So over this past weekend, I had a heavy but brief episode of worry and doubt. WHY? Because my faith wavered and logic kicked in. I can be honest and admit that my faith gets a tad shaky sometimes. I struggle because I am and have always been highly analytical. I have a terrible habit of over thinking and dwelling on things. Usually, I don’t like to let things go until I can figure it out. My analytical skills have certainly benefited me in many ways. One thing for sure, I excelled in college as a psychology major BUT the analytical approach can be DETRIMENTAL to faith. Our logic leads us to expect and want God to work in certain ways; however, often God works in ways that make absolutely NO SENSE…AND I MEAN NO SENSE! That’s where I struggle. I have a problem with things that don’t make sense. My faith and logic are in a constant battle. Whichever is fed the most will rule. As my Pastor always says, we must starve our doubts and feed our faith.
The story of Abraham’s life is the GREATEST faith story in my opinion. In the book of Genesis (Chapter 12), God instructed Abraham to uproot from his home (leaving all of his family) and relocate to a foreign territory. God then went on to promise Abraham great abundance and prosperity as the father of a great nation. God also promised Abraham a son AND CHECK THIS- a little while after his son arrived, God told Abraham to go to a mountain and sacrifice his son on the alter as a burnt offering. Now, WHOA! That right there is a bit much. If that doesn’t sound ABSURD and CRAZY I don’t know what does! No part of what God required of Abraham made ANY SENSE AT ALL! Putting myself in Abraham’s position but operating in logic instead of faith, I would have had a conversation with God something like this:: “Wait wait wait wait…so I’m supposed to leave all of my friends and family and go off to some random foreign place?? How in the world am I supposed to live?? Where will I work?? How will my bills get paid?? Where in the world are you taking me???!!! And a child??? I’m dang near 100 years old and you’re talking about I’m supposed to be having a child??? Whaaa??? This old body is not having that!!!…..Ok Lord, you gave me a son like you promised but now you’re talking about killing him as a sacrifice???? Lord is this even you talking to me or is this Satan???? Uuuggghh, I think I need a psychologist!”
Now you may be laughing but think about. How would YOU respond if God told you to move away from all familiarity into a foreign land, promised you a son at a super old age, gave you the son then told you to kill him as an offering??? Most of us would go into HEAVY spiritual warfare and swear up and down it’s Satan talking to us. Seriously. It took tremendous faith for Abraham to have obeyed God- faith that God knows what’s best and His will is superb. Imagine what would have happened if Abraham chose to walk in logic rather than faith, overthinking and analyzing God’s instruction. He would have FORFEITED every blessing and promise. Now just think- how many blessings do we forfeit because we get stuck in our logic and choose not to obey God?
Just like Abraham, there are promises over our lives. The 91st Psalm promises protection and victory. Jeremiah 29:11 informs us that God plans to prosper us. Deuteronomy 28 is my favorite because it spells out the multitude of blessings for those who are obedient. Though I’m quite familiar with these scriptures and many others, logic occasionally kicks in which raises doubt. Over the weekend, I started thinking, thinking, and thinking about all of my financial responsibilities and my lack of finances. I started dwelling on my debt from college loans (grad school is EXPENSIVE). I grew weary and began developing plans. Here we go with that again, MY PLANS rather than just trusting His. Looking back I should have expected the devil to be mad and try me. After all, last week I just blogged about SUBMITTING TO GOD’S WILL AND TRUSTING HIM 100%! No wonder God tells us to remain prayerful and vigilant (Colossians 4:2). As always, I talked with my mommy about my concerns and potential solutions. She reminded me of my track record of trying to fix things myself rather than trusting God. She reminded me that I’m in my current struggle because I tried to do things my way a year and a half ago. As always, she encouraged me to stop looking and start believing. Once I chose to let go and let God, relief and peace came over me. Indeed, God led me to the graduate program I’m currently in. Like a Abraham, God will see me through and bless me as I walk in faith and obedience. He surely hasn’t brought me this far to just leave me. That’s not like our awesome God. He promised to NEVER leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
Faith is believing what we cannot see. Faith is believing beyond what makes sense. If we could see and figure out everything, we wouldn’t need God. God loves His children and He wants us to always remain dependent upon Him for everything. Don’t get me wrong- it is not always easy. Sometimes we find ourselves in tough situations where we cannot see any possible way out. Just look at it like this- the tougher the situation, the greater opportunity to see God demonstrate His power. I urge you to listen to the song below. It really encourages me to surrender every care and concern to the Lord as we are instructed in 1 Peter 5:7. As Steffany Gretzinger powerfully sings in the song below, be still my heart and know you are God alone, stop thinking so much and just let go.