Sunday, January 23, 2011
Just What I Needed
I have been reading an old book. It belonged to a senior woman with great faith. It ended up in the church library. On the day the library folded, the title caught my eye and I rescued the book.
IN SEARCH OF A DEEPER FAITH
by Catherine Marshall (Author of the novel Christy)
I read it from cover to cover. Ms. Marshall's candid sharing about the lessons God taught her in her life resonated with my heart. It's one of my favorite books. Now...many years later, I slid it out of the shelf hoping to dip into a chapter or two to find some encouragement and strength for a difficult situation. The pages fell open to the chapter on Obedience. Obedience? This has nothing to do with what I need right now. (Besides I'm always obedient. Ha Ha) I almost turned to another chapter, but something inside me said "wait".
As I read the chapter I found there are many interesting benefits to obeying God. The one that meant the most to me personally was based on John 7:17.
"When we purpose in our will to obey Jesus and tell Him so, then we shall know whether Jesus' teachings are from God or merely His own."
Now for some of you this may not sound like a big deal. But for me, it meant something. Because I struggle at times with faith. This verse reminds me that a strong desire to obey God will result in strengthening my faith in Jesus. Another way to say this is: If someone truly wants to love and obey God...the faith will follow...and will get stronger.
Just in case I'm getting off track...here is how Jesus said it. (He was responding to the Jews who were debating among themselves about who Jesus was. Were his teachings coming from a mere man, or from God?) Jesus responded,"My teaching is not my own. It comes from Him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own."
Back to my difficult situation: If I believe that Jesus is God's son, I certainly can trust that he has the ability to help me with my problem. There is nothing he cannot do. After all, he created the universe.
My part will be to obey him. And he will do the rest.