Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 12:57PM
A friend of mine was talking to me about our latest teaching series, Keeping Faith SIMPLE. The idea of believe came up. Belief not in the power of God so much as in the person of God. When our faith is based upon God's power we seek to control the outcome. True faith believes in the person/character of God (along with His power). But this faith is simple, but not easy. Take Jeremiah for instance... Jeremiah, as a young man, late teens, received a tough calling, "I need you to speak my words to my people." He thinks God and me, together on an adventure—should be great. God then tells him the words that he is to share-if the people don't turn, they would become slaves. God wants to shake his people up and is going to use Jeremiah. Jeremiah thinks ok, it's God's work. But nothing goes well. The people just want him to shut up. Jeremiah is captured, beaten. He gives God a piece of his mind. Jeremiah 20: God you sweet-talked me. This is not what I had in mind when I said yes. Things are supposed to go well when God is involved. He said cursed be the day, cursed be the womb, cursed be the whole thing about my birth. But you DID call me. He aches to honor his call, but he wants to be successful in the ruses of the world. He then resolves to go back and tell the people again. He goes back and the guys throw him in the bottom of a 30ft cistern. How can this be? Sometime later some men have pity on him and lift him out of the well. He says, I know that God called me. I think I'm going to have to give up that idea of success. He does this month after month, and year after year. One day the enemy comes over the hill, it carries all the people (including Jeremiah). He writes his lament. IT NEVER DID GO WELL! In Lamentations 3 he finally says God's mercies were new to me every morning. So at the end of the day, great is thy faithfulness. I'd do it all again if he asked me. I don't know about you, but there have been days that I have wondered whether or not I would do it again. Then I am reminded that God is still God regardless of my circumstances. How to you "keep the faith" when you are in the cistern? How do you rise above your circumstances?