"I Will Follow"

 
When I first discovered Daily Strength, I began a sort of spiritual re-awakening and a newly found relationship with God. And this relationship has been nothing short of fantastic in the sense that I believe that there is a future for me after all. He really has sent many blessings my way in the short amount of time we have been together. 
Yet, as I am an impatient, often times selfish man, I find myself having a difficult time really walking the walk with Him and not just giving it the old half-assed attempt at commitment. I'm a little behind on my reading of a couple books I have started on the Bible, yet I really have nothing but time. Oh, I read my 2 daily devotionals and then I wonder why my life still seems to suck, when the reality is that I am actually doing pretty well, under my circumstances. 
So this morning, after dutifully going out back to see His sunrise and sit down with Him for a moment, I came inside to check my e-mail and such and dealt with all that. Then I cracked open my devotional, “Grace For The Moment”, by Max Lucado. Max was spot on, again: 
                                   GOD KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING 
“It's easy to thank God when He does what we want. But God doesn't always do what we want. Ask Job.
His empire collapsed, his children were killed, and what was a healthy body became a rage of boils. From whence came this torment? From whence will come any help?
Job goes straight to God and pleads his case. His head hurts. His body hurts. His heart hurts.
And God answers. Not with answers, but with questions. An ocean of questions.......
After several dozen questions.....Job has gotten the point. What is it?
The point is this: God owes no one anything. No reasons. No explanations. Nothing. If He gave them, we would not understand them.
God is God. He knows what He's doing. When you can't trace His hand, trust His heart.” 
And if Max hadn't said enough, Billy Graham's entry in his “Hope For Each Day” devotional for today hit me where I needed to be hit: 
“Disregard your feelings when it comes to Christ. You aren't saved by your feelings; you are saved by Christ. Feelings come and go, but Christ remains.
Only the facts matter—the fact that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose again; the fact that if you committed your life to him, he has promised to forgive you and save you. The Bible says: “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life.” (1 John 5:11—12)
That is God's promise to you—and He cannot lie. Your feelings will lie to you—and Satan may even use them to convince you God has abandoned you or that you have lost your salvation. But remember; “There is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44, NIV)
How wonderful to know our faith is based on God's truth, and not our feelings.” 
So, my sense is that I need to kick myself in my ass and refocus my commitment to God, instead of haphazardly reading 10 minutes and dozing off, or going out back for 2 minutes and then coming back inside to go back to sleep. Faith, for me, requires some work and focus. Two things that are not coming too easily for me lately.  So, as Chris Tomlin sings:  I will follow..........
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoU8zBQE6Q4&feature=related

Replies

OnMyOwn2010
OnMyOwn2010

My dear friend ~ boy, do have some news for you! Faith, true, abiding, I-shall-not-be-moved-from-the-Rock-on-which-I-stand, faith requires work and focus for all of us...you are not alone in that regard...nor are you alone in being haphazard about the work at times...we all lack discipline at times...but the important thing is that when we recognize it, we get up off our keesters and do something about it...you\'re doin\' fine, hon, just fine.....Hugs, ~E~
pathoflife
pathoflife

Joe, thank you for sharing and for including the text that you read this morning. I am encouraged by such wise counsel. Another you can add to your daily thoughts that I have heard over and over through my years as a believer: \"Our spiritual race is a marathon and not a sprint.\" Hang tight! It\'s worth It. TJ
Lininsocal
Lininsocal

Joe, I am about where you are. I have started attending church with my daughter. Being raised a Catholic attending a bible based Christian church really was a different experience. I am filled with the Spirit and pray for more. Sometimes my faith and trust in God is work and focus and othertimes it is just trustingly there. Regardless, I know He knows my heart and knows I am in my newness on my walk with Him. Sometimes the fire starts with an ember. I find attending services fans the ember. Being in fellowship and such a Spirit Filled environment renews me. The glory of each new day I praise and thank Him for as I lift my arms and say \"Good Morning God\".
Bless you my friend...
Linda
Daninmn
Daninmn

