Just days ago, I had to wonder…
If when my life takes no faith, am I truly living?
When it all comes down to the bare basics, the end of the matter, shouldn’t faith reside there?
Maybe it’s all resting on one question:
Do I believe God or not?
Do I believe Him when He promises abundant life?
Do I honestly think I can take Him at face value–that His face alone will satisfy me?
Do I believe He can fill my soul, delight me more than anything?
As much as I tell myself that I want Christ, how much do I really?
Sure, maybe I don’t desire some things that are bad–worldly and out-there–but do I really believe He totally satisfies?
Do I really believe?
Sitting in repentant silence, I knew, of course, that I believed God deep down. But how small that seed of faith was–how much it needed to grow. What kind of faith was this, that produced so little fruit? And the apostle James warned that faith without works is dead (James 2:14).
Mine was just barely holding on.
Holding on by a thread of devotion–a very real place in my heart that knew Jesus was more to me than the whole world.
But what did my living say? It said that after I “pay my time” reading Scripture, saying a prayer, that I was done. I could go look for satisfaction in other things now–in movies, books, friends, television, internet. Not bad things–not at all. But what was I trusting for happiness? And why in the world shouldn’t praying bring me more pleasure than a chat with a friend? Why didn’t reading my Bible satisfy me as much as getting that next novel in the series…
I sat cross-legged beneath a stairwell, asking hard questions in my journal. Close beside me, my computer began to play the Psalms on audio, Chapter 1, 2, 3.
Then, Chapter 4. The narrator spoke right to me:
“How long will you love worthlessness?” (Psalm 4:2b, NKJV)
Oh, for grace to believe that He will give me every good thing! For faith to treasure Him and cast away worthless things.
But I was afraid, terribly afraid.
Afraid that by seeking Him above all, I’d miss out.
Afraid to be stodgy, miserable, depressed. Afraid, so afraid, to give up my way.
Afraid to obey without feelings–yet being a slave to obey my feelings.
But, see, Psalm 4 was still playing.
Soft words, pinning like barbs to my soul.
“But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly….Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 4:3,5, NKJV)
So while I was wondering if it was worth it to sacrifice, God sent His words out with so much power that my soul stood still. My heart filled with wonder at the next words:
“You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased.” (Psalm 4:7, NKJV, emphasis mine)
He will fill me up, more than anything in this world ever could.
He has a better Story than any other novel.
He has a greater Love for me than any romantic writer could dream up.
He has more abundance, pleasure, joy in His presence, than a host of friends could supply.
So I open self-stuffed fists.
“Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.”
– Isaiah 55:2-3, NKJV –