Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Belief: What am I doing wrong?

I feel like this is my whole life story.

In high school our pastor preached that in order for God to answer our prayers we must believe that he will answer them when we pray.

I started going to youth camp that summer and saw all around me people so passionate about God that it oozed out in everything they did. You could see, like I'm sure it is said somewhere in scripture, the Spirit of God on their countenances. I came home praying for this desperately, believing that of course, since it was God's will that I be closer to him that he would answer this, but pray as I might, nothing came. After a year of praying this way, I began having a serious crisis of faith that lasted for years.

Repeatedly during my life, people have told me that they were praying for my healing, and that God would heal me. Yet for some reason God has chosen to let me live with my illness.

Eventually I reached my breaking point, and God revealed to me that it wasn't my ability to believe intellectually in who he is, but my willingness to continue following him anyway. (John 6:69, played a huge part in this.)

I continue to pray for healing and closeness, but have learned that in some mysterious way, God is glorified more when I am weak, and so it does not mean he doesn't care for me when he does not say yes to these prayers.

But still something is missing. I believe that God is powerful, and I see him acting powerfully in other people's lives. I believe intellectually that God loves me and can do incredibly powerful things. I would say I even believe this in a deeper way, in my heart, but I have never experienced it.

So right now at our church we are talking about inviting he Spirit to work among us. We are talking about becoming a believing people.

and I want this so badly.

I have been praying again for months, seriously, and hungrily, for that power of the Holy Spirit in the things that I do. For him to be visible on my countenance. I pray often that, like 1 Corinthians 10:31, I will do all I do for God's glory, but not only that that will be my intent, but that my life will actually bring glory to God, like it was created to do. We are created for his glory, and I believe that he has orchestrated the circumstances of my life to give me the exact ministry he has intended for me to do, but it will only actually bring glory to God if people see in my life that he is the reason for it all.

So I pray for this, but I never feel or see anything happening.

So tonight at Planning Meeting we talked about how this study of the Holy Spirit was introduced, but there has been a lack of response and feedback, just a feeling that the congregation was hesitant about this. And while this is exactly what I have been dying to do together as a body, I can't help wondering, is this hesitancy me? I don't really know how to respond, what feedback to give.

I want the Spirit more than anything, and I believe that if the Bible says he will give it to us freely, which it does, that it is true, beyond any doubt, but I don't see it. I want to be a believing person. I am starving for this; to feel his power and glory showing through my life, but where is it?

My deepest belief is that God has the power to do all things, and because he loves us infinitely he chooses to do those good things in our lives, but my experience is that he repeatedly chooses not to do them for me. Whether this is in some ironic way also to his glory or not, where does that leave me as a person of faith? What am I missing. What am I doing wrong?

1 comment:

Rhea said...

I think this is a question every one of us has to ask of ourselves: "Am I the problem?"

At the same time, we must realize that God is not looking for someone to blame for our shortcomings. He is looking for us to heartily engage Him. Paul says that he boasts readily in his weaknesses because it is there that God is most evident.

Addie, I really appreciate what you had to say about this.