Thursday, April 2, 2015

Grace for the Rule-Follower

Often times, I say things about God that I know are true, believe are true and sometimes have experienced to be true without any real feeling or emotion or "conviction". I am a rule follower and a rule creator and because of this I've always felt that things that are known to be true are things I must call true always. I think at times I've questioned my faith, but with caution, and with boundaries... "Is God good?" "Well of course. Does He seem good right now? No, but seeming isn't enough. Truth is truth and we must believe that at all costs, lest we become a stupid person who doubts in the one thing that is constant, the one Person who never changes".

I wonder if this sort of faith will always be mine. I wonder if I will forever be limited to a belief that doesn't waver, but also doesn't really move. Will I experience the God of fire, of passionate souls who wrestle and dig and do things with their faith that require lots of verbs, or does my thinking limit me in some way? Have I reduced the God of the Universe to a series of truths, of unchangeables that while true, create a narrow box for an infinite Person?

I don't want the sort of faith that fully doubts and strongly wavers, but I"m not convinced than a blind assumption of truth  and denial of anything else is good either. It seems so static, so lifeless. To press on to know the Lord doesn't mean that I will live a life of extremes, necessarily, but if it does, I don't want to shield myself from that. I want to know God, want to struggle while being transparent, to be REAL and vulnerable and to be honest with those things. I don't want a faith where I've made all the rules.

As a rule-follower, a person who "knows" things to be true and lives like they are true (in other words, an obnoxious, stubborn firstborn), I think I have the tendency to come off like I have it all together, like I don't do a lot of struggling, or feel much doubt. And generally, I guess in my handling of things that I believe to be true, I don't waver a whole lot. But where I do and when I do, I want to be honest. I'm tired of having an answer for everything, and pretending to when I don't.

I want to cling to things not because I'm supposed to but becasue I really believe it. I guess this is the downside of stubbornness. I desire to let grace in. I want a life where I'm letting God work, instead of moving along in my carefully constructed view of the world where I'm the one holding the puppet strings.
I shy away from the idea of a "moment", a dramatic experience with God, because it doesn't seem lasting. God works in ways that are beyond me though. He moves in lives in ways I cannot and likely will not understand and see.
A faith made of belief for belief's sake is not a faith. It's something else - a religious practice, a routine. It si one thing to believe and to be certain. It is another to follow a set fo rules because rules are good. Instead of a series of "this is what I believe and here is why" -- which is good, I want to believe and to know why not just follow the breeze -- I hope to open myself up to letting a little life in. A little airing out and putting into practice. A little searching for the answers in Scripture instead of just saying things I heard someone say once. When I speak, I don't want to just spout truths. I want to say, from a sure place, something that actually resonates within my soul. To have truth and to live a life of faith, from faith.

"Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth" Hosea 6:3

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