September 16, 2012 (really!)
So thank You for that book, and what You showed me, through it, about faith...
How faith is not something we conjure (with great effort) from within ourselves... but comes out of our realization of our total helplessness (and sinfulness...) and our need for utter dependence upon You.
Only then can we cry out to You, "Help my unbelief" ... and allow You to provide that mustard seed that allows us the faith to turn to You with our supplications: earnestly, perseveringly ... "by prayer and fasting," yes?
And consecrated to Your work... not to our ideas, our efforts, our goals...
"...can alone avail to bring the Holy Spirit's aid in the battle against principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and wicked spirits in high places."
Oh! And when we allow sadness, doubt, jealousy etc to take root in our hearts, we come into a state of darkness from which we cannot battle the enemy. (We must be on guard to not become careless... Carelessness leads to stumbling and unbelief and lack of faith and thus of God's power... right?)
It is faith that connects us with Heaven's strength... we must constantly realize our helpless unworthiness and cast ourselves on the compassion of the Saviour... "Look not to self, but to Christ."
Okay, thank You. That's clearer to me, now, for sure, than my past "understanding"...
Now... to act upon it.
What does it mean to understand my own weakness and cast myself at Your feet?
Is there a "method"?
Do I need to go through great difficulties and great emotions?
Have I ever been there - in truly seeking You, totally admitting and casting my weakness and unbelief at Your feet?
If I am asking that question... does it mean that the answer must be "no" ... or perhaps that I've become cold/ stone-hearted and careless... or that maybe I've known a little of it (though perhaps not in exactly the way portrayed in that passage) ... but You are calling me now to step out and go deeper with You ... into work of Yours which will require far more of Your strength than I've ever before dared think of, believe in, cry out for?
I find myself right now wanting more...
But still saying "Help my unbelief?" with a question mark... not with a desperate exclamation mark like that father in the story...
If You send along a circumstance that requires that depth of cry, am I ready to cry out to You that desperately? I'm beginning to think I might be...
(But belief is acting, not just thinking....
Maybe it does take circumstances to find out ... ?)
(It does seem that when things are going smoothly... or when I've had some kind of "mountain top" time... or a prayer has been "answered" and I feel like I don't have to pray about it anymore ... or even when "struggles" have seemed small enough that I probably can handle this myself, or at least mostly myself... that I get careless...)
(Another thing about "little struggles" is that I'm not "desperate enough" I guess...)
(But do I really want big struggles and attacks?)
(Is that You asking me that question?)
(It kind of seems like big struggles I obviously, totally can't handle seem to be about the only way I [might] let You really "get through to me" ... or let You give me the mustard seed of faith I need to believe You... which is where this started...)
(And if that's the case...
Yes. I guess so. Okay?)
(Am I sure? No. But how else can I know? Why is it so easy for me to be careless and doubting... and so hesitant to really, really throw myself on You!!??)
Why is consecration so hard?
(Is it that hard for everyone? Or am I especially hopeless... unbelieving...?)
(Whatever it takes...) (okay)