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Monday, September 23, 2013

Works without Faith: and other Spiritual Tantrums

I've had several people tell me that they appreciate the "honesty" of my blog; the fact that I don't sugar-coat my own life circumstances apparently makes it easier for more of the normal readers to relate. The truth is that most of the blogs we read or even just daily accounts we hear from other women show us how everyone else is so spiritual and perfect and how greatly we fall short of what God probably desires.
To that point, I see loads of people who call themselves christian but have no works or fruits to show for it. I know they love Christ but there is no evidence of it through what they do, only through what they say. The reciprocal of that is the work without the faith - which is much less evident to those around us. It's impossible to look at someone else and know if there is a true, holy motive behind their actions. If you are acting without faith, no one else is going to know except you.
Like most people, I have days, times, seasons where I throw my own spiritual tantrum. I stomp my feet, ball up my fists (spiritually of course), and shout "I don't wanna!" reminiscent of a spiritual little Rumpelstiltskin when someone has guessed his name. The earth doesn't open up and swallow me, but it is a fair bit dramatic, regardless. Sometimes these spiritual tantrums and feelings of "I don't wanna" coincide with my choice to continue to do the right thing. So on the outside, I appear to be a good little christian while on the inside it is for all the wrong reasons.
At times, I am so excited to have another little blessing in our family. I want my pregnant belly, the little kicks from inside, the sleepy little newborn and the baby clothes and the "you're pregnant again?" and the car seat and the stretchy clothes and the extra helping of dessert.... I could go on all day. Alternately there have been times when all I could think about was what if I am pregnant? What if I don't get to enjoy walking without a waddle? Or wearing clothes without looking swollen? Or being too tired to function? I am constantly preaching about the joys of children and how much of a blessing pregnancy is, but occasionally I get these feelings of just not wanting to do it right now. It's selfish, and it's wrong. My family's ministry is founded not on having a bunch of kids - It literally has nothing to do with the *number* as far as that aspect is concerned. It's about 1) faith that God can control the womb and support whatever blessings you are given and 2) Christ's love showing through when you speak about and interact with your many, challenging little blessings. When I am totally open about growing my family through this purpose but on the inside I am thinking something different, I'm basically lying; and I am working without faith. Once my motivation shifts, the "work" to my "faith" becomes something other than a spiritual work. The good deed becomes nothing; and although it is hidden from others that the motivation is impure there is One who sees it.

Hebrews 5
11 Concerning this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your [spiritual] hearing and sluggish [even [f]slothful in achieving spiritual insight].
12 For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food.
13 For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]!
14 But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.

Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works (dead formalism) and of the faith [by which you turned] to God,
With teachings about purifying, the laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment and punishment. [These are all matters of which you should have been fully aware long, long ago.]
If indeed God permits, we will [now] proceed [to advanced teaching].

The book of Hebrews serves as an open letter to Christians. These chapters discuss the need for spiritual maturity - mentioning, specifically, moving beyond simply abandoning dead works. The principles mentioned are explained as being something we should have mastered a long time ago. This is not new, profound revelation in our walk with God. This is your face-palm moment. If you can't even understand the most basic principles of Christ's teachings, what kind of testimony do you have? It may not seem like a huge devastation to your spiritual well being but the scripture says otherwise. Stop laying a foundation on these simple procedures and move forward! I don't know about you, but I don't want to get "held back" in Kindergarten when I'm 26. If you continue to lay the same foundation, you will consistently look like a construction site with no finished buildings. That's obviously not the Lord's plan for us as witnesses to the world.
Now, it's easy to say, "It's not my fault I don't want to do what I'm supposed to. The enemy is ......" blah blah blah. You have to take accountability. The enemy may try to plant thoughts in your head or persuade you with temptation but it is up to you how you respond. The snake lied to Eve and she disobeyed God, but Adam disobeyed just from the words Eve spoke to him! They both had the ability to say yes or say no, regardless of their circumstances. You have to ultimately decide if you are willing to risk spiritual warfare because in your temporary worldly mindset, your motives are not actively pure.
Sometimes it's worthwhile to sit and pray, crack open your bible, and ask for healing of the mind :)

1 comment:

  1. Greetings Abby! I'm Heather and I was wondering if would a question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

    ReplyDelete


"Jesus cannot forget us; we have been graven on the palms of his hands." - Lois Picillo