Quotable Friday, Vol. 22

“Faith is not some weak and pitiful emotion, but is strong and vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is Holy Love.”

Oswald Chambers

My Utmost for His Highest, May 8 entry

It’s amazing (and awful) how often I think about faith as “weak and pitiful”…or rather, the people who live by it.  As I approach another season of support-raising *cringe* God is showing me some serious judgment issues I have in my heart toward people who live off of support…and faith.  I think it comes from my upbringing, where I learned that everyone must work for what they have and I thought that “God helps those who help themselves” was an actual Scripture verse.  But I want my thinking to be changed, and to see faith as true strength because I’m solely depending on God instead of my own capabilities. 

Chambers goes on to discuss faith and says, “[…] even though you cannot see Him [God] right now and cannot understand what He is doing, you know Him.”  There it is again; it’s all about the character of God, isn’t it?  When we search for understanding of God’s character, He never ceases to surprise and delight us with the treasures we find.  This is why I agree with Chambers when he says, “Faith is the supreme effort of your life–throwing yourself with abandon and total confidence upon God.”  This is my great desire – to stop worrying, stop grasping for control, and to finally let myself go in the love of my Father.  But it is a “supreme effort.”  It does not come easily nor naturally. 

At life group last night, we watched a Nooma video called “Breathe” where Rob Bell talks about the mystical and very real connection between our breath and our spirit.  He discusses the process of sanctification as a purging, a “breathing out” of ourselves so we can breathe in more of the Spirit of God.  Bell asks his viewers to think about what they need to breathe out; what they need to breathe in.  I immediately thought of how I need to be purged of my panicky controlling tendencies and how I need to breathe in grace. 

However, the letting go which is the crux of throwing one’s self with abandon on the love of God is actually a “supreme effort” as Chambers writes and not as natural and pleasant as exhalation, as Bell proposes.  But the good news is, to breathe in God’s Spirit and to fill one’s lungs with His grace is that easy; thanks entirely to that grace.  The Greek word for Spirit that the New Testament writers used is pneuma, which is also translated as “the movement of air” like our breath or even the wind.  It astounds me that God has made His Holy Spirit so accessible to me.  I want to live every day letting His breath, His Spirit, fill me and energize me and in return breathing my spirit as an offering into the wind.


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