Thanks Joe,
You seem to have just the right post when one is feeling so down. You quoted several of my favorite people and there words are so true.
I like you have to work at my faith and I have my Bible on my coffee table 24 7 and tell myself that instead of watching TV, I should do my Bible study.
He knows were weak, but that is still no excuse.
Now, that you have reminded me I will try harder.
Thanks Joe
doyew
doyew

Joe -- it is indeed work to keep our faith strong and our focus on God. Many times when Frank was in the hospital, ministers visited. One scripture passage they often read was Isaiah 43:1-4 - \"...Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I haved called you by your name; You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, not shall the flame scorch you. For I AM the Lord your God.\" Whatever comes your way, Joe, He will be there for you, just as He is for me and all believers. Thanks for sharing the devotionals with us.
Doye
rene4ever
rene4ever

Joe,
Having and keeping faith is a hard thing to do. Many times I don\'t know how to follow the teaching. I was raised catholic and know better. We must try (do) devote our lives to Christ Jesus and he will never abandone us. I just never know if I am doing enough and like you sometimes(most) blow it off thinking Jesus knows my feelings. I will try harder to actually live a christian life. Rene\' loved everyone and always spoke in kindness and caring ways no matter what the issue was. She was truely amazing.
Thanks Again Joe
Dave
Joely
Joely

Thanks Joe, I needed that today. I guess we all need a kick in the behind sometimes....lol. Faith is what gets us through all the turmoil of our lives. W/O my faith, I certainly wouldn\'t make it through a day.

Procrastination seems to be the name of my days. I need to be doing my Bible study -- like, right now, instead of being on this computer! I do read several excerpts and also books from different Christian authors.

My church also keeps me headed in the right direction. The young man that preached at my church yesterday really made me think about reaching out more. He was talking about helping people realize that today is the day to accept HIM, because the time may come when there is no chance left for them.

We all know that sometimes life is over suddenly, w/o warning. I\'d love to be able to reach everyone!

As you wrote, God is in charge of it all. HE knows what HE is doing.

Good post. Hugs, Joely
deleted_user
deleted_user

For me, my faith took quite a hit when I lost Jim. I often felt that God had turned his back on me and turned a deaf ear to all my prayers. I know in my heart that he didn\'t......I had just turned away from Him. He was there all along and is and will be forever a constant in my world. Thanks for reminding me not to take Him always for granted and to try to keep working hard toward what He has in store for me during my time on earth until I can be with Him and my beloved again.
Hugs, Dianne
inmemoryofhattie
inmemoryofhattie

I have come to a realization that in my life a lot is a lot like a sine wave, constantly moving up a little and down a little. I am trying hard not to eat myself up fo varying in my degrees of doing, thinking, feeling(unless I am being a slug!).
From this post and from all I have read you have so much openness and willingness to deepen you faith...this is a gift you give yourself and are kind enough to share with us, your gentle readers.......
OnMyOwn2010
OnMyOwn2010

Just a note ~ my Pastor, is always reminding us that we cannot always rely on what we FEEL when it comes to our relationship with God, we must rely on what we KNOW to be the TRUTH about Him and they only way to KNOW the TRUTH about GOD is to spend time with HIM AND HIS WORD....
deleted_user
deleted_user

Where He leads I will follow....too.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Joe,
There were men like you and I who sat with Jesus, talked to HIm, ate with Him and watched Jesus perform miracles. Still their faith wavered. Several times Jesus referred to His disciples by saying \" O ye of little faith.\" It is hard work to maintain our faith. If it was easy we would not have needed Jesus. But Jesus began His walk to the cross long before Bethlehem. He started that journey from the Garden of Eden when God the Father foreknew that we could not make it on our own. If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord, the battle is won. In John 6: 37 Jesus tells us; \"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.\" So Joe, do not be dismayed because it is hard work to maintain the faith. God already knew that. Don\'t be so hard on yourself when you fail to meet your expectations. God has already forgiven you. Just do the best you can and put your trust in the work Jesus has already done for us. Joe, I don\'t know why I wrote all this to you. I am sure you already knew everything I said. Maybe I had to say it for myself.