Sunday, May 25, 2014

How do you advance your Faith?

I've been a bit overwhelmed for the past 3-4 months and especially in the weeks of late. I began a website about 3 months ago. Basically I did it so I could help a friend learn how to do it, so I thought, why not? I'll just do one and get it up and running so I'll know all the ins and outs when she's ready. It wasn't that hard, but it was mentally taxing. Eventually with God's help I completed it and hit the "Live" button and began publishing.

I knew a little about this from having done this blog for over 4 years now, although the formats are a tad different. Anyway, between this blog (which I haven't kept as up to date as much as I've liked) my prayer group on Facebook for ladies living with Chronic Illness and now keeping a website up to date, many days I've felt like all I do is sit at the computer and write; on my ladies page, in my blog or on my website.

You might be thinking "Poor little thing, all she has to do it write something on her social media sites, what is she complaining about?"

I'm not complaining, believe me, I know I live a
blessed life but I was beginning to question if maybe I'd bitten off too much, even for me. I can be a pretty productive person when I have the energy and can really accomplish a tremendous amount if I'm feeling good and am up against a deadline. I worked in a very fast paced production department for many years, and know how to handle the demands of changing things at the last minute and fitting everything in right up till the deadline. No big deal.

Side bar---the summer heat has set in here in Florida, and let me tell you, it is starting to be really hot and humid. With MS, the heat totally drains the energy right out of me. You can probably understand if the heat bothers you at all, but for people like me who struggle with multiple sclerosis, it feels like my electrical system is being shorted out, literally.

So, I was beginning to question myself. Help me Lord, what should I do?I can't keep this up, can I? I'm exhausted just thinking about it. First I posted a message in my ladies group, asking if anyone would like to help? I got a lot of "likes" for my comment, but only one lady said she'd love to help, but can't be counted on to be reliable. Well, that's not gonna work, I need someone who I can rely on. I thought I'd pray about it some more, knowing that God would come through with an answer.

I was listening to Dr. Charles Stanley this morning, and I thought the Lord was talking right to me through this anointed pastor. Last week's sermon was about intellectual and saving faith. Today, this insightful pastor took it up a level.

Today's sermon was about advancing faith, which means going through intellectual faith (the realization of the existence of God and Jesus his son), to the the second step, which is saving faith (knowing, understanding and acknowledging God and his son Jesus Christ. Giving your life to Jesus, confessing yours sins so that you can be cleansed to live with the Lord forever in eternity, and starting on your faith journey.

The next level, which I learned about today was how God wants you to advance your faith, so that you aren't stagnant, which can lead us to doubt and unbelief. He wants you to always move forward so He can use you and your testimony in the world. You are no good to Him if you don't grow in your relationship with Him. Makes sense to me? How about you?

Dr. Stanley then proceeded to give us 10 ways to help us advance our faith. One highlight really caught my attention. He talked about us knowing and observing the ways of God. Telling us how we cannot grow in our faith if we aren't schooled in scripture. We must know the Word of God, we must read our bibles each day and learn about God through His Word, to move our faith forward he said. He talked about God using our suffering to teach us lessons and therefore strengthening our faith. Don't listen to people telling you that you can't handle it, with Jesus by your side, you can do absolutely anything. Don't doubt yourself! There is always going to be self doubt, and other people doubting you, don't listen to those voices.

Wow, that one hit me.... Don't doubt myself? That is exactly what I was doing. I was ready to give up on God. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and said, " I can't handle this, I need to get out, I need help, it's too much for me." I always am telling others to not doubt God, but here I was doing the exact same thing. Boy, was I ever WRONG.

Then I started thinking about people who changed the world with their faith. There are many that come to mind; the Reverend Billy Graham, Corrie Ten Boom, Dr. Charles Stanley, Pastor John Hagee, Joyce Meyers and on and on, there have been so many of the centuries of mankind's existence here on earth.

Stop and about just these recent saints and what an impact they have had on this world. No doubt they started slow, probably with no one helping them. But they wasn't listening to that voice that said they couldn't do it. They were listening to God Almighty and no one else. They didn't care what others thought about the way they did things, they just carried on, little by little, and through the years, they grew into some of the most respected people of faith the world has ever seen.

Now, believe me when I say, I know I'm no Billy Graham or even Joyce Meyers, but they had the faith to step out and do what God called them to do and they were able to change many lives and win many souls for the kingdom because of it. They rose to the call of advancing their faith and they changed the world. Why can't I? Why can't you? Why can't any of us?

That sermon this morning revived me! I know that "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13. Somehow God will make a way for all of this to work out. He is the God of the impossible. Why should I ever doubt? Matthew 19:26 says "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

So, off I go to conquer the world! At least my little part of it. I'll do the best I can, knowing that my Lord will have my back each and every day. Sounds like a pretty great way to travel through life, right?

After I heard the sermon, I was getting ready to write in my blog. I turned on some Christian music to inspire me. Guess what song came up first? The Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns, exactly what I needed to hear.

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:


Help my unbelief! Help me to not doubt myself when I am following your call to duty. The road might not always be easy, but with you by my side, I can handle anything. Help me to tune into Your Voice Lord, which is always the Voice of Truth.

In Jesus name,