we must pray, seek and listen...even when the the world tells us otherwise.

We were created in His image, although our own ways distort the greatness of His ways. Just like we each want to seek and be sought in our relationships--so does He. When I lose Him in the woods, it's my job to yell out to Him--if I'm serious about my relationship with Him. I need Him, and I must start calling for Him immediately to ask for forgiveness and His help to stay the course. I have to make the effort to connect with Him in order to move forward. Of course, He didn't abandon me, He's been nearby all along. He expects me to learn from the times where I feel lost without Him and to be driven by those times I've failed to stay focused on Him to do just that.

We humans aren't ones to accept things very well, or even remember them, if we don't have to work for it. If we don't have to put any effort into it, we quickly become stale and bored. If we don't have to seek it, we don't really want it. He wants us to love Him, although we can never love Him to the extent that he loves us. And He wants us to seek Him in order to show it, fulfilling our part of this relationship.

When you can't feel Him, seek Him. That's when you should seek Him most because you're right where Satan wants you if you don't. I encourage you to pray even when you don't feel like it. When you don't know what to say, simply thank Him for things he's done. He's only asking for our efforts, because it's been proven over and over that we won't be perfect in this life. But don't stop believing. Don't let your emotions rule you. If you do, you won't be happy with the results later.

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