Monday, May 3, 2010

Battle for Faith

When I wake up, the world is not full of promise anymore.  It's full of duty, of finding ways to escape boredom - or work, of finding ways to pass the time until television at night, and then bed.  It's worse when I don't have anything good to escape to.  I have no good book to read, no engagement I'm excited about attending, no little project that fills me with joy.

I don't think it's a lack of hobbies that keeps me uninspired, nor is it a lack of friends.   It's a lack of motivation to own my life, and to keep busy doing good.

Yesterday we had a little house church and my husband prepared a short message on Micah 6.

The LORD's Case Against Israel
 1 Listen to what the LORD says:
       "Stand up, plead your case before the mountains;
       let the hills hear what you have to say. 
2 Hear, O mountains, the LORD's accusation;
       listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
       For the LORD has a case against his people;
       he is lodging a charge against Israel.
3 "My people, what have I done to you?
       How have I burdened you? Answer me.
4 I brought you up out of Egypt
       and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
       I sent Moses to lead you,
       also Aaron and Miriam.
5 My people, remember
       what Balak king of Moab counseled
       and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
       Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
       that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD."

If you are unfamiliar with the story of Balak and Balaam, you can find it in Numbers 22-24.  Balak was the king of Moab and he had heard that whoever the prophet Balaam blessed or cursed, so it would be done to them.  So he commanded him to curse the Israelites and promised him a large sum of money in return.  But every time Balaam went to curse the Israelites, the Lord caused him to bless them instead.  (It infuriated the king, and Balaam, who was no innocent, also got rebuked by a donkey).

The point is, God cannot help but bless his people.  In all the ways that I grumble against him - Mr. Welcome has to travel too much, he didn't get the promotion with the big raise, Peanut didn't get a spot in the nursery, the workers are not finished with our house, I don't have my driver's license here, etc. - I have to wonder why I bother grumbling because God cannot help but to bless me.  It wastes my time and insults my God.

And instead of just wiping us out when He has a case to bring against us, He actually reasons with us.  "My people, what have I done to you?  How have I burdened you?  Answer me."

I remember what my life was like before I was brought out of Egypt.  I was loud, boastful, drunk, prideful, controlling, immoral.  The list goes on.  The only thing I was not, was dishonest, and I knew I couldn't stand before God.

Micah goes on:

 6 With what shall I come before the LORD
       and bow down before the exalted God?
       Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
       with calves a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
       with ten thousand rivers of oil?
       Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
       the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
       And what does the LORD require of you?
       To act justly and to love mercy
       and to walk humbly with your God.

What do I have to do to get forgiveness, either for the way I used to live or for my current lack of gratitude?  A sacrifice of fasts?  Give everything I own to the poor?  Beat my body?  Do I need to sacrifice my first born son?  It's unthinkable.

No.  God already did that.   His blessings might not be all the material things I hope for, but he already gave me what I needed most - forgiveness for my sins and eternal life with him.

If I'm struggling to find joy in the everyday, it's probably because I am dissatisfied with God in some way.  I am grumbling because my life is not as fun as I'd like it to be, or because I have the same struggles as I've always had.  But today, let me face the day with a new attitude.

Act justly. Love mercy.  Walk humbly with my God.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, sister, I'm your first follower! I love it!

    God's blessings on this blog, may it bring peace and strength and hope and joy to so many starving souls.